The majority of people in the world, except perhaps the mentally ill, seldom ever claim to be Marxists anymore. Whenever progressives are accused of being Marxists or socialists, they mock their simple-minded opponents and go on their merry way.
However, we have to keep in mind the famous quote about the greatest trick the Devil ever having played was how he convinced the world that he didn't exist.
The great irony of present-day Marxists is that the majority of people who are either consciously or subconsciously influenced by Marxism have never read any of Marx's works. Then there are those who have read his works and who have failed to understand Marx.
(Joseph A. Schumpeter listed in his book, “History of Economic Analysis” (Page 362, “Concerning the Marxist System”) quite a formidable and hefty set of prerequisites that people have to read in order to properly understand Marx. This probably explains why so many people are reluctant and/or unable to fully understand Marxism.)
Regardless of whether people have read or not read or understood or not understood Marx, many people have uncritically accepted many of his views as gospel truth. And I am willing to bet that most of those people don't even know that they are channeling Marx.
For example, one thing that I have heard many progressives complain about often is that, especially after having been “influenced” by the “corporate media,” far too many middle to low income earners “vote against their own interest.” For proof simply do a Google search for “vote against their own interest.”
However, we have to ask what people mean by “interest” when they pose their question. In every single instance, when that question is asked, what they almost always mean by “interest” is the interests of the group that the individuals supposedly belong to.
For example, people often ask why ethnic minorities or women vote for conservative parties, or why the low-to-middle income earners vote for tax breaks for the “super rich.” Notice how no one ever asks why a particular woman or member of an ethnic minority group might vote for a conservative politician or why individuals would vote for tax breaks that they themselves might not benefit from immediately. It's always about the group.
This goes back to Marx's belief, which he stated in the Communist Manifesto, that “the history of all hitherto existing human society is the history of class struggles.” As far as Marx was concerned, “interests” are something definite and apart from a person's ideas.
It was a belief that Marx himself contradicted in the same damned book. As Marx was not a member of the proletariat, he conveniently added that “in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour... a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class.”
If it is possible for some people to extricate themselves from the trappings of their own class and its supposedly inherent interests, then the law is really not a law! Too many Progressives, however, don't seem to be able to see the contradiction to question their own beliefs when they talk about people “voting against their own interests.” They believe that the “interest” of a class is obvious and that there could be no doubt about what it is.
I suppose it is much easier to assume that people who do not agree with them are brainwashed class traitors than individuals who genuinely have their own independent minds that happen to be opposed to theirs.
Furthermore, this idea about class interest is an idea that is all too similar to that of racists. Racists tend to believe that members of a race all look and think alike. That they should all behave in a particular way. That there are certain things that all members of a certain racial group should inherently like and dislike. Replace the word “race” with “class” and you get the same argument!
The quote about the Devil may be attributed to Charles Baudelaire but in all fairness, Kevin Spacey did make it sound much better.