by system failure
Since the French revolution and the new form of the urban states-democracies, the ruling class had to make the so-called “social contract” with the majority. From the moment that the dominant urban class took the power from feudalism and monarchy, should had to find a way to protect the means of production and the labor force.
Therefore, the ethnic consciousness in each state served to bound the majority in order to shape national armies to protect the ruling class interests. In exchange, the ruling urban class had given the so-called social state, labor rights, etc., through the nation-state as a carrier and guarantor for all these benefits for the middle and lower classes.
Since then, there have been a lot of battles and the majority managed to conquer some benefits. At the start of 20th century, the technology progress had brought the mass production. Western societies increasingly became addicted to consumerism and progressively dominated by a culture of extreme individualism until today.
This has happened because corporations had to find consumers for the products, so actually the “homo consumericus” came after Freud’s theories, exploited by his nephew – father of Public Relations – Edward Bernays. However, the ruling class still needed labor hands and therefore the social contract remained alive, always through the nation-state as guarantor.