No, I don't know Matthias Desmet, but I would agree that people look for and need a task that marks them as "good" because they care immensely what others think of them.
Where it is easy to make a good name for oneself because it is accepted by the majority that "there is good to be done there", people jump up, I think that is obvious.
My thought behind this is what a person "in reality thinks of themselves", what image they have of themselves. Starting from an inferior self-worth, I would think, it rises proportionally in that person what others think and talk about oneself. The less a person sees him/herself as valuable, the more important the external image becomes.
The fact that such became a mass phenomenon in such a short time was a cause of concern for me personally, while for those who joined the "save the people" mission it had been more of a confirmation that there was now something "really significant to do". I was suspicious of this actionism, it made me sceptical, while others saw the exact opposite.
Once I asked a friend who joined the phenomenon if she thought it was realistic that all people without exception would join the measures without any further argumentation? She said, "Hm. No, that's actually not realistic."
I basically made this the core of my conversations. It's not only unrealistic, it's downright utopian to think, or even to want to have "all people on earth united" (share the same notion). It's for me not salvation, it's horror.
Yes, let's hope, the opposing camps find each other in better conversations and live and let live circumstances.