Socialism just means a civil society as a whole is given a higher priority than capital. It doesn't mean no competition, or that capital has no place.

The west adopted a mild form of socialism coming out of the great depression and during WW2 because capitalism failed in the great depression. It moved a little bit back towards capitalism in the 1980s, but never surrendered the prime place of society. Capitalism is encouraged to the extent that it is seen to benefit society, but no more.

The only reason we tend not to call the modern west socialist is that the US could not use a word to describe itself that the arch enemy used to describe itself during the cold war. Absent a cold war, we may well use the word proudly to descrbe ourselves.

There are people who believe ownership and trade are morally superior to all government even democratic government and social views should not interfere with trade even if some people die of starvation during a depression every 7 years or so. This view held sway during the capitalist era.

Socialism is not well defined because there are all types of societies and many possible ways of working together. I wouldn't ever expect the word to mean anything in particular with regard to economics.

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Interesting analysis. Thanks.

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