In practice individualism is chiefly concerned to oppose the concentration of commercial and industrial enterprise in the hands of the state and the municipality.
Moreover, in the early days of the Reformation the Catholic Church charged it with a lawless individualism, a charge which was seemingly made good by an extreme divergence in theological opinion and by riots in various parts of the Protestant world.
The revolt against individualism had begun, and he was attracted to its standard.
The failure of " laissez-faire " individualism in politics to produce that common prosperity and happiness which its advocates hoped for caused men to question the egoistic basis upon which its ethical counterpart was constructed.
Individualism is, however, by no means identical with egoism, though egoism is always individualistic. An individualist may also be a conscientious altruist: he is by no means hostile to or aloof from society (any more than the socialist is necessarily hostile to the individual), but he is opposed to state interference with individual freedom wherever, in his opinion, it can be avoided.