Very few societies today are thoroughly Marxist, but many, if not all, have employed Marxist theory to some extent in progressing and making societal change. Some nations, like China, officially describe themselves as communist or one-party socialist states. China is a highly regulated society, though some of their social and economic practices are not strictly Marxist communist. Other nations, like North Korea, have grown out of Marxist-Leninist ideology. Today, North Korea practices Juche (or "self-reliance") as a rejection of the traditional Marxist-Leninist form of Communism. Other nations may consider themselves to be socialist or practice socialism in the form of universal access to healthcare, education, and a minimum wage as a means of providing for the people and the state.
Outside of economics, Marxism has become a favored theoretical framework in the social sciences. The study of present-day class inequality as well as the studies of race, ethnicity, gender, and disability have all experienced major shifts with the introduction of Marxist theory. Marxism no longer solely applies to economic class struggle, but that experienced when any segment of society is systemically oppressed. For this reason, Marxism has become a significant force in academia today.
Many of the tangible examples of socialism (and Marxism) that one might experience today pass by in such a way that we do not readily identify them as being socialist. If your country has any of the following, you've experienced socialism to some degree:
- Government-provided support for the young, elderly, and disabled, such as Social Security in the United States
- Universal healthcare
- Free education
- Subsidies on housing or utilities
- Public libraries
- Public roads and highways
- Emergency services like police and the fire department
- Government-provided support for the impoverished, like the food stamps program in the United States
Even though not all of these things are explicitly outlined in Marx's writings, they have been developed as a way of providing support to the people in the interest of equality.