The distinction is often made between individuality and communism. The claim is that liberal societies are for the freedom of the individual whereas communist societies are all about the collective. The distinction is of course misleading and not helpful.
Communist tend to centralize control but apart from the political and economic totalitarianism people remain individuals. Even if the lower strata are regimented at some point in the hierarchy there has to be some individualism permitted or the society could not function.
At the same time liberal societies may not see the need to regulate much that communist nations do. This does not mean there is no regulation nor that the freedom there is often misused or misapplied. The freedom to sleep under bridges and starve is a freedom many of those in capitalist nations might be willing to forgo even at the cost of less political freedom.
The problem we face in comparing the two types of systems is that there is no utopian model we can pull up for comparison. Comparing applies with organs might even be possible to some extent but it does not tell us which is better. Oranges will always be more orange-like and apples will always be more like apples.
The features of a communist state are better if one prefers communism, but capitalism is better for those who favor the capitalist system. Tea suits those who prefer tea and coffee for those who like coffee.
The reality is we are individuals, and we are part of the collective. Regardless how we are pushed one way or the other we will never be individuals apart from some community nor a community without any individuality. The effort to compartmentalize who we are pits us against ourselves.
We are workers and consumers, we are teachers and student, we are needy, and we are providers. What is missing and what is misleading and even dangerous about this process is that it traps too many of us into one side of the equation, when what is needed is a balance between our roles. We cannot consume more than we produce, and we ought not to produce more than we consume. We ought not be more individualistic than we are part of the collective. Our identity as part of the collective ought to be specialized and individualistic. This is what enables us to take on the role of consumer and worker as well as all our other roles.
As individuals we need to specialize and we need to specialize to be the most we can be as part of the collective. It is only by being specialized within the collective that we are not wasted and indeed it is our individuality as part of the collective that permits the community to be all it can be.
To waste the talents and skills of the individual is to stunt the development of the community.
The waste of one is the waste of all.