Socialism appears to works well when:
1. You are inside a heavily gated place that is hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world,
2. Where there are little or no children, nearly no families or cousin-type relations around
3. Where majority of the population is transitory and will be gone from the place in a few years time, thus precluding the opportunity to study long term effects.
4. Where the age group of most of the population is the healthiest slice of the full age range and there are almost no invalids to care for
5. When there is a constant flow of large sums of money coming in year on year to fund everything, either from taxpayer money or/and from the participants' loans (again govt-backed) or parents' savings. And, just as importantly, the people bringing in the money consider themselves beholden to the people taking it rather than the other way around, and are locked in a perpetual awe of the whole thing, not realizing it's what they and scores of others like them brought to the table that made it.
6. Where there is practically no immediate obligation to the sources sending in this money for equivalent material or financial return, but rather a long-term promissory of externalised benefits ("it will generate overall wealth for society at large") that doesn't have any immediate conditions or implications on this place other than ensuring job placements. (And yes our more 'ethical' peers do frown upon the job placements part)
7. Where there is a worker underclass that is employed to do all the dirty work and keep things running and which for all practical purposes is invisible, doesn't have any voice in the way things are done, has no upward mobility to the other positions in that place (that janitor will NEVER become a professor or even a student), and is probably managed entirely by a hire-or-fire private contractor to whom the whole place outsources a contract.
8. Where there is a clear hierarchy and command-and-control structure in place, plus the population itself is much more conscious about the hierarchy they're in (freshers, seniors, undergrad, postgrad, teaching staff, admin etc.. different degree programs etc) and their daily life is also neatly structured along those hierarchies.
9. Where most of the population has to be diligently following the instructions given to them.
10. Where you spend much more time talking about how great it would be to implement Socialism, rather than actually implementing it.
Basically, Socialism seems to work very well in University Campuses which, when you ignore what the (very vocal) people are saying and focus on the physical realities instead, might just be the most extreme implementations of Capitalism and hierarchical society that there can be. But we're not supposed to notice that and after all it's all for that Higher Purpose™.
And because it appears to work there perfectly, that's the reason why so many people living in them (excluding the worker underclass that is) believe in and root for Socialism / Communism the most. The dreams of this Socialism, attached at the hip to fond memories of the "wonderful" and "care-free" university life, are strongly proselytised by that category of people who has decided they want to spend their lives in this heavily edited version of reality instead of the real one (professors).
These dreams are then taken forward by the students moving from there directly into pole positions in industry, media, upscale NGOs, UN agencies etc where again spending their time in similar protected environs and insulated from the real world by thick paychecks they will want to start implementing bits and pieces of it wherever possible, without taking into consideration the larger picture, or how different the real world is from the world of University Campuses where it was possible to shield reality away.
Related articles I was reading that led to writing this:
Recommended site: http://thepeoplescube.com/