Americans need a better understanding of how our political culture relies on intentional stigmatization of socialism to build the feeling that it’s the worst political outcome possible. Even caution about socialism from moderately pro-socialist liberals is informed by this.
People who admittedly don’t know anything, or have done little self-education, about socialist movements, Marxism (scientific socialism), or related theory will still pronounce hardened opinions on socialism from a place of culturally built intuition.
Don’t trust what you’ve gathered from impressions. Look into it in a rigorous way and have curiosity about it. The capitalist class greatly benefits from poor definitions of capitalism like “free market.”
Capitalism vs. socialism isn’t defined by business owners controlling a market vs. a government controlling a market. Free markets would arguably work better under socialism. State capitalism (the gov’t of a state controls capital) is often CALLED socialism.
The definition I advance is based on exploitation of labor. In a capitalist system profit is the goal of society. In a socialist system the goal of society is the satisfaction of human need.
The core dynamic of capitalism then is the accrual of profit by the capitalist by obtaining the labor value generated by workers, which we call profit. The ability of the capitalist to acquire this value as wealth is the most sacred thing in capitalism.
As a result, when meeting human need is in conflict with gaining profit, whatever gets profit wins the conflict.