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Can an UNBIASED person please explain to me - in laymens terms - what socialism is without copy/pasting from somewhere else?

I keep hearing this dirty, nasty word thrown around on CM lately. I've tried to read about it, but it made my eyes cross. I'm not an idiot in any sense of the word, I just want to understand socialism better so that I can properly apply the term in debates and conversations I may have in the future. And so that I can understand debates and conversations I read.

Thank you.


Asked by Anonymous at 6:30 PM on Sep. 24, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (24)
  • OP; this is the 1st Anon again:
    Are you familiar with the concept of Utopia? That is the best example of what socialism strives to accomplish. At least that's the picture they sell...the reality can be anything from that all along the range down to what Russia was before the end of the Cold War; bread lines and essentially yes everyone was equal; equally oppressed unless they were part of the gov't.

    Could the idea be tweaked to require the same amount or fair amount of input into the system for equal returns being given out...yes I believe it could; and I believe it has that is what we've become in the past several generations here in the US. Taxes for social programs ie: public schools; medicaid; PA; National Defense; roads; public hospitals; etc...we have a quasi-version that could be tweaked more in either direction for good or bad...

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:21 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • The most simplest basic explination. Everyone puts into the pot and then the pot is divided up and handed back out to everyone. The problem occurs because there is no enforcement or minimum/standard contribution to said pot...

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:34 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • Oh! Thanks.

    So... what if socialism were "tweaked" as they say, so that there WAS enforcement and standards put on the "pot"?

    I'm still not sure I'm in love with the idea of it... at all.. but I'm trying to discuss this to understand it better.

    Thank you so much for responding respectfully. I honestly wasn't sure I'd get that. = )

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:40 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • (adding to 1st response). Basically, it doesn't matter how little or how much you work, if you even work at get the same return. In its most idealistic form its not a bad concept..."everyone is taken care of"...but when it comes to putting it into action, there's no incentive to work harder or really at all, and every one ends up worse off than they started.


    Answer by abbynzachsmommy at 6:41 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • socialism is where everything or just about everything is equal. It takes away social classes, there is no rich or poor. Everything is fair.

    Examples of everyday socialist ideas that we all practice.
    -Equal opportunity employment.
    -Labor unions are a socialist concept, i.e. in my dad's labor union everyone regardless of how good you do your job, how long you have worked there or your experience or certifications, all CTA mechanics make the hourly same wage. Yes, no matter if you have been there 25 or 5 years everyone gets the same pay.
    -Welfare, Medicare
    -Affirmative Action

    Answer by viridian at 7:13 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • Well, ask yourself this. You spend 4 years obtaining an education, 6 years working your way up the corporate ladder. You finally get to that place where you're making good money, you can take vacations with your family, you can upgrade you home and car - you don't have to worry about squeezing the electric bill to have extra money for groceries - you're happy - right? Not under a socialist government. The more you earn the more everyone earns. Take 100K and divide it by 100 people - you earned the 100K but you only receive 1000 because you have to share that wealth with the other 99 people.
    (that's an elementary explanation - but it'll give you the gist) now take that concept and apply it to all things, industrial, land, monetary gains, etc.

    Answer by PaceMyself at 7:19 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • Socialism also includes the government taking over businesses being run by private citizens. That's why people called the government owning 60% of the shares of GM a socialist move.

    In political jargon you'll hear that called "the merging of the public and private sector"

    Answer by mogencreative at 7:51 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • In Socialism, the gov controls the means of production, and takes the profits for the benefit of the people. There's a taste of Socialism in every developed country, usually with public education, health care, or food production.

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 8:09 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • Socialism is redistribution of wealth (taking money from those who worked for it and earned it and then giving it to those who didn't earn it) and its government controlled businesses.

    Answer by proud2Bmomma at 8:26 PM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • And if you study history, socialism never works long term.

    Answer by proud2Bmomma at 8:27 PM on Sep. 24, 2009