TL;DR: Individual citizens have MUCH stronger incentive to pay attention to the control of government policy by corrupt and malicious groups than in years past.
Corporations and individuals can make millions or even billions of dollars by influencing government policy. A single bill signed into law, a new executive order, a rule change at an agency, or a policy decision never even publicized can result in huge profits or additional power for various groups and individuals. For instance, Forbes ran a story over a year ago on forty (40) new billionaires "who got rich fighting COVID." -- Government policies and direct government cash were the main drivers of that new wealth.
In the past, you, the individual taxpaying citizen, would in most cases have only a few dollars taken from your pocket by that change in government policy, making the cost/benefit ratio of fighting the change very unfavorable.
The CEO of Global War Industries, Inc. gets to join the billionaire class, while you get a slightly higher tax bite. HE's highly incentivized to get the new bill introduced, passed, and signed into law. HE can easily spend thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands, or more on this project, and he might throw in some coercion and blackmail if necessary. YOU, assuming you even hear about the bill at all, don't likely HAVE hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose the bill and in any case the costs to you will be disguised and just become a part of your ever-changing tax obligation.
Relatively small input for a potentially HUGE return for those seeking to buy government power, versus huge INPUT (relative to the average citizen's wealth) for potentially blocking a small cost.
But as you know, things have changed.
The corrupt and malicious can still gain vast amounts of money and power by influencing government policy, but the average citizen now sees more clearly the costs -- including the most important, non-monetary costs -- of ignoring efforts to corrupt government policy.
Just another reason that NCSWIC.