Perhaps then, I might finish by putting in a word for modern individualism. We are social animals because, as we evolved, reciprocating favours from others in our community assisted our survival and the passing down of our genes. We learn to pick out those who we think will return our favours, and therefore have a strong sense of who we regard as a friend.
The trouble is that our instinct leads us to regard others as foe. The very same natural propensity to be communal and socially cohesive, makes us aggressive to outsiders. It has created pogroms, civil strife, war.
In recent years we have become more civilised. The group that we regard as like us, as a friend, as liable to reciprocate our favours, has grown enormously. The free market and modern technology have helped. This has weakened the bond we feel with our immediate community and we see ourselves more as individuals. Social relations have become shallower, but our network wider. We have lost through this, but we have also gained. We fight fewer wars, we kill each other less often, we treat minorities much better, we are less aggressive to outsiders.
The less local that local community that we belong to the less likely we are to start beating up on the community next door.