Although today we have 120 channels on the television in addition to the right - thank the gods - to turn it off, persons didn't always get to choose their reality. In the 16th or 17th century, 40% or so had no choice but to die before twenty and war, too, robbed, stole the essential force of life. Death was no stranger to these people and I do not believe that being a small or even a big businessman was a bulwark against that fundamental lack of right to choose all things. They were closer to things that are inevitable, like death. And so reminders of basic impermanence were there for them. Life always contains these challenges, even for us, and no one could wish them away; but the social systems that come along are a way of overcoming them.
Were these people individualistic? Sure. They were. For maintaining a rich, diverse, social life, whites have the greater difficulty. They have difficulty maintaining these social ties, social links. That is where capitalism or markets or "choice" comes in. It helps them. I won't get into the difficulties of conceptualizing "choice," but this development, which is to say that of capitalism, helps whites out with their social problem. There is nevertheless a problem with all of this, which is that not all of them want to be helped. So, even though capitalism comes along, I am not saying it just has the power to just fix everything.
So, the story up 'til now: white people have great difficulties with "communion" or sociality. So, they are going to have difficulty establishing coherent social organizational systems, social institutions. Natch --- but capitalism takes them up, guides 'em by the hand. Whites are individualistic, and cantankerous. My view is that cruelty and hatred are lurking around every corner and behind every bush. Or maybe that is just my poor attitude?
Capitalism just comes along. It is not intentionally created. I think it just happens. These persons had no choice about participating in the building of capitalism. It was a social development that just happened. When it did evolve, they did not want to admit the social aspect of the thing, or that in this system their selfish (private) interest was not the only thing being taken into account. They would have feared and hated this sociality component.
I'm sure of it: they had to accept capitalism, since it was a development that just came along by itself. They had no real control over that, but, as one thing lead to the other, they desperately had to frame capitalism - their new living space - as individualistic and as "private." Which is all rubbish.