a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
synonyms:leftism, welfarism; radicalism, progressivism, social democracy;communism, Marxism, labor movement
- Policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
- (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism
I would like to focus it down to a single base social spectrum. On one end is individualism with the opposite extreme being communism. Individualism focuses on the individual and liberty while communism focuses on the community and responsibility. The extremes sacrifice one for the other and pit them against each other like enemies. Socialism would be the individual within the community and the community as a group of individuals, a balance. A potentially virtuous circle of individual empowerment by society and communal responsibly by the individual with both benefiting and all boats truly lifted at once. Balanced economics and politics then become possible. We cease to be us versus them and become individuals acting together, despite disagreements, for the common good. Disagreements remain of course but the suspicion of enemies within goes away. The disagreements become over the best way to do good, between which there can be compromise, rather than between warring factions.
Does socialism work? Examples of successful social democracies have topped the list of happiest, healthiest, best educated, (etc.) countries since there have been lists. That seems like evidence to me.