Return to Socialism (idea)
|Sure, [socialism] is not a system in itself. It's an [umbrella term] encompassing several different but similar [political system|political] and [economic system]s. They can be divided simply between two groups: the [Marxist]s and the non-Marxists (both of which are derivatives of [Utopian society|Utopian socialism to some extent]).|
I. Marxist socialism ([Karl Marx|Marx], [Friedrich Engels|Engels])
I'm not going to go into detail about these; it's rather tangential to my point. What I will say is that all of these are systems in which the control of the [economy] is collective. In some (such as market socialism), this means the economy operates similarly to traditional [capitalism], but with stronger controls and often with [public money] funding ventures. In others, such as [Marxism-Leninism], it may mean a [command economy], where everything is ultimately under the control of the [state]. And under [anarcho-communism] and [anarcho-socialism], this means everyone in a given community gets together and decides on what the economy will be like. They also all include [progressive tax] plans and [welfare]-like programs (excepting, of course, the [anarchist] modes - taxes and welfare programs don't exist without a [government]).
Socialism is not merely, "being nice to each other". That is, properly, [My country is the world, and my religion is to do good|simple human decency]. It is a definite term dealing with definite political views. I leave it up to the reader as to whether they are beneficial or not.
Partial source: Ball, Terence and Richard Dagger. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal (3rd edition). New York: Longman, 1999.