It occurred to me that some who read the previous post might object because I'm conflating socialism with communism. Fair enough. But the comparisons between the two are too often used as a means to promote socialism.
Let me explain.
It's true that all the unattractive directives I listed are historically part of every Marxist-Leninist communist regime so far, and the textbook differences between communism and socialism make socialism look much better. In fact, socialism as an ideology doesn't sound too bad, once you remove the emotional appeal to hate the rich; it appears to leave no one behind in its opposition to capitalism.
With textbook socialism, individuals can own property, and if observed to the letter, a socialist society will retain freedom of religion. But that's the ideal, not the reality, as demonstrated by the behavior of countries around the world.
Right now, there are fourteen countries in the world that are considered full socialist states, with only four of them classified as Marxist. That sounds promising, yes?
There are twenty-two countries that consist of socialist or communist parties running the show, but they can't be truly classified as either exclusively because they have multiple parties vying for power.
Substantial amount, yes? Perhaps not.
There are eighty-two countries that were formerly socialist, but abandoned it, in many cases to pursue some form of free market democracy. Of those countries, forty-seven were short lived socialist states.
The point, however tenuous you may believe it to be, is that socialism and communism are so intertwined that on a scale between a purely socialist state and a purely communist state, you'll find, with very few exceptions, that they all are (and were) somewhere on the scale in between.
There have been no purely textbook socialist states. For any socialist government to succeed, it must have some form of private ownership and a form of capitalism. When the socialist state begins to fail, often the needle on the scale begins to point more and more toward a communist state in a desperate plight to succeed through force.
Despite many attempts to exceed the successes of a capitalist democracy such as the United States, all these countries greatly failed to achieve that lofty goal. Some fail much worse than others. The ones that fail the least feature some manifestation of a free market.
The whole focus of the supporter of socialism is helping the little guy. But one good, hard look at the effects of capitalism in countries around the world, as opposed to socialist/communist states, completely contradicts that conception.
Here are a handful of articles that you can use to come to your own conclusions:
Four Ways Capitalism Has Helped Alleviate Poverty
Extreme Poverty Rates Plummet Under Capitalism
Capitalism is the greatest anti-poverty program the world has ever known
Global Poverty’s Defeat Is Capitalism’s Triumph
Free Markets Make the World a Better Place
Capitalism In No Way Created Poverty, It Inherited It
It's Not Capitalism That Causes Poverty, It's The Lack Of It
Sure, capitalism has its faults. But a country that has prospered from a free market is not the best example of the "evils" of capitalism when its citizens enjoy some of the best living conditions in the world.