In about the time of 900 BC.. almost 3000 years ago.
In those days, there was no king in Israel, everyone did what was right in his eyes. (Judges 21:25)
This is in 1 Samuel 8.
11 He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day." 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."
This was in a time of a religious theocracy, when the people were ruled by the Law. There were judges that arose, to settle disputes.
I also see this as going from a quasi 'republic' where people are ruled by laws and the govt is modest, to more statism, where the king is supreme, does whatever he wants, & the role of govt increases. We like the idea of someone who will 'lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles', but when he (the state) becomes oppressive, then 'you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen'.
It doesn't seem to matter how far back you go in history.. the state becomes oppressive. The less power we give them, & the more we put in law, like the magna carta & the bill of rights, the less we are at the whim of those in power, be they individual or a group. The state always wants more.. it is always grasping & greedy for power & control. It is a constant struggle for each generation to limit & fight off the power mongers who wish to rule us.
If people really understood the consequences of statism, they would not want it. But we don't. We let the ruling elite convince us they have divine right as kings, or they can bring peace & prosperity to the people, or social justice. No one stands up & says, 'I want to be oppressed by a totalitarian state!' But throughout history, we have been, & continue to be.
We the people need to see that we can rule ourselves, with a representative republic. But we are like the israelites of old, who after escaping slavery in egypt, want a king to rule over them.
Just from an historical perspective, this illustrates the way we are. We are not really happy with freedom, but want a king.. a ruler ordained by god... a messiah or anointed one. We want someone who gives us a thrill up our leg when he speaks.
It is hard for us to see that we can do it without the ruling elite. We don't need divinely inspired ordination for our kings. We can do it ourselves, with honest representatives who will speak for us. If they don't, we need to fire them asap & find someone who will.