Republicans have turned "Socialist" into a bad word and stripped it of all meaning. It is the 25-cent word for "doo-doo head" on the political playground.
They offer no substantive criticism of socialism or even a coherent definition. They even give it a partisan slant, as Bush doing the same things is not a "socialist", but a Democrat is.
Socialism is the government ownership of the means of production. The problems inherent in socialism are not because of government, but because it creates government-owned monopolies. Contrary to popular mythology, government officials are not incompetent dolts incapable of reasonable actions. They are just working in a non-competitive environment.
Private monopolies are far worse than socialism. At least public monopolies are subject to popular elections, whereas private monopolies are subject only to shareholder profit-taking motives. Monopolies stifle innovation, raise prices and are tone-deaf to consumer needs.
Instead of braying about the evils of government, Republicans should ensure that we have competitive and fair markets to prevent monopolies, public or private, from strangling our economic growth. Republicans sound more like the sheep from Animal Farm, bleating "Four legs good, two legs baaaaaad!"