Just as biologist have seen that evolution is a tree and not a ladder, cultural evolution is now seen as a branching diversity of forms

Examples: Australian Aborigines, Eskimo, etc. Navaho, Hopi, Fulani, etc. Ancient Egypt, France, U.S., etc.
POLITICAL band societies tribal societies state societies
KINSHIP nuclear family extended family nuclear family
RELIGION monotheism polytheism monotheism
ECONOMY hunter-gatherer horticulture, pastoralism agriculture, industry

White colonialists often claimed tribal societies were "primitive" because they believed in polytheism and did not have nuclear families. But  small scale hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have monotheism and nuclear families, just like large scale state societies. There is no "ladder" of cultural acheivement; the diversity of social forms simply represents the diverse ways in which different cultures meet their needs.