Akin to the concept of world civilization category – socio-economic system, until recently, generally accepted in the scientific works and textbooks, and is used to describe large, objectively conditioned stages in the development of society. Why has it taken to abandon the familiar category, replacing it with a new concept, but still used in such different ways? First, the desire to get rid of the rough sociology and determinism, the primacy of material over the spiritual, which form the basis of the concept of socio-economic structure. Our approach is based on the primacy of man's needs, knowledge, skills, culture, ideology – All the things that is often referred to generalize the word social consciousness and what distinguishes man from the rest of the world. Certainly, man can not tear myself away from the outside world, the development of productive forces (The main element of which is man and his needs and abilities, knowledge and ability, desire and the will) is one of the determinants of historical progress – along with the dynamics of the spiritual world. Secondly, the rigid five-member schema change of socio-economic formations essentially anti-historical. She tried to lay a complex and contradictory historical rate of progress, differing identities in the lives of different countries and peoples, the Procrustean bed of a dogmatic scheme. At the same time the beginning of history – primitive communal formations – turned out indefinitely extended, ignored qualitatively different stages in the prehistory and the first stages of human history, the latter formation – Communist – meant, in essence, end of story, it eliminated the contradiction as a major driving force of historical progress.

Like the Christian heaven, it would have been infinitely monotonous, dull company, although science fiction writers and tries to highlight the tragedy of knowledge and exploration of unknown ("Andromeda" Ivan Efremov). Life has denied this great utopia the ideals of communism, suffered a heavy defeat at the end of XX century. (Although they will be reborn again in the Modification form, as desire for full equality and abundance continues to hold and play). The concept of change world civilizations clearly delineates the beginning of the historical process, leading the countdown to the history of the Neolithic Revolution and preceding the transition period – Mesolithic, offers more than a fraction compared to Marxist scheme of division of the major stages of history and, most importantly, proceeds from the fact that the rhythm of change of civilizations, the inherent dynamics and conflicts continue in the future – as long as there will be a human Society (and his days are numbered until, although a large space, environmental or nuclear catastrophe can abruptly stop the historical process or discard the humanity in a few cycles ago). A similar approach to the periodization of history, holds IM Deacons. Counting them is a historical time from the appearance of modern humans, Homo Sapiens, but not with the Neolithic revolution (or added to the first stage of a major story – Almost thirty thousand) it is not of civilizations, and the phases of the historical process (which can be understood as. life cycle phases of humanity) there are differences in understanding the timing and content of individual phases and the world civilizations. This approach is justified, but it does not preclude the approach set out in this tutorial. Future studies and experience will help determine who is right and will probably be found a third, more convincing explanation of the logic and periodization of historical progress.

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