In a gushing tribute, The New Republic delivered an article extolling The Onion as a vehicle for imparting communist values to the masses.
According to writer Emmett Rensin, “Rather, the vanguard of revolution – the paper most dedicated to the overthrowing capitalism [sic] in the United States today – is none other than The Onion.”
Noting pieces such as “Man Briefly Forgets Hotel Staff Are Not Human” as a reminder of “capitalist commodification not just of goods, but of humans’ subjective agency in the form of labor,” “Laid Off Man Finally Achieves Perfect Work-Life Balance” as espousing “the contention that capitalism alienates the proletariat from their species-consciousness by making them participants without control in the economic relations of their culture,” “Majority of Office’s Supplies Used to Apply for Different Job” as a “clear indictment of false consciousness, arising inexorably from bourgeois dogma as it perverts our very understanding of fulfillment, family, and success,” and “All-Knowing Invisible Hand of Free Market Once Again Guides Millions in Profits to Nation’s Bead Stores” as a joke based on the knowledge that “the natural use of capital as a convenient common denominator for the exchange of material goods has been supplanted by a system wherein commodities are little more than frivolous intermediates for the conversion of capital into itself,” Rensin genuflected to The Onion‘s apparent echoing of the “latent Marxism in our culture.”
Rensin postulated that The Onion‘s popularity is derived from America’s acceptance of Karl Marx’s basic view of capital. He added, “Cognitive dissonance or not, Das Kapital has so thoroughly permeated our understanding of capitalism that we’re seldom even aware that we are citing it. It’s become a kind of cultural white noise – always present, but rarely acknowledged.”
Of course, Rensin also called Barack Obama a “moderate president” in the article. That alone qualifies him as someone whose hard-left bias would make him only too willing to champion any attack on the capitalist system, even if it comes from The Onion.