Practical Socialism has existed since civilization began, although not necessarily by that name. The vast majority of human history involves the state control of capital and production. Socialism’s ideas are as old as the first town that was ever ruled. Where did that ever get the common man?
Today’s Socialists will say this is incorrect, and that what I am referring to is the control of a state by a select few. But if you look at all the societies that have made a legitimate claim to the title “Socialist,” you will see that is exactly how they have all played out as well. The USSR, Maoist China, Cuba, Kampuchea, Vietnam, North Korea: all have been totalitarian states, where the means of production and distribution were owned by the state, and where the desires of individuals were not only not desired, but ardently repressed at the behest of a select few. Where did that get their citizens?
Only since the inception of individual rights respecting social orders, and largely capitalistic endeavors took hold 250 to 300 years ago, has the lot of the common man grown to rival that of the aristocracy. Only since the privatization of capital, production, and trade took hold has life expectancy increased, has quality of life increased, has wellness increased, and has general prosperity been attained.
This reality is beyond dispute, and the Socialists of today only have the ability to make their outrageous and largely fallacious claims because of the prosperity that Capitalism ushered in. They live such historically advantageous lives, and they have the leisure to sit and criticize Capitalism, only because they have never known Socialism.