During the period in which Socialism was formulated and developed most, and when support for it across the world in quite a 'pure' form was highest, there was very widespread poverty.
The central reason for this is clear: that when standards of living are very low people will be interested in professed solutions.

The reason that comes to mind for that poverty is Industrialisation. Industrialisation changed the ways of life (to different extents worldwide) from old style local economy interaction to factories employing entire communities. Landlords changed from being mere rent-collectors for small properties into owners of great factories and the land that they stood on: such a vivid image of Marx's Means of Production. They now had greater opportunity to become fiendish Capitalists, to take advantage of their monopolies and to exploit workers. This is the simplistic way in which I see it anyway.

I find it more difficult to see why the living standards of the majority (Now I'm talking The West and getting Britain specific) eventually improved, as all but a few - who could be right to an extent - agree they did. I tend to think that it was because of such measures as Trade Unions, the Welfare State, Progressive Taxation, Egalitarianism and a little Nationalisation. Socialist-esque measures to prevent the otherwise inevitable Revolution and Communism?
However, There has been no substantial 'real' Socialism: No Nationalisation of Employment.

And perhaps stating the reasons in the above paragraph suggests that deprivation is a thing of the past: a little too optimistic of a stance. It is undeniable that however well run (within realism) economies are, there will always be 'cycles'. The economic detail of this I do not understand, but I think I have that much right. During the 'bad times' in the cycles the socialist elements in the system are stretched to their limits and struggle to really help anyone. Casualties during the economic downturns (of which there are many) would probably not see any proper, lasting social change for the good in them.

These millions who become unemployed have, along with their families, their life-styles, careers, plans and lives ruined solely to satisfy the economics of the Capitalist system which has - for no rational reasons - decided to have a 'depression'. They sum up, to me, the argument for a system containing the most fundamental element of Socialism: a Right to Work.

So when there is a Depression (which there will be) and your family is deprived of its comforts; is thrown into social turmoil and is absolved of any ambition other than not to fall into the horrific oblivion of poverty - at this time consider why the Service of you and your former Working kin is no longer required: because nobody wants to eat anymore? People no longer need cars? Everyone has decided they don't like going on holiday anymore?

The longer term can also be considered. It is clearly naive to think that things won't change in the future. We have only had universal (18+) suffrage in Britain - real democracy - for about 70 years: a historical blink of an eye. Do you really think social evolution has ended? That we have reached the final, eternal chapter of liberty and happiness?
Things will change and Socialism will no doubt rear its Rational if inevitably Ugly head, in some form or another.

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