A society that is subjected to the glare of sociology comes to be regarded, for the sake of understanding, as an example of an abstract system of relations and forces, rather than as an instance of the affairs of actually existing persons. In its scheme, men as persons no longer exist; there are only men as perfected type-individuals. Outside the dreams of sociologists, bureaucrats and other miscreants, such a society does not exist — as Margaret Thatcher notoriously and rightly indicated — but the great threat of its approximation looms whenever sociology finds its way into the minds of the powerful, wherewith — no longer merely descriptive but prescriptive — it tends to make a society in its image.
.....It is of great importance, therefore, to note the turn of thinking that has come with the monstrous presumption that society — that is to say, all those persons and associations conceptualised as a unity under the jurisdiction of the powerful — is something that can be run, not guided, not ruled, but run as if it were a machine-system; and yet, as it happens, it can be run, but only to the degree of the dissolution of the persons that are its actual constituents.
The age of great men is going; the epoch of the ant-hill, of life in multiplicity, is beginning. The century of individualism, if abstract equality triumphs, runs a great risk of seeing no more true individuals. . . . [S]ociety will become everything and man nothing. 
It is atomised individuals — stripped of character and personhood, place and belonging, and therein made equal to one another — who make the most perfect mass-men. Yet, imbued with a set of causes and crusades, and with a political moralism that strives for universality, they can become whole again — but not whole persons.
 Henri-Frédéric Amiel, 6th September 1851, Amiel’s Journal, tr. M.A. Ward (London: Dodo Press, 2006), p.52.