There is a very famous quote from Margaret Thatcher, a quote that is most famous for having been taken out of context and then used against her an others in an entirely bogus way.
That quote (in fact a paraphrase) is, as I am sure you have guessed, "there is no such thing as society".
This paraphrase comes from a published article which can be seen here http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689.
The point was not a dismissal of people working together, it was a recognition that 'society' is nothing other than the people who make it up - without the individual people there is no society.
Why do I blog on this now?
I blog on this now because a realisation has struck me, a discovery regarding many of those who disparage the 'no such thing as society' quote. The realisation that these people also take exception to the genuine meaning of Mrs Thatchers words!
They don't recognise individuals, they only recognise societies, organisations, communities and other collectives.
This becomes apparent when reading articles, blogs and other (particularly personal) writings. From the 'great and good' who would rather give to a big charity rather than directly to a person in need; through to local councillors who want the council to have more money to help the poor and vulnerable but then raise that money by taxing those very same poor and vulnerable people!
I cannot count the number of left wing and green blogs that throw around phrases like 'poor' and 'vulnerable' referring to classes of anonymous people - but show not an ounce of interest or compassion for the individuals who make up those groups. As if the people, the individuals do not exist outside of the 'society' or 'collective' that the left have assigned them to for the purpose of what ever argument they are presenting.