The free individual may live in society, but not under it; that is, he refuses to submit to the banal dictates of the people. He does not recognise their sovereignty. Since they cannot die his death for him, therefore he will not live his life for them.
The contract of each person's existence has them as its sole signatory. The free individual is the one who sets his own contractual terms within its non-negotiable limits. His terms will allow none to hold hostage his freedom and happiness; not friends, not lovers, not family, not colleagues, not strangers. And if any of them should do so, it would only be by his consent, admitted or not.
The individual is responsible for keeping his own inner freedom. He surrenders it by choice, always, regardless of his rationalisations. His unhappiness and anger at those he perceives to be his emotional jailers stems from his own unacknowledged regret for giving up his liberty in exchange for trivialities.
Society fashions a steel chain it calls ‘sacrifice’ and ennobles it with a lick of gold. And so a symbol of slavery is transformed into a mark of pride. The person who sacrifices his freedom and happiness for the sake of others is hailed a hero. But when he requests that same sacrifice from others for his sake, thinking it only fair, he is taken aback by their hostility, their contempt! Hypocrisy is a one way street.
The free individual will not let himself be so chained. He rejects any sacrifice that is not consonant with the terms of his existential contract. Society has no claim on his life, not when it cannot die his death for him. Or live his life for him, with everything this implies.