The egoist and the altruist are both imperfect.
A practical theory of ethics seeks to establish a particular moral ideal; if it is an absolute criterion, then the altruist would place first the attainment of that ideal by others, while the egoist would seek it for himself.
We find in his theory no satisfactory attempt to discriminate between the pleasure aimed at by the altruist and the immediate pleasure of egoistic action.
Individualism is, however, by no means identical with egoism, though egoism is always individualistic. An individualist may also be a conscientious altruist: he is by no means hostile to or aloof from society (any more than the socialist is necessarily hostile to the individual), but he is opposed to state interference with individual freedom wherever, in his opinion, it can be avoided.
For on the one hand unless the egoist's happiness is compatible to some extent with that of his fellows, their opposition will almost inevitably vitiate his perfect enjoyment; on the other hand, the altruist whose primary object is the good of others, must derive his own highest happiness - i.e.