...#2: individualism is a myth. especially the 'rugged' variety.
your individuality is born of your relationship to your socio-cultural group, not the other way around.
your identity is being formed for you before you are even conscious of you as 'you.'
my new/current definition of "Self" goes a little sumthin' like this:
Self: the collective effort on the part of your world to create and experience a unique perspective.
individuality is never a solitary or strictly personal issue. "you" are, in effect, a product of your society and culture; like an apple growing from a tree. this is the crux of the admonition against pure egoism... because you end up focused on a construct that has very little to do with the 'you' that endures beyond this experience and, further, the 'you' that is inextricably connected to everything else whatsoever.
That being said...
just as each individual must have a strong and balanced sense of self to function effectively in society and in close relations, one to the others, each socio-cultural group (as a larger 'individual') must also have a strong and balanced sense of Self so that they may function with others in an effective, harmonious, and mutually beneficial manner.
So... what do you think happens when you take an entire group of unrelated peoples, kidnap them, throw them together in an unfathomably violent manner and destroy their individual and collective sense of Self and bar their contact with their true history for centuries?
Do they lose their sense of direction and purpose?
Being completely disoriented, do they become dependent on the oppressor for their sense of direction and even their sense of Self?
Do they begin to identify with the oppressor? If so, and if that oppressor views them as sub-human, do they begin to take on that view of themselves... even if subconsciously?
And if the oppressor is basically feeding them what they want them to know about themselves, aren't they essentially creating the personalities of the oppressed?
And, if you control the formation of someone's personality, don't you essentially control, by extension, their behavior?
(are you really still wondering how/why the Great Enslavement has lasted so long? oh.. .you thought it was over?)
Can you see why self-determination is not only important, but necessary?
Being able to define oneself, for oneself is the beginning of self-efficacy, self-sufficiency, and the wisdom to know what is and is not in your own best interests. As a matter of fact, you cannot know what is best for you when your sense of self is lacking (or even missing altogether).
And, if you are viewed as an exploitable and expendable underclass, and my economic wealth is built on your disorientation and disconnection with your true sense of self...
Well... we can't have you walking around all knowing who you are and defining yourself... can we?
Join the movement for self-determination. Dig the We Are Uhuru FB page and the website www.WeAreUhuru.org.