Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan is author of the World Values Survey which since 1980 has mapped social attitudes in 100 countries representing 90% of global population. Results indicate that where people live is likely to be closely correlated with their ideological beliefs. In much of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, people prefer traditional beliefs and are less tolerant of liberal values. Protestant Europe, at the other extreme, adheres more to secular beliefs and liberal values. Alone among high-income countries, the United States is exceptional in its adherence to traditional beliefs, in this case Christianity.
The term Classical Marxism denotes the collection of socio-eco-political theories expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. "Marxism", as Ernest Mandel remarked, "is always open, always critical, always self-critical". As such, Classical Marxism distinguishes between "Marxism" as broadly perceived and "what Marx believed", thus in 1883 Marx wrote to the French labour leader Jules Guesde and to Paul Lafargue (Marx's son-in-law) – both of whom claimed to represent Marxist principles – accusing them of "revolutionary phrase-mongering" and of denying the value of reformist struggle. From Marx's letter derives the paraphrase: "If that is Marxism, then I am not a Marxist".   American Marxist scholar Hal Draper responded to this comment by saying: "There are few thinkers in modern history whose thought has been so badly misrepresented, by Marxists and anti-Marxists alike".  On the other hand, the book Communism: The Great Misunderstanding argues that the source of such misrepresentations lies in ignoring the philosophy of Marxism, which is dialectical materialism. In large, this was due to the fact that The German Ideology , in which Marx and Engels developed this philosophy, did not find a publisher for almost one hundred years.
And while these ideas may be part of the dominant ideology in today's America, there are in fact ideologies that challenge them and the status quo they support. The 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders spotlighted one of these alternate ideologies—one that instead assumes that the capitalist system is fundamentally unequal and that those who have amassed the most success and wealth are not necessarily deserving of it. Rather, this ideology asserts that the system is controlled by them, rigged in their favor, and designed to impoverish the majority for the benefit of the privileged minority. Sanders and his supporters, thus advocate laws, legislature, and public policies that are designed to redistribute society's wealth in the name of equality and justice.