People are generally lazy by nature. Procrastination is a trait that affects everyone. There are few things more powerful as a motivator than a tight deadline. They are even more effective when there are great consequences attached to the due date.
It should come as no surprise that social and political movements take advantage of this human weakness. Rhetoric for every cause uses the innate laziness found in man as a primary tool to spread their message and magnify its percieved importance. Regardless of the issue’s real size, every ill in society must be made far worse. Otherwise, nobody will care to address it. After all, there are many other issues that need to be addressed. Many of them far more dire and wide ranging than the ones that get actual attention.
This is observable any time an issue rises to prominence in modernity. In order for people to care about national debt, politicians must scream about how it will bring about the end of the nation. For a charity to get donations to help African poverity, they must plead that millions will die of hunger and of genocide without their help. Preachers must speak of eternal damnation and hellfire to get people to repent their sins.
The human attraction to these arguments stems from the innate tendencies to think in black and white terms. There is little room for gradation in most politics and religion. Something must be right or left, good or evil, heaven or hell. Discourse about large, nebulous topics must be forced into categories humans can easily agree or disagree with. Otherwise, they are easily forgotten. It is the only way people can deal with topics beyond the scope of the commonplace.
This uncomfortable separation into discrete categories is the source of almost all disagreement. These categories have meaning to the individual and the group for them to be useful. They are influenced and colored by all of his experiences and all that he has learned. While two people might be talking about the same thing using the same words and phrases, the conception behind it can be entirely different and thereby lead confusion.
Modernity thrives on this basic misunderstanding. Multiculturalism and globalization bring together people with vastly different experiences and beliefs. The fact that most people are packed into crowded cities only exacerbates the effect. To a Muslim, the hijab and burka are seen as symbols of purity, chastity, and temperance. To a westerner, it is seen as a symbol of sexual oppression. In truth, it is neither. It is only a piece of cloth. The meaning each person gives it is what breeds resentment.
As a result, modernity brings about conflict and anomiosity at the most basic of interactions. People deal with this by retreating to places where they can be understood. The best way to avoid conflict is simply to remove oneself from the circumstances that cause it. The bonds of neighborhood and community break down until society becomes a dog-eat-dog world where every man must fend for himself. Once cooperation is no longer present the simple foundations of a society, to live in it becomes more trouble than it is worth.
Only through great effort can somebody see the perspective of another. Even then, it is often only a superficial understanding and prone to error. It is an unnatural way to think about the world. Most people are incapable of “putting themselves in someone else’s shoes” at a basic level. Modern societies operate on a level that are ignorant of basic human nature. Mankind has got to know its limitations. Only then can it overcome them.