Our entire society and culture is based around a lie?
The entire capitalist system of our society revolves around this idea of individualism and pragmatism, resulting in a system (ideally) maintained by nothing but laws, and people acting in whatever manner they wished within the confines of those laws, always placing self-interest (I'm special, I'm important) at the forefront. What if those laws break down? What about its loopholes?
Even our political system is centered around this idea of self-importance. The Western style of democracy, at least in theory, stresses the importance of individual participation: that the will of individuals, when accumulated, bears great weight. While this is true, note that the focus is placed on the society, not the individuals. In other words, it's the general consensus of the society that matters, not what each of us think. To think that "my vote matters" is nothing but self-indoctrination.
Speaking of self-indoctrination, what is more obvious than that imposed on us by the Western religion? The one religion that dominated the Western society for over a thousand years, Christianity stresses the importance of each individual to God, even going so far as to state that angels rejoice every time a sinner accepts Jesus as his/her "personal Lord and savior". This gives a mystical correctness to the philosophy of individualism, placing it on the altar of universality.
Ironically, this sense of self-importance, overinflated and utterly false though it may be, is integral to the proper functioning of our society. It is these lies that drive the various features our society possesses, such as the Western democratic system, the capitalist economy, etc.
What if, instead of these ideals, we adopted a communitarian belief system? Not communist in that it does not have to show its effects immediately, or ever, but rather a philosophical framework that stresses the importance of the community? A universal (to one community) sense that we're all working toward one goal, may that goal be unity, peace, power, or general utilitarianism? People may be naturally selfish, but societal indoctrination, I believe, can be a strong tool. Just as it amplifies the natural instinct for survival, twisting it into selfishness on which our society is built, I believe it can also minimize, if not eradicate this particular desire, and unify the members of a society in the ultimate test of civilizations: time, i.e. survival of the society.
I know this is absolutely massive and probably goes against everything you've ever been taught, but please tell me what you think about what I wrote. Keep in mind this is just a bunch of thoughts I jotted down while having nothing better to do, so please forgive spelling mistakes or logical inconsistencies. In fact, if you find any, don't hesitate to point them out. Long responses are OK so long as they're coherent, I'd truly like to improve my way of thinking.