As a social and economic system, socialism is often characterized by public or cooperative ownership of the means of production, central planning of the economy, and distribution of goods and services based on need rather than profit.
In theory, socialism strives to promote equality among members of society by providing everyone with access to the same essential resources such as healthcare, education, and housing. The ultimate goal of socialism is to create a classless society where everyone works together for the common good.
However, many different interpretations and implementations of socialism exist, so it is hard to provide a single definition that applies to all socialist systems. For example, some socialist societies may place more emphasis on economic equality than others. Additionally, government involvement in the economy can vary significantly from one socialist society to another.
In general, most socialists believe that the best way to achieve their goals is through democratic means such as public ownership of industries and central planning. They also typically advocate for strong worker protections and social welfare programs.