Society - a union of individuals

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Prime Minister during the 1980s, once said:
There is no such thing as society, there are only individuals and families.”
She said it to justify her policy of privatization, arguing that coal mines, railways, electricity plants, must be run exclusively for profit, not as a service to ‘Society’, which is - according to her - a fiction, not a reality.
At first it seems she is right.  
We see no entity called ‘Society’
We see only people.

But if she is right, then one can also say:  
“There is no such thing as an Army,  
there are only people wearing uniforms.”  
We know this is nonsense.  
An Army is more than people wearing uniforms.  
The difference between  
an Army and people wearing military uniforms  
is not in the way they look  
but in the way they behave.  
People wearing military uniforms as fashion  
do not obey orders  
and do not act together according to a plan.  
They do not risk their lives or kill others, even if ordered to do so.  
Only soldiers in an Army do so.

The difference between “people” and “society” is not in how they look but in how they behave.  

A ‘society’ is not merely people living next to each other but people behaving according to rules accepted by all of them.  

These rules - known as ‘laws’ - are made to resolve conflicts between people, and are accepted by most people in a society.

Obedience to laws makes “people” into a ‘society’. Different societies make different laws, but only when the group of people accepts the same laws do they become a society.  
Not everyone obeys every law, but most of the time most people obey most laws.  
Some do so out of fear of punishment, but most people in most societies obey most laws because they know that without laws there will be constant strife and living together will be impossible.

A group of people, each obeying their own laws, is not a society.  
It is merely a group without cohesion.  
Such groups lack stability and viability.  
They live in constant conflict, lack communality, and eventually fall apart.  

American Indians used to say the “Wild West” became ‘Wild’ only after the whites arrived. It became wild because each white immigrant obeyed only his own laws.  

When people obey only their own rules  
they create constant conflict  
and ‘society’ cannot and does not exist.

Before creating societies, hominoids were just another species of apes lacking speech and thought. Life in society produced speech and advanced thought thus ‘humanizing’ primates. Speech is not produced by Nature but by Society. If, as Margaret Thatcher said, Society does not exist, then speech and language could not exist either.