How many? Many people think they understand socialism, but, like many who think they undersatnd, quantum physics, really do not. Care to understand socialism? Read on.
When the fattest capitalists who, suck in the most capital and then say "to hell with everybody else who can't make it, because they wanna' be poor," leave the nation's wage-earners feeling like victims who've been drained by a vampiric glutton, then socialism becomes the choice of the majority of the people.
This (socialism) occurs when people experience, for some time, the feeling that the harder they work the less they achieve due to the non-stop skyrocketing cost of living which is the source of the capitalist's non-stop skyrocketing increase of profits/wealth. In other words, beyond a certain level of the rich getting richer from the poor getting poorer as the result, socialism becomes, in the view of workers, the only means for survival. Most do not choose, and in fact reject, socialism at first. When, however, the cost of living mounts and basic survival becomes impossible, then they adopt socialism with open arms, and the rich, after being placed in front of the wall, finally get to hear the words they fear most -- "comrades, take aim!"
In essence, when socialism does occur, it is always the fault of the rich sucking in more to become richer. The sucking rich cannot be satisfied with the level of wealth they had achieved in decades past. It's always more, more, more, and ever more with those soul-less creatures.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, a million bucks was considered wealthy. Now, real wealth starts in the billions, and a million is considered middle class and something to laugh at by those so-called people. Those empty soul-less entities, precisely like hard-core drug addicts, never get enough and finally bring an economy, and thus a nation and the people who made/maintain that nation, down into the econonic gutter.
Of course they will lie and deny the truth of this message, because they do not want this fine little arrangement of you paying for their exorbitant lifestyles while you struggle to survive, to end. Then we have the Al Bundy variety rich wanna' bes -- those who work for next to nothing and who lick their rich masters, because they believe they will one day be rich. So we're supposed to preserve this puke-rotting "system of things" to wait for those losers.