The term “socialism” has been evacuated of meaning from misuse. It is nevertheless being used more and more frequently in the media, albeit incorrectly for political reasons and because of the encyclopedic ignorance of the history of socialism in our country.
To complicate things, there are many versions of socialism today. State Socialism, Democratic Socialism, Libertarian Socialism, and Anarcho-Syndicalism are the most common theoretical forms. Two are actually existing socialisms. Democratic Socialism is operative in Scandinavia, Denmark, and to a lesser degree Germany and France; while, pockets of Anarcho-Syndicalism can be found locally in co-operative structures, such as the Mondragon Corporation in Spain.
Libertarian Socialism remains an ideal for the most part. State Socialism, the one that most people vaguely have in mind when they use the word “socialism,” is essentially a square-circle. It is a logical absurdity that cannot exist, at least not as socialism. To understand why, one must understand what socialism is and what capitalism is.