There’s a difference between individualism and equality for individuals.
Equality of individuals is the backbone of democracy, while individualism threatens democracy by thwarting the social contract.
Individualism holds that the individual is more important than the community. The concept is very much at the heart of Libertarian political thought.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, on individualism:
“Individualism … disposes each member of the community to sever himself from the mass of his fellow-creatures; and to draw apart with his family and his friends; so that, after he has thus formed a little circle of his own, he willingly leaves society at large to itself… [I]ndividualism proceeds from erroneous judgment more than from depraved feelings; it originates as much in the deficiencies of the mind as in the perversity of the heart…; individualism, at first, only saps the virtues of public life; but, in the long run, it attacks and destroys all others….“