Is individualism equal to furthering own interests only? Are strong individuals more effective egoists?
There is reason for doubt.
We all know people with real strength – in the sense of mental resources to get results and to care for those involved. Such people may be as soft-spoken as Rosa Parks, but their individuality is in no doubt. Sustainably useful activities (e.g. Wikipedia) are often founded by strong individualists.
However, no matter how big a blessing such apparent altruism may be, if we try to “install” it by authoritarian means or if we try to automise altruism by eliminating individual uniqueness, we seem to automise egoism instead! Why is that?
Actually we know why. We know it by introspection and by observation that egoism really is a sign of weakness in the sense of a lack of mental, emotional, physical and strategic resources to create win-win situations.
We see this weakness in ourselves, in other individuals and in companies. It shows whereever there is fear of being indistinguishable. It is caused by a false belief that we cannot (or should not) contribute anything uniquely useful.
Companies with a unique selling proposition are more confident and genuinely cooperative! Unique selling personalities (even if they only sell commodities) are more confident, more cooperative and have loyal customers. Leaders with a unique proposition of leadership are more confident and more cooperative. And they attract positions where they really can contribute.
Is this uniqueness detectable when it is not manifest yet? In individuals? In companies? Is it a gift we cannot control or an accidental market phenomena?