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Socialism is an economic and political philosophy. There are a number of different schools of thought on what its characteristics may be, but they all have in common the idea of pooling resources in order to provide for the general welfare.
Methods for accomplishing this can include:
- government-run programs paid for by taxation
- collective ownership of the means of production
More specific definitions:
- American socialism: socialism in the United States
- Wikipedia: socialism is characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy
- Conservapedia: socialism is rooted in the idea of imaginary ideal societies; collectivism and abolishment of private property are socialist ideas. Hitler was a socialist.
- dKosopedia: socialism ideally means that popular collectives control the means of power and therefore the means of production.
- dictionary.com: "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."
- Merriam-Webster: "a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies"
- 2012/12/11 [L..T] Explaining Socialism To A Republican “My friend seemed totally shocked when I said "All socialism isn't bad". She became very serious and replied "So you want to take money away from the rich and give to the poor?" I smiled and said "No, not at all. Why do you think socialism means taking money from the rich and giving to the poor?"”
- 2012/07/15 [L..T] Deconstructing Conservative Myths About Socialism, Capitalism, and Who The "Job Creators" Are "Conservatives have taken to a new spin on truth, by refashioning definitions of words and terms in order to provoke new connotations. Socialism is now defined as a government take over, Capitalism is now defined as patriotic, and the wealthy are now defined as job creators. But simply redefining these words will not change their true meaning, it is only myth making."
- 2007/01/01 [L..T] The New American Movement and the Los Angeles Socialist Community School "Here I provide a short account of NAM's history and a description of a school it opened in Los Angeles in the 1970s, both of which form a unique link between the study of everyday life and the practice of socialism."