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 purpose of production under socialism is to produce to meet the needs of the people. Socialism represents a fundamental change in the capitalist relations of production: it is the antithesis of capitalism.
Socialism is a democracy. All of the freedoms we currently enjoy are carried over, except for allowing the exploitation and oppression of people under the guide of individual freedom and the right to own property. Freedom of thought and belief is respected in socialist countries.
Some authority will still exist, but it will not be an authority with coercive apparatuses for the private gain of any exploitative class or group1.
Education at any level is open to workers and their children without any cost.
The military policy of a socialist state is truly defensive and is opposed to aggression from its own side or from another.
Socialism would achieve greatness in the advancement of science, technology, agriculture, industry and defense. This is because these fields, under capitalism, are chained to the narrow-minded interest of billionaires. When these chains are removed, great strides are possible2.
Given some time, socialist society can make the quality of life and education of the current upper-middle class available to all. If this were possible, there wouldn't be a need for or the instruments of class coercion.
It is not an impossible dream to anticipate the growth of productivity to the point that all members of society need to work for a far lesser number of hours than now and have more time for creative endeavors and a social life.
"We do not claim that Marx or the Marxists know the road to socialism in all its completeness. That is nonsense. We know the direction of this road, we know what class forces lead along it, but concretely and practically it will be learned from the experiences of the millions who take up the task." - Vladimir Lenin