I was talking with coworkers last week about this issue, and we had a disagreement.
My position is individualism and the middle class go hand in hand because it's only through individualism that social mobility is possible. Without individualism, the populace remains stuck as a community, and elites remain stuck as a community. There are no opportunities for status to be achieved on one's own merit. Rather people are only judged by the benevolence of their company. If you live among malevolent people, you have no shot at improvement without individualism because your community holds you back.
One of my coworkers said individualism inhibits the middle class because it forgets that people need to be supported to get places. With individualism, people forget their roots, so there's nobody to support them. Even worse, it leads to a vicious rat race where everyone is constantly sabotaging each other for the measliest scraps of success. If you live among malevolent people, individualism screws you over because nobody behaves. It's only among benevolent people that you have a shot at being respected.
I don't really understand my coworker's position, and frankly, I feel like he's just sucking up. The only way a community props up a hero is if individuals within it are intimidated into unawareness. That way, they sacrifice their own experience in order to support someone who's intimidating. The intimidating justify this by saying they have to maintain their support, but in reality, they're being selfish and exploiting good luck.
As an aside, this is why I believe socialism is a conservative, not a liberal, ideology. Socialism relishes in the natural relations of production, saying those born with good luck are entitled to social status, discouraging people from developing potential just so those with developed potential can stay on top.
Literally, socialism conserves the status quo.