There is a critique of individualism that goes something like this:
Before modernity, human beings had meaningful lives as parts of groups. Dance, ritual, myth, tribal laws and folkways, all served to unite us, giving our lives emotional richness and depth, and giving us a way to respond to the contingency and fragility of individual life. Modernity caused us to lose this existential and aesthetic depth, and this social cohesion, by promoting practices that divide and atomize, and philosophies that encourage us to view ourselves as separate.
The trouble with this critique is that if you are going to find it persuasive you must find it persuasive as an individual. IF you are sunk in a collective identity you are not in a position to choose whether or not to be an atomized, enlightenment individual. Who would do the choosing?
So the critique of enlightenment individualsm ends up assuming the truth of the position that it is attacking. You have to be a separate individual making choices in order to understand and respond to it.
There’s something appealing to it, no doubt — who wouldn’t want the emotional benefits of solidarity, a particular identity, and a rich web of relationships — but to listen to it requires splitting our minds. There must be the part of the mind that is individual enough to recognize the cogency of the anti-individualistic critique, and there must be the part of the mind that attempts to enjoy the psychic benefits of communalism, while at the same time forgetting that it is as an individual that I choose to enjoy those benefits. So, listening to the anti-individualistic critique entails splitting our psyches into two warring parts.
This is a switcheroo indeed for a position that promises integration!