The most important element of individualism is that of the empowered individual. An individualist is fully convinced that there is no such thing as a neutral, unbiased implementation of government power. The more power a government is granted, the fewer liberties are provided to the individual. The only thing that stands between tyranny and liberty is the empowered individual.
To Hayek, it was quite ironic that the academics that had overwhelmingly embraced socialism were discarding the very thing that explained their existence, the idea of “western” civilization.
I could spend pages on tangents, addressing our personal liberties, our right to assembly, the reluctance to be guided by experts, and the doubts we possess of this vastly complex phenomena. But before debating these topics, we must sit at the same table – and regard each other’s welfare.