I do think that the question of why society is suddenly so much kinder than it was even a couple of generations ago is actually very important, and we normally just take it utterly for granted.
That’s a genuinely interesting question to me in a way “why is it better for the people who organized and spent energy to make it better for themselves?” is not.
I have like
vague guesses and gestures towards increases in wealth that allows people the surplus to engage in kindness more often?
But it’s all just mist and guesswork.
Maybe social safety nets? If the long fall into starvation happens less often, the desperate violent struggle to avoid starvation should also occur less often.
Technological wealth supplying surpluses, media and communication allowing knowledge about overall wellbeing of the populace to be more common, and successive iterations of cultural peace/safety (e.g. the less crime there is, the less people will tolerate crime, etc…). Less lead in the water supply…
and successive iterations of cultural peace/safety
That was also part of my guess – the fewer resources you need to spend on curtailing antisocial behavior, the more you’ll have left over to make sure the next generation also doesn’t have to waste resources, in a positive spiral.