An economic system based on public ownership of the means of production. The most overt examples of public or common ownership exist in strict communist societies. Small scale communes exist within which people own all physical assets commonly. Some communes even have common ownership of some clothing. Strict communism requires income equality, and is sometimes referred to as economic democracy.

Common ownership of the means of production implies that production is directed by 'society' rather than by entrepreneurs. Socialists tend to promote democratic government as the representative of society in directing production. Large scale production cannot be planned through direct democratic vote, and requires that bureaucrats and officials decide many issues in production.

Critics of socialism claim that socialism fails to match the performance of capitalism for three reasons. First the equalization of incomes eliminates the incentive to innovate and work hard. Second, bureaucrats and high officials do not posses the informational required to direct production in a complex society. Market prices are needed to solve the informational problems of directing production, and socialism will at best have pseudo-prices. The absence of financial markets is a major problem with socialism. Third, socialism tends to degenerate into oppressive dictatorship. The incentive, informational, and political problems of socialism are inescapable.

Many want socialism for ideological reasons. Egalitarian ethics drive the socialist movement. Marxists claim that capitalism is exploitative. Socialism is indefensible in terms of economic efficiency and natural rights ethics. Socialists envision a better world, but their dreams are unrealizable.
1. the USSR (Soviet socialism based on overt central planning)

2. Nazi Germany (national socialism based on comprehensive regulation)

3. Sweden in 1991 (before the backed off from the abyss)

4. England just before Thatcher (before the backed off from the abyss)
by evolutionary subjectivist September 24, 2007
Exactly what the u.s. needs. But unfortunately various greedy, conservative politicians brainwash society into thinking that socialism is wrong, when really it would benefit the majority of Americans. And no socialism is not by any means fascism. Keep in mind that socialism is an economic system, not a form of government. In fact, socialism is the exact opposite of fascism. you can think of it as taking democracy to the next level. Because if your form of government is already a democracy-(which most socialist countries are) and you have a socialist economic system, not only do you allow freedom of speech and the right to elect representatives into office but you allow your people to decide over certain aspects of the economy. because the government controls all business and the government is controlled by the people, the people have a say in the price of certain goods and services, as well as the salaries of certain occupations. Plus socialism taxes people based on how much they earn and uses the revenue to provide everyone with really nice benefits.
I live in a socialism country. If I am handicaped, it won't be a huge pain in the ass to accquire social security benefits. I have decent pension funds from my job and I will be able to retire at a reasonable age. My health care is payed for mostly by the government and my entire country excels in public education. I enjoy free public transportation and a nice house. The rich have no more political power than I do and they aren't able to monopolize all of the wealth and fuck up the economy for everyone else.
by 8===D----(l) April 21, 2011
Why is everyone on this site bitching about liberals? This is urbandictionary, not super rich Beverly Hills dictionary....
Conservatives, whats funny is that the right wing in europe are actually remnents from the fascists.... here they are just people who want to set up a rascist theocracy. Much like how many hick towns in Georgia are run.
by Nigger McCoon October 13, 2003
When everyone pays for certain things like health-care. That way, ass holes who smoke or throw there life away dont have to pay fo it any more than any-one else.
France is where to go if you want to screw yourself and make others pay the consequences.
by Bob Hope III January 09, 2005
Probably one of the best, in theroy, political systems ever thought up. A mix beetween capitalism and communism (the good parts.) There is a limit (high and low) on how much you can earn, if used now with so many corperations about, the owner would make a normal wage while the rest of the profits goes to making quality products, charity, or giving higher wages to the working class.
Socialism = detruction of poverty, greed. Also leads to mass happyness.
by Anonymous June 07, 2003
Socialism is the same as Communism.
Communism is Socialism, Socialism is Communism.

Some people seem to believe they are different, but they are actually the same. I just don't care about either enough to differentiate between them.

Communism, social studies, socialites, communities, and communion are all very similar.
by Sum Yonguy November 10, 2005
1) Political science concerning itself with the equitable distribution of labor and income.

2) The wave of the future.
"Democratic Socialism will extend democracy from the political system to the economic system"
by Apocalycious March 03, 2003
A govenment or economic system that is often favored by lazy hippies. This is a system that is loved by people who dont want to work for what they have and want the government to control all of our lives, but at least we will have free health care.
At the earth day rally the lazy hippies played their bongos and talked about how great socialism is, but they were so high and lazy they never took any action.
by the_big_o May 24, 2005

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