1. The political philosophy that the means of production should be owned by the working public rather than individuals. This can be interpreted in a vast number of ways. For instance, the public may own property through the government or through various workers' organizations.

Socialism is not social democracy (socialism has nothing to do with taxing people or pouring money into welfare programs). Nor is socialism necessarily communism (many socialists believe in the right to personal property and not in the redistribution of income).

To put it briefly: socialism is the idea that those who work to create a profit should receive it. You can make money by working but not by exploiting others.

2. The extension of democratic ideals into the economy.
Neither Cuba nor Sweden lives up to the ideology of socialism.
by Coffee Eyes July 10, 2008
a political theory advocating worker ownership of the means of production.
Socialism is opposed to capitalism.
by The Libertarian Socialist March 19, 2010
Pussified capitalism.
Canada uses socialism; its like pussified America. If you screw up in Canada, the government's got your back. America could give a fuck if you're successful.
by K Dub HOLLA October 10, 2006
A political philosophy based on the belief that some or all businesses should be run solely for the benefit of the people using them.

Socialism and Communism are based on similar principles. Socialism does not require that a socialized industry be legally owned by the government, but if that were the case it could still be considered socialism. In the strictest sense, Communism prohibits private ownership of money, business, or goods, while Socialism may or may not on a case by case basis. The two can therefore resemble each other and it can be hard to distinguish one from the other.
In a Communist country, I worked in a deli owned by the government and was paid a fixed salary by the government.

In another country's socialized medical system, I am a doctor, own my office, and pay my own salary out of my business account, but legally have no right to decide how to run any aspect of my business. I can't change my prices, deny service to anyone, or increase my own salary.
by ed July 25, 2004
Stepping stone from Capitalism to Communism. It will not work with humans and society at the current level of evolution. I do believe, however, in the far future, it will be possible. The reason socialism and communism have not worked so far is because they did not first have capitalism. You see, Capitalism provides the infrastructure needed for Socialism and Communism to work and in places like the USSR and China, they went straight from agrarian societies to Communism (skipping capitalism and socialism) so it did not work. There were other reasons as well like dictators and corruption. Communism is the perfect system but alas, human beings are NOT perfect so they are not compatible.
by BurgLyke October 12, 2003
For voters who can't accept the real thing
"I can't believe it's not Communism!" Paul exclaimed after realizing Socialism is not communism
by AnnexTheFrikinZero December 25, 2012
The best fucking idea ever. Democracy is so 1776.
Capitalist pigs need to pay. Socialism wins.
by hobbabo August 31, 2014

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