Holy crap! Most of the answers here are TERRIBLE. You want to know what socialism is? Don’t ask Quora (which has become a cesspool of trolls and idiots). Ask Google before you ask on Quora. Ask Wikipedia. Hell, ask GPT before you ask here.
But best yet, go to the source. Read Das Kapital by Karl Marx. Yes, it’s dense and NOT a “fun” read (and yes, I’ve read it), but you’ll come away understanding both the complexity of the question you’ve just asked AND you’l know more about the answer than you will from reading about 99% of the answers I see here.
FTR, the *dictionary* definition of socialism is, “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”
The Marxist definition of socialism is that it it’s a *transitional* state between capitalism and communism.
One of the biggest problems facing political discourse today is that the term socialism has become bastardized to the point where it now has MANY definitions, the vast majority of which have little to nothing to do with its ACTUAL definition. Most problematically, the American far right defines socialism as literally anything and everything that it doesn’t like, whether that thing has anything to do with socialism or not (it’s part of their larger “empirical truth is irrelevant/I’m speaking my truth” pattern). Similarly, the American far left deifies it by claiming that “socialism is” and then puts in stuff they like — which just as often ISN’T socialism (hint: the vast bulk of what “Bernie Bros” advocate *isn’t* socialism, even when they say it is … because they’re just as stupid and uninformed as the far right).
The bottom line is that you need to answer the question for yourself, but when you do, for God’s sake, go to the source, read peer reviewed, academic works on socialism, and AVOID social media at ALL costs.