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
System where all economic groups all live equally in poverty.
No really, it works, give us a few centuries.
by Jeffery Kark July 07, 2003
A system toted by liberals who believe that collectivization and the equalization of all income and the destruction of capitalism and subsequently the United States and much of the Western World (European Union) will result in the end of racism, greed, suffering, poverty, and any other issue we have today.
You can shut the hell up. I'm gonna protect the country you, Socialist Twit.
Socialism does not and will never work.
by BoredatCal April 26, 2003
A socialist, in democratic, capitalistic, western countries, is a person who was, more often than not, raised in a white, middle class family and adopts a socialistic political world view to vent the guilt felt by such an upbringing. This cathartic measure is a form of psychological flagellation and an attempt to identify with poorer people and countries. The socialist realizes that the hand they were dealt was not contingent on there being "special" but lucky.

The socialist then projects their insecurity's on the great father figure - the USA. In doing so they concentrate there hatred of America by villainizing and inventing "facts" and "events" while ignoring real problems outside of there scope of focus, revealing there motives to be far from objective.

The socialist will spend endless time, money and effort protesting tedious trivialities about the USA, such as trade laws or political meetings, and conveniently ignore tragedies occurring as they protest, such as massacres in Africa promoted by Muslims and Despots, or vicious sectarian rivalries across the Middle East. The socialist ignores these nasty facts about the world because they were not, in some way, connected to the USA.

The lack of any real connection to their “pet issues” and the USA does not always stop their wonderfully specious logic from drawing a connection. This also extends their putting a spin on historical events, or a complete revision of history itself. A good example of the above is the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, now, it appears, that this was an act of terrorism and imperialism, rather than an ugly act of a very ugly war.
An example of the act of being born to a middle class family and than dedicating ones life to socialism - Zack de la Rocha and Che Guevara
by TedShatner June 03, 2006
the system wherin the shiftless and naive come to witness the horrer of their own invention.
1: Just because I'm not a brain surgion who invested decades of his life to learning shouldnt mean he should make more than me!

2: Just because I lived in my parents basement till I was 36 years old smokin dope with my high school buddies does'nt mean I should be denied the full spectrum of the benefits the stinking rich fucks get!

3:Eat the rich!

4:Free stuff for everyone!, no one need work!, the capitolist scum will support us!, money flows from the tree of socialism like sap!
by stevej05 May 20, 2008
A fancy word for Communism.
Some guy told me he was a proponent of Socialism so I summarily executed him on grounds of treason.
by Some Loser August 28, 2006
A form of government that forces the upper class to pay for everyone's health care, everyone's house, and everyone's crack.Sure it works out well at first, but after everyone realizes that the upper class can only handle so many taxes without becoming lower class themselves socialism becomes communism.And also socialist hospitals suck, I know from experience.After all no doctor wants to bust their ass for
the mediocre salary socialized health care workers get.
In socialism a doctor makes the same as the guy working at
by Who-dey December 08, 2006
A political and economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control, through which the government hopes to stop or reduce poverty, unemployment and exploitation. Looks good on paper but fails because it doesn't understand the extremely complex nature of business and works off the insulting notion that people are ants and will work for no reward or acknowledgement of their skills, hardwork or efficiency.

Most countries experience huge falls in the standard of living under socialist states due to massive mismanagement of the economic system and the general failure to realise the importance of private businesses in wealth creation and
living standards. Under a socialist system businesses suffer huge drops in efficiency because of central planning and lack of competition, although they can produce basic requirements such as food and clothing they cannot produce
other items that are not required but are in demand such as computers or about anything else that made your life fun.
Also more people are required to produce everything due to the massive drop in efficiency, although you have more people employed than in a capitalist system they produce far fewer goods at a far greater cost.

There are only 10 current real socialist states: Angola, China, Cuba, Congo (republic of), North Korea, Libya, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Syria and Vietnam. Some people claim that socialism is the next thing after capitalism, these are mainly white middle class students who have not studied business (you find few business studies students who have anything good to say about socialism)and socialism's greatest flaw is that it goes against basic laws of business which will do not change, also the current socialist states have some of the worlds lowest living standards and there numbers are constantly shrinking and no new ones are likely to develop whilst capitalist systems are growing all the time and have grater living standards (even for the working class).

Like Communism, Socialism is a utopian vision of society that is simply unworkable, this is because it was developed by Marx and Engels in Russia under a autocratic system where 85% people had to work for 16 hours a day to survive and were basically slaves. However society has changed a great deal and such injustices no longer exist, any attempts to get socialism to work today are stupid at best and suicidal at worst.
Contrary to what some of you idiots are saying neither Canada or any country in Western Europe is socialist or even close to it. Socialism is dead, write that in your scrap book hippie
by Niallcroydon October 28, 2006

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