This is interesting. I've heard libertarians make a similar case with "capitalism." They'll say something to the effect of, "Well to me, capitalism doesn't mean corporate cronyism or concentrated wealth in the hands of a few, it just means markets - people voluntarily exchanging goods and services with one another and creating more wealth and shared prosperity than existed before." Similarly, they view capitalism as the ideal, not the mechanisms. This is sort of why I have an issue with both labels, because you often have to distinguish between what they mean in theory, or what they mean to a particular individual, and how actually-existing capitalism/socialism function in the real world.