Odds and Ends
When yes means no
30 1, 2:15am
not really right of left here, mostly staying outside and just facepalming about everything (I'm in dire need of new faces and palms). AFAIK "socialism" is an umbrella term for a large group of ideologies whose main tenet (at least on paper) is redistribution of wealth to bridge the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Now, the specific means and definitions are up to the specific ideology. An ideology mostly based on a large number of social programs funded by taxes IS one kind of socialism.
The issue here seems to be the conflation of terms made by what it seems to be called "red-baiters". By using logical fallacies, they created a plain image of leftist movements that takes them all as one and the same, and I can tell you just by looking at the political situation in my country that the left is quite diverse. So is the right.
The one that you could say is the "bad" one (not the only one, humans always find way to screw things, and if they were meant to be screwed, to screw them the wrong way) would be marxism, mostly because of two reasons: it's theoretical (impossible to implement as-is in the real world) and it's based on a "fight of classes" (an artificial conflict that most often when adhering to the doctrine devolves in an actual fight).
Based on it as an attempt to implement it there is communism, the main root of the governments you know about and hate. It was implemented slightly different in each place and, with the exception of menshevism (which was too softhearted to survive the war) all of them are based on a charismatic leader that "brings equality to all people" that "fearlessly leads them on a war against evil capitalism/monarchy/dictatorship/whatever". Given the easy it is for leadership to get into a person's head, they almost without fail devolve into either dictatorships or de facto dictatorships (in this second case, there tends to be also a "hidden" aristocracy. Since the basis is that "we are better than the rest", dissidency is not allowed and any bad thing is covered up/blamed on the "enemy". But that's one left out of many, some good, some bad, some meh.
It's quite interesting to see that, due to the horseshoe effect, communist dictatorships are ideologicaly closer to rightwing USA (so rightwing that their "left" is still our "right") that to also leftist socialdemocrat Scandinavia. (By "ideollogically closer" I don't mean that they are the same, only that they have more things in common.)