What are the "top 10" arguments that socialism is the answer? was a question asked on Quora and a libertarian socialist called Douglas Fedder gave an excellent response, well worth re-posting
So, let’s see what socialism would do to “answer” these problems.
First of all, as always, let me define socialism:
Socialism is not “fire departments and roads”.
Socialism is not the Soviet Union or Laos, or Sweden.
Socialism is the dominant mode of production in a post-capitalist, post-scarcity society that is characterized by being moneyless, classless, and stateless. It is where all wealth is democratically owned amongst all people.
“10. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment”
Hard to not give yourself an opportunity and a job when you have a share in the world's wealth. Since common access to resources is available, you will have more than enough to survive. If you want to do some work in the meantime, nobody is going to raise a fuss about it I imagine.
“9. Food and water security”
Just like the potato famine in Ireland did not starve and kill people because there wasn’t enough to feed everyone (there was), famine and food insecurity today do not happen because there is not enough food or water. It happens for economic reasons. Inequality and artificial scarcity continue to exist today in the same genocidal manner. In addition, because for-profit agricultural companies use the patent system to help drive their stock up by capturing proprietary wealth, we are not doing well to maximize surplus.
Socialism will ensure everyone has access to resources such as water and food. So the sufficient supply of water and food will reach everyone. Also, we will continue to develop technologies that increase our ability to distribute water and food to everybody, and produce more food/harvest more water adding even more to the surplus. Allowing science to flourish in the public sphere like this will also make these technologies require less labor power and be less taxing on our planet.
“8. Lack of political freedom and political instability”
With all persons having democratic control of all wealth and the state seizing to exist, political freedom will be maximized. People will be able to flourish and self-govern in small communities, and those communities can support one another when necessary.
Also, socialism becoming normative will make it almost impossible for a capitalist community to exist and grow to the point where it can become imperial, and commit violence and create instability in other communities.
“7. Lack of education”
In a socialist society, we will see an education system like never before. All will be free to access. Education will no longer become an economic commodity that people obtain primarily to build their human capital. This will help folks thrive in science, and it will improve scientific research by eliminating many biases in research journals.
Open source education technology will thrive to an even greater degree, as P2P educational tools are helped along by strengthened artificial intelligence. The digital divide that decreases rural access to information will be defeated once and for all.
Science labs and educational communities will be open to everyone, not just those who can pay tuition.
Also, without the nuclear family spending exorbitant hours in the workforce anymore, parents will be able to spend more time with their children and help to teach them. This will improve children’s education even further.
“6. Safety, security, and well being”
No longer will we have to rely on the abusive police that put much more effort into protecting capitalist interests than protecting us to keep us safe. Crime for economic motives, of course, will seize to exist, as will marginalized neighborhoods. No longer will people have to shell out 150K or more to live in a safe neighborhood. People will self-police to a great and effective degree, protecting their communities from the small amount of crime that still exists.
“5. Government accountability and transparency, and corruption”
No state, no problem.
Also, as Elanor Ostrom showed in her noble prize-winning work, communities self-regulate common resources well and defend against corruption and tragedy of the commons.
Poverty is very scary for a lot of people, and it will always exist as long as capitalism does. Socialism is the only way to eliminate that, for obvious reasons.
“3. Religious conflicts”
With socialism bringing such a great deal of equality, religious conflict will no longer be a proxy for conflicts related to insecurity and imperialism.
Also, no longer will religion has a capitalist interest, and brainwash people for money. Religious institutions will not be tax havens that hoard wealth and power or justify political power.
People of faith will be able to practice their faith in peace, and share communities with those that share their faith. People of different faiths will get along because of the destruction of institutional religions power differential.
“2. Large-scale conflict and wars”
All wars are fought for either interest in profit of the powerful or desperate insecurity of a population manifesting into extreme nationalism. Socialism would eliminate both of those things along with socially constructed borders in themselves, and therefore all wars.
“1. Climate change and destruction of natural resources”
Since the industrial revolution, we have consistently, again and again, cracked the earth for fossil fuels, and we have impeded development on alternative energy such as nuclear, solar, bio-fuels, wind, geothermal, and more. This is because with profit as the motive and fuel from coal mining, fracking, and drilling being readily available and cheap (and energy companies/OPEC making sure it stays that way), we continue to not make little and no progress toward reducing carbon emissions. We continue to heat up the planet at alarming waste by burning these fossil fuels and by producing an incredible amount of glut on the supply side.
By putting a cut on overproduction because of profit and investing our time and resources in alternative energy, a global socialist society can begin healing our planet. This is our only home that we share with countless other species, it’s dire we be more kind to it.