Individualism is a world view that expounds the theory of individual endeavours and effects over societal efforts. In Western societies individualism has different meanings. It (a) rejects any external authority, yet may have a sense of social duty; (b) emphasizes individual uniqueness; (c) resents intrusion of the state and government; (d) represents competitive economic individuals; (e) values every person compassionately.
Individualism is not characteristic of primitive societies where individuals are still so undeveloped and immature that they need to belong to their social milieu, rather it is borne of developed societies where individuals have the choice of, and opportunity for, being independent. The concept of self is particularly evident in this century, as oppressed people become independent; such awareness could give rise to historically-significant corporate action. But authentic awareness of self is aborted by individualism, which results in an isolation that cuts people off from their past and results in their clinging to self-created images. This in turn merely traps and confuses them, so they can no longer relate to what is happening around them.