the ideas of socialism, or the titled control of the means of production by the state, are alive and well among the masses. even those denouncing the new u.s. president as a socialist, are, mostly unknowingly and out of ignorance, hardcore socialists themselves.
as mentioned above, socialism is government titled control of the means of production. that means that the state overtly controls the production of goods and services rather than private companies or other private groups. the vast majority of people have no idea what constitutes socialism and so they oppose nationalized health care, while supporting medicare or they oppose the takeover of GM while "supporting the troops".
the ideas and ideology of socialism have been debunked, both theoretically and empirically, by economic science (namely, by the austrian school of economics, the only true source of credible economics) and by the utter failure of the system in practice. socialism has not and never can result in anything other than the destruction of economies and the impoverishment of societies. there's a simple reason for this: because state control of the factors of production intrinsically assumes that the state holds a coercive monopoly over various market segments, it lacks competition. because there are no competitors by which to give rise to market pricing, there is no way for the monopolist to determine the proper allocation of resources, nor is there incentive to do so. it doesn't matter who's in charge of the monopoly, or which reforms are made to it, it simply lacks the necessary information, by the fact of its own existence, to perform the given functions.
never-the-less, socialists persist. there are two types, generally. those with political aspiration and those without. the former group usually won't care about the facts of the destructive nature of socialism. they will generally pursue it because it is very effective at doing what it was truly designed to do: transfer wealth and power from legitimate society to the political class. the latter group, however, generally consist of the dupes of the former group. they've been taught socialism's religion by those in control of a state monopolized educational system. they don't realize that it can never benefit society. hell, they rarely even know the definition of the word. they aren't evil, but ignorant and they consist of the majority of people on the planet.
that is why many will criticize their own nebulous idea of "socialism", yet support it in practice. if one supports the military to defend, well, anything, they are a socialist. that means that they support state monopolized defense. it's cut and dried. if one supports "the police", then that person is a socialist. if one supports "the justice system", that person is a socialist. whether they like the idea or not, they support state monopolized markets regardless of the fact that they have been discredited theoretically and regardless of the fact that they have never produced results in practice.
those "practical socialists", as they might be called, can rarely conceive of the notion of market-based solutions to defense, security or justice, mainly because they have never known such things. because the state has "always" controlled those areas, they know no other means. but, logically, if one supports state control of defense, why oppose state control of the auto industry? if one believes (erroneously) that socialism is the best solution for the most important aspects of a society, why not support it for those less important? if socialism is best for justice, then why not something comparatively less important, like housing, or transportation, or consumer goods? if it works for domestic security, why not for food production? if socialism works, it works.
the fact is that socialism is nothing more than a secular religion. it has no theoretical or practical foundation and is completely devoid of any result advancing society. it is a mantra, chanted by the mislead populace, ingraining in their own minds what they see as necessary control over them by the power elite. never mind the failure of their ideals and the universal victories of the markets, they are the disciples of insanity.
open your mind, humanity. deep down, you know there's something wrong. learn, understand and become free.