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Socialism, in it's traditional and true definition, means "the workers democratic ownership and/or control of the means of production". Such a definition implies that rather than a government bureaucracy for managing such means, there is a focus on highly democratic organisation, education and awareness, and every individual is encouraged to become an active, rather than passive participant in that which effect their lives.
It is recognized that there are authoritarian systems and behavior, distinct from libertarian, or non-authoritarian ones. Since capitalism's early beginnings in Europe, and it's authoritarian trend of wage-slavery for the majority of people (working class) by a smaller, elite group (a ruling, or, capitalist class) who own the "means of production": machines, land, factories, there was a liberatory movement in response to capitalism known as "Socialism". In almost every case, the socialist movement has been divided along authoritarian, and libertarian lines. The anarchists on the libertarian side, and the Jacobins, Marxists, Leninists, Stalinists, and reformist state-socialists on the authoritarian side. (And liberals more or less split down the middle.)
Originally posted by Frankidealist35
I'm a liberal, and, while I don't like the current political climate, I think it helps to be a neutral observer at times, and look back in history to understand where the right comes from. If you look at history as a whole you can see that people on the far right have ended up like Adolf Hitler, whereas, people on the far left have ended up being extreme-leftists, like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and, Joseph Stalin in Soviet Russia.