Paul Mason’s latest book outlines the issues of our time and offers advice for a better tomorrow
One of the goals of every sound business culture, and of many sections of society, is to restore and strengthen the role of humans within the realm of business and production. The message is clear, although it may be delivered in different ways. And that is also the leading impulse behind Clear Bright Future by Paul Mason, a British journalist and independent thinker whose ideas have often provided food for thought in matters relating to economics and business culture in general.
Mason’s book has a compelling subtitle: A Radical Defence of the Human Being. In about 350 pages, the book, recently translated into Italian, analyses today’s highly troubling social and economic landscape, but ultimately presents an optimistic message of hope. Mason explains how the difficult period we are experiencing has created fertile ground for archaic forces such as racism, misogyny and the most obtuse forms of authoritarian nationalism. In Mason’s view, for example, Silicon Valley’s increasingly sophisticated algorithms are leading to the nightmarish prospect of humans being totally controlled, while high-tech gadgets accelerate the transformation of man into robot. With that being said, Mason believes there is still a chance for us to rebel against this mechanism, in order to ‘regain control of our lives and our future.’ And it all starts with personal and business action. This includes, for example, the choices we make in our daily shopping, to acting to get new laws passed that will ‘free the positive potential of new technologies.’
Mason’s writing is engaging, provocative, lively and surprising. It is certainly not pedestrian. He interweaves current events, business and politics with social theory from the past two centuries, all the while taking cues from Marxism, Christianity and Buddhism. His discussion cites authoritative sources from a variety of fields, and spans subjects as diverse as the Red Brigades, Calvin Klein and Donald Trump. Needless to say, not everyone will agree with what Mason writes, but discerning readers are bound to find something that will get them thinking.
Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being
il Saggiatore, 2019