Whether your circumstances cause you to lead or follow, your survival factor will greatly increase if you understand the key points of human sociology. Political and social leaders would be well served to acquaint themselves with the complexities of the theory of Mechanical and Organic Solidarity. There are other theories that enhance, extend and further these two basically sound pieces of sociology.
The next step in study is the melding of what may be found in the concepts of German sociologist; Ferdinand Tönnies and his two conceptual models for types of human association: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.
Next in this complex puzzle is to study Lenski's Evolutionary Theory regarding sociological evolution which proffers the view that technological progress is the most basic factor in the evolution of societies and cultures.
The final piece in the puzzle that unmasks what to most people is a vexing and insurmountable stalemate is the undoing of those who believe in the collectivist approach. That is The Hawthorne Studies of 1924 brought to light the final piece in the puzzle in the quest to understand how to nurture and construct social order which still respects, supports, and accepts self-reliance and individualism. The studies that led to the Human Relations Movement in the mid 1920's outed the natural human drive to find and thrive in individualism within structured demanding societal constricts. Those constricts inevitably disable individualism in favor of collectivism and "order". Placing humans at odds with such structure.
Extra credit reading should be Peace Among Primates by Robert M Sapolsky Ph.D. at Stanford University especially the section regarding natural born killers. (Click here to read)
As you see, each one of these theoretical studies of human societal solidarity reaches similar and overlapping conclusions. You probably don't have to guess where I (Will of PracticeSurvival.com) fall in this debate; I am a stark individualist, I ooze self-reliance (possibly to a fault), I am not dependent, nor am I a victim. I live for challenge, conquest, expansion of my mind and my intellect and most of all leaving a positive advancement in the world. I choose individualism and the mechanical society. Small, based upon self-reliance, individualism, and integrity, where each member stands on their own, supporting one another as earned equals shoulder to shoulder not on someone else’s shoulders. That said everything must be tempered with reality. No one can ever stand completely alone and it only takes an unattended scratch to reduce you to the condition of being not "mission capable."