Paul Mason – Clear Bright Future
Tuesday 25th June 2019 - Starts 7pm
TICKET PRICE: £10
Photo: Juergen Bauer
Brought to you in partnership with City Books, Hove.
Clear Bright Future – A Radical Defence of the Human Being is the latest book from broadcaster, film-maker and best-selling author of Postcapitalism, Paul Mason.
“The most important book about economy and society to be published in my lifetime.” Irvine Welsh (re: Postcapitalism, published 2015)
In the next century we are going to be asked: on what basis do you, the human race, claim control over intelligent machines? Unless we revive belief in agency, rationalism and universal rights, we are going to find that a very difficult question to answer.
Ranging from economics to Big Data, from neuroscience to the culture wars, Mason draws from his on-the-ground reporting and his own childhood to show how the notion of humanity has become eroded as never before. It’s not simply the fraying of the post-war global order, he believes: there is an all-out attack on values that have underpinned Western societies for hundreds of years.
He argues that we need to conduct a radical defence of the human being. We need to fight for universal rights, for human-centric institutions, and for the right to resist control of our lives by algorithms. We have to rekindle something close to a shared moral philosophy, a collective idea of our human nature, to shape our resistance and our future.
A call for resistance
A key to reasserting control, Mason argues, is micro-level resistance: refusal to “perform” as the routines of market capitalism demand, where every action is commoditised. As we do so, he says, people and communities begin to find each other, and to act.
Paul Mason travels widely in order to make sense of the world we now find ourselves in – from the riot in Washington DC during Trump’s inauguration, to a remote Pacific island whose indigenous people are struggling with the after-effects of colonialism. What he encounters is an unprecedented atmosphere of technological euphoria combined with political gloom. Both are rational. Technology could free us from work, ignorance, and much of our ill health. But only if it remains under our control.
Praise for Postcapitalism (2015)
“The most important book about economy and society to be published in my lifetime.” Irvine Welsh
“…deserves a wide readership among right and left alike… Politicians of all stripes should take note. And so should the people who vote for them.” Gillian Tett, Financial Times
“…an original, engaging, and bracingly-articulated vision of real alternatives. It is sure to many spark vigorous debates, and they are precisely the ones we should be having.” Naomi Klein
Paul Mason is recognised as an influential public intellectual across Europe. He commands large audiences among both grass-roots movements and institutions alike, filling halls of hundreds, sometimes thousands, from Amsterdam to Berlin, Seattle to Zagreb, Sydney and Seoul. He has a unique voice – both angry and reasoned, learned and accessible, international and local – always engaged in storytelling. Previously economics editor of Channel 4 and BBC Newsnight, Mason is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and film maker who wrote the best-seller Postcapitalism in 2015.