Individualists hold that as little as possible should be done for its subjects by the State, as much as possible being left to free individual initiative.
Socialism tends to treat the individual as merely a part of the State, holding his possessions (if any) simply by its permission, while Individualism regards the state as a collection of separate units, with rights of life and
property independently, which the State does not confer but merely guarantees. Extreme individualists hold that all government is an evil, though it may be a necessary evil, and the “anarchists” profess the extremest form of the creed.
“Individualism rests on the principle that a man shall be his own
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894