The individual can exist without the ego because the individual is a reality and the reality has no need of the ego. But the nation, the race, the church, the state -- these cannot exist without egos. Without egos they will fall apart. It is the ego that functions as a false center and keeps them together Hence, a Buddha can exist without the ego but Buddhists cannot. Krishna can exist without an ego but Hindus cannot. Remember this always: a false entity needs a false center, otherwise it will wither away.