"Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense...We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less...The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us."

-Theodore Roosevelt
When one hears the words "socialist government" thoughts immediately rush to the failure of the Soviet Union and all of the dictatorships that passed themselves off as socialist nations. This public prejudice is the result of many effective years of propaganda aimed to destroy the threat of a socialist uprising in the United States. However, it can be plainly seen by the examination of what socialism truly is that a dictatorship is far from the best means of implementing this economic system.
To prove this, one must first see what socialism means. By the Webster dictionary definition, socialism is "a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state". This essentially means that the government ensures that there is fair distribution of goods. Society is not lopsided, benefiting any single class. Government control prevents a consumption of the majority of supplies by a small minority as that occurs frequently in flagrant capitalist societies and in dictatorships. Dictatorships are in no way the only method of employing a socialist government; in fact there is no form of government quite as deviant to the idea of socialism than a dictatorship. This is a common misconception that needs to be eradicated from the minds of the educated that will eventually be in control of this great world. As was stated earlier, a socialist government is run for the people's benefit, and the best way to ensure that the actions of the government are to the benefit of the people; the people must run the government. This leads to a form of government that we are all very familiar with, a Democratic Republic found here in our very own United States of America.
Make no mistake, by no means is the United States a fully capitalist society, we left that behind when the Sherman anti-trust act was created in 1890. This Act ended "laissez faire", free business without government intervention, and started a trend of socialist ideals through the reform era. This country's disguised socialism ideals increased throughout the 1900s especially during and after the great depression. It was at this time that the social welfare and social security programs were created. Also, Theodore Roosevelt's "square deal" and later Franklin Roosevelt's "new deal" provided jobs and established the creation of many public works, a major role of a socialist government. It was in this slow progression of necessity that the United States became a socialist nation and much more importantly, without ever being in the control of a dictator. If this does not suffice the claim that the United States government is functioning as a socialist government, other nations such as Canada, known for its healthcare, and Ireland, with it's large scale housing aids, are two countries that have an elected representative government and provide for their people as what can be perceived as socialist nations.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a failed experiment because of the lack of representation of the people. The Soviet Union lacked an ability to understand the blight of the people in the rural areas because they, the people who supported the revolution, received no meaningful representation. In this communist country, the monarch-like figure held too much unchecked power to effectively run the entire government. In order for a socialist nation to succeed at its prime goal to control business, it is necessary to have the power equally distributed among its political leaders, which should be chosen by the people to run the many divisions of the governmental business. Another reason for the failure of the Soviet Union was for the simple fact that Russia lacked the geographic location to supply itself with the food it required for its population. If the United States had not so hastily gotten involved in "rebuilding" Europe after World War II, giving it an edge in containing the spread of communism, the Soviet Union may have been able to spread into the temperate zone and spread the produce from central Europe to the needy people of Siberia who had so little. This leads to yet another reason for the failure of the Soviet Union, the Cold War. Hundreds of millions of dollars were being put into defense for the United States, Stalin's political inability is evident after responding to the US build up with a battle call to all non-socialist nations of the time claiming that they too, would fall unless under the wing of the Soviet Union. While the lack of motion to end the stalemate through a strike on either side prevented physical devastation such as nuclear war, it still lead financial trouble for both sides, more evidently seen in the Soviet Union. It is because of the enormous defense spending that the Soviet Union was left with so few resources to better develop the nation and was thus left to suffer in a state of despair, unable to provide for it's people as it had initially intended. This wasteful military spending progressed on and on through the years, until finally, the Soviet Union could no longer keep its defensive walls up any longer and collapsed, symbolic of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1991.
Socialism is an economic system that enables a fair environment to be created for all people. It also creates a steady economy free from the fear of flooded markets and reduces the ability of the consumer to become a victim of monopolies as they have so many times in the past. Socialism allows job security for all men and women and provides the ability for people to enjoy their life rather than to constantly worry what will happen to their business and their financial security. Under a socialist government the many problems of poverty can be eased and ultimately expunged.
It is often believed that under a socialist government, one loses his/her individuality and ability to progress in stature. This is entirely untrue, in fact, there is more social mobility under socialism than ever could under capitalism, a capitalist society requires one to first subordinate one's self to an owner, once this subordination occurs, it is hard nigh impossible to gain the leadership skills to be advanced into a position of power. It is for this reason, this chain of events that it takes generations for progress up the social ladder. This climb, exceeding centuries is not always a fruitful one. If just one generation in the chain slips, the following generations must start yet again from the subordination stage. Under socialism, there are advanced school systems and a free flowing system that allows those who have leader ship qualities and possibilities to take a position of leadership and those who do not, to take their place with only a menial pay difference to be lead. As for individuality, without total freedom of thought, speech and religion, the socialist government could not work in the manner it was intended. As I have stated above, the people must run the government it serves, and therefore laws must not bind their ideas.