I was very impressed by Addy’s findings, however, I do believe that I can still offer some points that Reddit “experts” seemed to be uneducated about. My point of view is quite simple, Socialism, as Karl Marx stated is an argument for productivity. Marx’s point is that socialism will result in higher productivity than capitalism.
Socialism means that when productivity is high, the cost of living approaches to just about zero for everyone. So basically you get what you need, I see it almost like a mathematical problem. For instance, when productivity in the healthcare industry is very high, the same number of medical professionals can treat twice as many patients as they do when productivity is low, this would make it much easier to care for everyone. Similarly, for education, high productivity may mean a university can educate more students. If a virtual public university can admit an unlimited number of students and provide quality education, then good education could be free for everyone who is willing to learn. In my opinion, the only viable way to reach this level of productivity is through technology and innovation.
While the theory of socialism is insightful and suggests productivity is a driving force of human society, Karl Max assumed that in order to achieve very high productivity, the communists running the government not only should know how to allocate resources (for all production) optimally, but they also should not bet corruptible (i.e. act in self-interest). Neither assumption turned out to be true for human societies that tried to practice good socialism. As a result, productivity was very low and there was a shortage of goods to distribute. Typical examples are Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
China is the notable exception, they drastically altered the practice by quickly adopting capitalism to drive productivity. As a result, it created a capitalistic and productive society with an authoritative government. China is not unlike the U.S. in that China also created the elite class of the wealthiest and a political system with deep corruption. This is understandable, a large size economy plus high leverage in both countries means the collusion of political and business elites can produce the most to satisfy greed.
Since those systems are still being practiced today, we could say the practice is ‘working’, there are certainly worse systems than the U.S. or China at the moment. The downside is that when those systems become unstable, the collapse will be at an extinction level risk because of the advancements in weaponry & artificial intelligence, as well as because of the severely-damaged natural environments.
Perhaps we are at a crossroads, we can either evolve or become extinct as a race. Is history determined to be the characters of those who shape it?