Get Your Free Audiobook

Clear Bright Future

A Radical Defence of the Human Being
Narrated by: Finlay Robertson
Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

Non-member price: $36.45

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Clear Bright Future, by Paul Mason.   

Our world order is under pressure as never before. From new authoritarian regimes in the US, Turkey and Russia to the imminent breakup of the European Union and a social media awash with intolerance, things look set to fall apart just as abruptly as the Soviet Union did some 30 years ago. How did we get here, and what do we do now?  

In this searching new exploration of our crisis, Paul Mason argues that at its heart lies an attack on the idea of humanity itself. As the free-market system reduced us to two-dimensional consumers, genetics has stripped us of our belief in humans as agents of change. And now the dystopian forces of the authoritarian right are pushing the world towards a premodern understanding of the human being: one that aims to destroy the very concept of universal human rights and create a new world in which we are biologically destined to form hierarchies based on ethnicity and gender and to obey the demands of religious conformity.  

If these forces are not stopped, Mason warns, we will relive something even worse than the 1930s. In response, he demands a radical defence of the human being: a reinvention of humanism; a reassertion of the universality of human rights; and a struggle for a society where biologically determined hierarchies are abolished. We have the power to imagine and design a better system. We must, Mason concludes, reach deep into the history and experience of resistance in order to be our own saviours.

©2019 Paul Mason (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-2019

Bold and Important

Even though I do disagree with some of the authors arguments, I still think this is a superb political commentary on our contemporary society. It downright ignores the theoretical and idealistic ignorance that I feel is so prevalent in many political books. Don't be scared by the Marxist views of the author. Even if you are not a leftist I would still highly recommend this as an important perspective on our world today.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mackenzie
  • Mackenzie
  • 26-05-2019

Disappointing

I heard Mason interviewed on Talking Politics and then downloaded this item. The interview and the book offer two different views. The book is another rant with a peppering of 'facts and I gave up before I got to the 'Clear bright future'. Adma Tooze's Crashed is a better discussion.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kieron Casey
  • Kieron Casey
  • 18-05-2019

Interesting If Flawed

Paul Mason has written a broad tome here with some fantastic theories sandwiched in between some more peculiar thoughts. The general thesis, returning humanism to the core of futurist thinking, is a noble one for its opposition to the far-right, neo-nazis and nihlistic misognyists. (There's a gaping hole on the limits of humanism which is not addressed here). It is chapters around these topics Mason is at his strongest.
The weaker parts of the book, however, are when Mason discusses cybernetics and postmodernism - these parts seem less well researched than the rest of the chapters here and, crucially, Mason does a poor job of rebutting the abhorent theses which drives the Cultural Marxism is a conspiracy theory.
It's a wide-reaching book which doesn't always hit the expansive targets it aims for, but you have to respect anyone who tries to put together such a cohesive map for the future.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for heartofbalance
  • heartofbalance
  • 22-06-2019

Brilliant but flawed analysis! Read it!

Paul Mason is a treasure-no doubt about it. He's a Northener-that always helps! But he is widely read, deeply thoughtful, of an original cast of mind, and dedicated to humanity. He is also a great journalistic writer with all the advantages and the flaws of such-meaning, a too ready acceptance of his sources which he plunders with little scepticism or a willingness to subject to hard academic analysis and most disturbingly for me, he creates a most awful blaming analysis of Nietzsche for individualised selfishness and nihilism that, as a keen reader of this remarkable philosopher, I find unpalatably shallow and indicative therefore of a shallow analysis of the work. True-a reading of the awful 'Triumph of the Will' cobbled together by his psychopathic Nazi-sympathising, mate of Hitler- Sister, Elisabet, would lead one to deduce that Nietzche proposed a fascistic analysis of the Superman supporting a Nazi totalitarianism, but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth of his philosophical system which supported genuine love and engagement with humanity. Nietzsche was at pains to constantly point out that political control leads us to barbarism and so we must take individual responsibility for our life's MEANING. I offer no defence of his tragic misogyny other than to say it is rooted in his personal flawed experience of relationships and his natural 'turn' to a 'tragedic' interpretation of his relationships no doubt encouraged by his Wagnerian associations with Richard and Cosima which also ended in tragedy but have a beauty derived from the meeting of great but flawed minds.
Whatever, Paul Mason has written a book full of fire and well worth reading as an explanation offering some understanding of: potentially viable solutions to, our current pre-apocalyptic dilemmas. I would also urge a radical defence of the non-human being!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Momoto
  • Momoto
  • 06-01-2020

Interesting but let down by flat narration

Going to buy the book. Didn’t enjoy the audiobook - the narration is robotic and the book itself might read better. It’s a pity Mason didn’t narrate it himself, as none of his passion and vision come across in the text or the narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter
  • Peter
  • 22-12-2019

Really very good yet utterly depressing

I read this in search of some hope for the future, even a glimmer of a Roadmap to a better more Utopien future rather than a dystopian one, but I seriously can't see this happening... If there is such a thing as reincarnation I really don't want to come back.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Martin
  • Martin
  • 23-11-2019

Importand and worth your time

This is the first one of Paul's books I've read. I enjoy listening to him when he appears on TV or in youtube shows, so I expected I'd find this a good listen.

To be fair, its more substantial and serious than I expected and quite a detailed examination of science, philosophy of various flavours with his own analysis and unique experiences to fit it together. Given many works on philosophy are immense, it says a lot without being so voluminous it would not reach a wide audience.

The book does tackle some areas in depth but complex language is avoided so it is a relatively easy listen, which does not require a frequent run to the dictionary. Nevertheless there is enough in there to require more than one read.

Essentially, we are looking at a range of trends, from the rise of AI, fascism in various forms and a number of slave philosophies, which tend in the direction that a human is in fact no more than an object without free will of any sort and how these have impinged on the society in which we live; and what could happen in the future.

I am not a particularly ideological person, but have concluded that a substantial change is needed in the way things work. For me this book does explain some things I have observed and suggests some ways forward and makes many good points about how to go about it.

It is also useful that the writer worked many years as a reporter, is comfortable operating out of riots, various places across the world. A philosophy is one thing but if you never leave your home and go see what is actually happening, your philosophy and writings might have mathematical precision and be logically consistent but are likely to be of little application to actual lives.

If you haven't studied philosophy (I haven't but I used to live with someone who had) it may surprise you to find out just how negative some of them are. Whatever the writer intended, some 'slave philosophies' that regard man as no more than an animal are used to justify atrocities and awful regimes.

Not always an easy listen but worth the effort!




  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 14-11-2019

Weaves many strands towards a central theme so stick with it

As I get older I’m constantly reminded how little I know compared to how much I could & indeed want to know.

For some years now I’ve felt uncomfortable with the market led, selfish society in which I live & worked but could not articulate why.

Whilst not providing all the answers this book has at least provided me with a framework for my discomfort, sign posted where to read and research further and how I might live a none selfish none fascist life.

Two ideas that resonated personally were first “the networked self” utilising and embracing technology to find others who are equally uncomfortable with system and its current development trajectory. Second platform cooperation, a fairer human centred business model.

Thank you Paul for writing this book.

PJ

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-07-2019

Excellent

Thought provoking de and reconstruction of why and how we should mobilise to defeat the reemergence of fascism.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-2019

Excellent

Written with clarity of purpose and vision mapping out moral pathways to a brighter future