There's a lot of talk about what Socialism is and is not, a lot of Socialists can't even really explain it or don't really know what exactly it is. Socialism by itself isn't bad, in fact it's something that everyone should be striving for, but unfortunately it makes certain people obsolete and that scares them. They will thus argue against it tooth and nail until they die and it no longer concerns them. It flips the Free Market currency based Capitalist economy on its head, eliminating the need for investors and the ability to accumulate wealth without having actually produced anything. Likewise the people who currently profit from the necessities of people by claiming ownership of natural resources would also become obsolete ending their tyranny over said resources.
So what is Socialism and why do certain people fear it? Socialism is the elimination of currency based capitalism through advancement in technology. Specifically it seeks to put research and development into machines which handle production of the necessities of life for people to survive making a fully automated system which negates the need to work to survive. This is what Communists and Capitalists fail to understand when Marx said Socialism is the death of Capitalism. It's not a sudden shock to the system, it's a gradual evolution between Capitalism and Communism, the latter of which can not happen without the success of Socialism as the several forced attempts in the Eastern World can attest to. The best example of the ultimate Socialist technology would be a replicator from Star Trek, a device which uses the most basic building blocks around it to create something of value, like food and water.
The Communists will say this isn't true, but it is, the problem for them is that they co-opted Socialism so long ago that they've forgotten the difference between Socialism and Communism which has only made it easier for the Capitalists to resist the evolution of our economy and society further blurring the line between the two and improperly defining what Socialism is. This ill conceived definition is then adopted by “Socialists” who really aren't, but are rather “Economic Tyrants” deciding what can and can't be done economically. Granted, their form of tyranny tends to be beneficial because it doesn't allow productive entities to conduct themselves in ways which harm the overall economy or the people. It basically takes Communist ideals and applies them to the Capitalist system with varying success. Generally this hybrid system ensures competition by not allowing monopolies to form and assisting the lower classes to elevate their station in life by artificially leveling the playing field.
Socialism is the actual leveling of the playing field eliminating the need to do so artificially. Socialism is a process, nothing more, it allows for the existence of Communism. Here are some examples of Socialism:
- Nano bots which perform micro surgery eliminating the need for doctors providing free healthcare.
- Fully automated hydroponic farms eliminating the need for farmers and providing free food.
- Fully automated water processing plants providing free water.
- Fully automated mines and pumps providing free resources to continue building as needed.
- Fully automated systems of renewable sources of energy.
- And of course the maintenance bots necessary to keep the system together.
Sounds like science fiction, but much of it is becoming science fact which is why many industries are fighting against the intrinsic evolution of technology. The oil industry for instance bought all of the patents for electric and solar based cars back in the 1970s and 1980s and sat on the technology to continue our dependence on their product. Also much like how the film studios and record labels are attempting to fight the digital evolution of media which eliminates the need for them to produce and distribute artists' creativity. Take a look at any business entity which profits from the labor of someone else and I guarantee they are chaired by those who fund the mouth pieces which scream about the evils of “Socialism” and a trail of litigation attempting to stop the systems which would provide their service for free or allowing individuals to by pass them entirely and distribute their production themselves.
That is Socialism, it is the Arbiter between Freedom and Tyranny, allowing the productive to reap wholly the rewards of their labor, and the unproductive and untalented to simply survive. If you don't like welfare, corporate or individual, then Socialism is for you.