To put it simply, it is profitable. The politicians, activists, or self-proclaimed revolutionaries usually gain something by the end of their plan if it works accordingly. Usually this amounts to wealth and power.
However, a better question is why do people listen to them? It is because they offer simple answers to complex situations. “Why are we poor?” The people ask. “It is because these group of people have been taking advantage of you” says the politician. While the real answer involves world economics, complex infrastructural failures, state corruption, classism, Stone Age economics etc. but these answers, to put it bluntly are not sexy. They cannot be solved immediately. Such problems need decades to be rooted out and their solutions will probably create other problems. It is an endless bureaucracy but it is the reality.
Overtime some politician or an activist will boil down such problems into an “us vs them” situation. They say “The answer is simple. we have been subjugated and now we must exact retribution.” Thus these so called leaders turn the elitist actions of the few into a nationwide propaganda.
Life is hard especially for those that are in the lower rung of society. They toil day and night in hard labor and they can not even afford to feed their family properly. The system is against them. Their parents were poor so they could not send them to school and they have become poor as a result. This vicious cycle continues with their children and they are angry because of the injustice of it. Who could blame them?
Then along comes the self-proclaimed leaders ready to stoke the festering anger. Exaggerating some events and inventing others. Their rhetoric’s either directly or indirectly leads to violent acts against other groups. The sad thing is, the people who get hurt are the people who are in the same situations as the perpetrators. It is always the innocents who suffer.
Do not trust people who claim that they are doing this for you. The more they try to appear saint-like the more suspicious you ought to be. For these are the hallmarks of megalomaniacs. Remember their aim is money and power not the end of your suffering.
The greatest crime is not just taking part in these movements but rather also, the inaction of those who have not yet been hurt, as the famous saying goes “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”