Except throughout the Cold War, the socialist states looked more like other socialist states (to wit: The USSR, the PRC, clients thereof, and non-aligned socialist states like Albania) than like non-socialist states around them. These states often called themselves "People's Republics".
Of course, if you take that definition of 'socialist', then India most certainly isn't socialist.
My point: Language isn't simple. Politics isn't simple. Mixing the two simplifies neither.
Decide? No. Correlate strongly with? Yes.