: I'm curious, what exactly is socialism and how does it differ from communism? (Keep your explanation brief and simple, because I get bored easily)
The core difference of the two is that in socialism the center of decision making is the person in its unity unilike communism where the center of decision making is the communa ie the people in its mass which inevitably translates to the state with its implications on freedom etc.
There are many definitions on (and really many meanings of) socialism.
Some are very close to communism and some reflect the historical and cultural variables of the people who apply (or try to apply) socialism.
In simple terms someone can define socialism as the political system in which issues like health, environment, culture, arts, education, elderly care, handicaped care and the like are favoured, assisted and propably provided by the elected administration through an institutionalised framework regardless of their monetary profitability.
It takes into account that the per capita income does not create wealth on its own and it claims that the wealth of a person and of the nation is created through the cash in hand as well as through the issues I mention above. Because of this socialism institutionalises these issues.
Now, there can be a debate on the applicability of socialism in terms of its ability to coexist with capitalism of today but this is onother discussion which is not for now.