Here are the central ideas of my current interpretation of Socialism, largely influenced by The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

Firstly, people need some things to live a basic life (e.g. food, clothes, houses; called the Necessities of life in TRTP). There are then products that make life 'better' such as TVs, music and improved standards of clothes and food; these are named the Benefits of Civilization in TRTP.
There are different ways of looking at deprivation. When Marxism/Socialism developed, deprivation of both kinds of product was obviously very common all over the world - only a miniscule percentage of people enjoyed the Benefits of Civilization. These Days it seems that the situation in the Western World is better: nearly everyone in the United Kingdom has life's basics and most indulge in some 'luxuries'. However, one may or may not choose to take the world view and see that the large proportion of the world's billions who remain impoverished dwarves the people of the West who are benefiting from 'progress'.
Back to the theory: All that is needed for the production of any of the products, at a basic level, are the following

  1. Raw materials / land - There is no real world (or national) shortage of these as yet.
  2. Tools of production - There is no shortage of these and more could easily be made.
  3. Labour - Most 'developed' nations have millions seeking work and looking back to the world view, well, you get the picture. Socialists would also point out here that a massive proportion of the workforce are employed in unnecessary work. This takes the form either of work that is completely unhelpful in producing and distributing products (e.g. Insurance) or jobs that are only necessary because of the inefficient system of Capitalism, where hundreds of companies compete to carry out the same tasks.
So, there is no shortage of the things essential for production of the Stuff that people need. However, due to the Capitalist system (should I go into technicalities?) neither the Necessities nor Benefits are produced in sufficient quantities. Furthermore, the very people who do the work are deprived of the full 'fruits of their labour'. Those that are employed (think of them as a whole group) produce the Stuff (same again) and are paid enough money to buy back just enough of their products to live a relatively miserable existence. The level of this existence of course depends on when, who at and where in the world you look: Think late 19th Century Industrial Britain, Sweat Shops or fishermen in the 'second world'.

Under Socialism there would be a phenomenally more efficient system of rational planning and all land and tools are owned by the People. Every citizen has a responsibility to do their fair share of work and a right to have all the Benefits of Civilization as well as, of course, the Necessities of Life. Due to the overwhelming superiority of the new system to Capitalism all of these products would be in such abundance that every person would have everything they want, while only having to work for a relatively small proportion of their time.

Remember Marx, like Jesus, cannot be held responsible for actions taken in his name This is an inaccurate quotation of Tony Benn.

Please see Socialism Today