The Etz Yosef points out that originally Rebbe Avin was explaining himself and said you cannot understand the pasuk (verse) in Eichah according to its simple meaning because how is it possible to even think that good and bad does not come from the mouth of Hashem, for who does declare it and make it happen; rather it must be as Rebbe Avin was explaining, that G-D will no longer decree bad on the righteous and good on the wicked. Not like it was in the past that everything was judged according to the generation and if the generation was not guilty there was good even for the wicked, so too the opposite, if most of the generation was guilty there was bad for the righteous as well. However after the giving of the Torah, where life clung with good and death clung with bad, then good did not happen to those who did evil and vice-versa. (Click here for Hebrew text)
However, once the Torah was accepted by the Jews at Har Sinai,everything changed. Reward and punishment were no longer handed out to the generation but were exacted on the individual. What changed? Moshe categorized and arranged life and death, good and evil, blessing and curse, but why wasn’t it done beforehand? The Torah was there in existence the entire time, Hashem having created the world using the Torah as its blueprint, something which was done 2000 years before the creation of the world! All one had to do was look around and figure out how to observe the Torah, as Avraham did. There were schools of thought regarding what was right and what was wrong, like the Yeshiva of Shem vi’Ever. Avraham not only taught his son Torah, and his son taught his son, passing it down from generation to generation, but Avraham also had many disciples who followed him. So why only by the giving of the Torah on Har Sinai did everything change, withreward and punishment became an individualized system rather than a generational system?
It would seem from here that without an organization an individual cannot be held liable for his behavior. Only once there is an official entity, a specific group of people, an organized religion, and an organized nation, can the expectation on the individual become greater. Until that point, an individual cannot reasonably be held responsible for his or her actions, because the highest degree of efficiency is not in effect. The giving of the Torah was a turning point in the world, where the Torah was finally recognized in an organized way as the official handbook for life. That is how it became the specific authority of reward and punishment. Before that point there was always a moral sense of good and evil in the world because the Torah always existed, and the generations could be judged as a whole, receiving reward for good morals and punished for bad morals. Majority is always a means to make decisions, in this case to exact reward and punishment, when there is no individual expectation. Judging qualitatively, in addition to quantitatively, the actions of mankind is a fare way to Judge, for Hashem can read into the hearts of every living being.
Organizations set the standard for the individual, and without them individual expectations are just thrown into the pot with everyone else.