Some rough thoughts on the scales of animal “selves”? “Units”?
The primary unit of ants is the colony. The primary unit of elephants is kinda of a herd, kind of the individual.
What is the primary unit of humans? The individual is paramount - this is liberalism (loosely at least).
The family is paramount. The tribe is paramount. The state is paramount. The religion is paramount. The entire civilization is paramount.
Scales matter. The tribe is paramount on an axis of a contained unit that can, for example, defend itself, provide support for its members, etc. Does that apply just as well to ants, despite me having a clear conception that the hive actually is more fundamental than the individual ant? Or have I just heard that? Or is that just the case with respect to evolutionary fitness? Because in that case, it may very well be more meaningful to also speak not of the individual as the fundamental unit of the human species.
There is probably some smarter writing elsewhere on this.