If anything curses humanity, it is knowing, or having enough knowledge to mistake a certain instance for a general principle. For example, radical Christianity, diversity, or polyamory works in our neighborhood, so why is this not a universal and absolute principle?
The more societies develop, the more they think they know, and the more they incorporate exceptions in order to address the personal need for recognition by others. If you proclaim any principle in public, individuals will come from all corners to demand you address their anecdotal personal experiences which seem to defy the rule.
In fact, almost all focus on exceptions is just disguised individualism; the rules apply to the rest of you, but not to me, because I am unique and special and therefore, deserve what I can guilt-cadge out of the rest of you. Resisting individualism is the job of any civilization that wants to survive!
The problem then becomes authority itself. When you have leadership, and it approves of some idea, you can get what you want by arguing that your idea fits under their idea because their idea has become accepted as a social positive. “This crack cocaine is not for me, officer, but to reduce poverty and free the enslaved.”
With this knowing — a product of having people, and not nature, in charge of determining what succeeds and what fails — in ascent, societies become driven by control. The authority enforces what is popular, everyone else tries to fit within that framework, and those who deviate are punished.
Natural selection becomes replaced by social selection, which works as long as you have a social hierarchy that rewards the best. When that fails, you get group opinion, which is mostly fear, and it penalizes the strong and replaces them with the weak.
In such societies, one has to constantly signal with personal drama in order to show obedience to the authority, injury and victimhood so that you are paid attention to, and self-expression in order to be distinctive enough to others to be remembered.
Over time neurosis gradually swells this society as it simultaneously reduces quality. Knowing requires that we reduce the complexity of the world to symbols, images, and rules; this in turn causes people to invent fanciful “exceptions” but also, for all of us to wonder if the known things are in fact as certain as they seem.
As humanity confronts the utter failure of all of its efforts since the French Revolution, it makes sense to ask ourselves if what we want is more certainty and “knowing,” or instead simply more mystery and ambiguity, causing us to stop doing the things that perpetuate our decline.