I think you're making a mistake that many people make, using 'socialism' to mean any system they don't like. It's a bad word in the US, so if you don't like someone you call him a 'socialist' and walk away thinking you've won the argument.
A lot of people (conservatives in particular) seem to think there's this range of political ideology, that we are at one end and communism, fascism, socialism, totalitarianism, etc. etc. are at the other end. So they're all the same! That makes it easier to argue about, for sure.
First of all, socialism is an economic system, not a governmental system. Fascism is the OPPOSITE of socialism (though there's a theory that the 'arc' from far left to far right is really a circle, and extremists at both ends meet at the other end of the circle.) Fascism is the govt. cooperating with corporations to control the economy. Socialism is the gov.t cutting out corporations by providing goods and services itself
Communism is a form of socialism but all socialism is not communism. The terms are not synonymous (nor are socialism and fascism!) Communism is a particular form of socialism, a 'brand name' so to speak.
And you might say that communism was a pipedream that never actually existed, and you might be right about that. Communist countries were/all very corrupt. Communism was never tried in a country with a pre-existing tradition of democracy, so people in these countries only traded on set of despots for another. The sad fact is, though, that capitalism has grown frighteningly corrupt. We saw the fall of the USSR as the ultimate failure of capitalism, but we are now circling the same drain ourselves.