You and I meet at the grocery store and after talking for a good twenty minutes we decide to meet later at Starbucks to sit down to continue our discussion. What could happen?
Individualism is recognition that we are both subjective human beings with unique perspectives. Individualisticis the interference of a cooperative experience by an ego-driven objective. They are not the same thing. Why the confusion, then?
At the personal level sometimes there is confusion because recognizing that we each have unique perspectives may seem to imply separateness. Perspectives can differ while still having the same goals (ends) or the same assessment of the various means for achieving ends. Voluntarily cooperating is really most likely when there is compatibility with regards ends and means. It simply involves mutual tweaking of the choice of means. Individualism works this way.
If the ends or means are significantly different, then voluntary social cooperation will not be able to occur at that time and place. This is often the case in human relations and this is also how individualism works.Noteworthy: desiring an alternative of coercion or oppression can hardly be thought as better than individualism.
If the goals are the same and the process of selecting the means comes to a halt because of obstinance, say for example a person may be too proud of their suggestion to listen to the suggestions made by others, then the breakdown of the potential of social cooperation is something that can be called individualistic.
The solution to individualistic patterns of behavior in society is not to adopt the unscientific and completely fallacious doctrine of collectivism. That is the path of coercion and oppression. The solution is to provide a proper education which has at its core the understanding that humans are subjective and that the workings in the world are all the outcome of individualism.
Are you convinced that individualism is the solution rather than the problem?