The democratic system is often blamed for crushing the individual under the collective. The poet and dandy Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) wrote: "Nothing is more ridiculous than looking for truth in numbers (..) the ballot box is only the way to create a police force." And in the 20th century, Karl Kraus: "Democracy is the right for everyone to be the slave of all."
Whatever element of truth this point of view may contain, the partisans of democracy have their answer ready. They do not deny the pressure of democracy over the individual. They say the democratic system gives us a larger scope for freedom than we would get if each individuality was either locked within itself or in disorganized contact with others.
Some individualists are more social than others: they suggest an association of freely consenting individuals. This is precisely one of the variants of the democratic contract, perhaps one of the most progressive.