The only equality that I think exists in a honest democracy, is the equality of law. This is the only equality that should, in my opinion, disable the individuality of the masses, in the field of law.
If indeed the law viewed and treated people in accordance to their different capacities and personalities, an autocracy of some sort will be created eventually, because those with the favored capacities and personalities would be far greater privileged and protected by the law, than those who have low or disliked capacities and personalities.
This is illogical to do so in a honest democracy because the law shouldn’t judge people in accordance to their individuality, as this judgement would quickly create a biased preference because of something that shouldn’t play a significant role when judging people and deciding their verdict. Why would a highly-talented, professional pianist serve 1 year in prison, and a poor man, with no significant talents whatsoever, serve 5 years in prison, for the same crime? This is where meritocracy needs to be limited, merely because of this logical fallacy.
But besides of that, I agree that freedom contradicts equality; at least, any equality that is not the equality of opportunity and the equality of the law. Equality of opportunity is also a good example of how freedom is limited for the sake of the disadvantaged, whether by their race, by their financial status, by a disability and so forth. This is because all of these things I mentioned have no necessary impact on performance, as even the disabled can be extremely talented and extremely competent.
All and all, freedom is a contradiction of equality because equality says that we’re all the same, while freedom allows us to be different people with different beliefs and talents. This is why communism can make a country very poor - by giving people the exact money they need to exist as living beings and nothing more, the country automatically losses a lot of money from people with great potential to financially benefit their country.
This is why saying that we are all the same in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of opportunity is good only for these aspects, but potentially horrible in any other aspect of life. This is where I, as an individualist, draw the line of my individualist beliefs.