In How To Stop Fascism, published August 2021, Paul Mason warns the Capitol Hill riot was no one-off. It is evidence of a global trend: the convergence of right-wing populism with a new kind of fascism.
Though the far-right groups number maybe tens of thousands, their thought-patterns are spreading to millions of people, via conspiracy theories like QAnon, through Telegram and Discord channels and through acts of symbolic violence.
Now available in paperback, Kindle, audiobook and hardback. Buy it here.
Clear Bright Future: A radical defence of the human being, was published by Allen Lane in May 2019. In it I defend the idea of radical humanism in the face of algorithmic control, artificial intelligence and enforced, performative market behaviour. I argue that free-market economics were a gateway drug to a widespread anti-humanistic and fatalist culture in the early 21st century. The revolution we need to break free will feel less like a political event, more like the rediscovery of moral philosophy.
The book contains my definitive critique of orthodox Marxism, attacking Marx’s refusal to engage in moral philosophy, and drawing inspiration from the writings of the Catholic philosopher Alasdair Macintyre. It says:
“There is a lot to criticize in Marx’s work. But his core idea – that humanity as a species is biologically capable of setting itself free through technological innovation, self-transformation and work – has to form the basis of a twenty-first-century radical humanism.”
To order the book click here. Foreign language editions include: German (Suhrkamp Verlag); Dutch (De Bezige Bij); Italian (Il Saggiatore); Spanish (Paidos)
June 2015: “The danger is that as the crisis drags on the elite’s commitment to liberalism evaporates. The successful crooks and dictators of the emerging world have already bought influence and respectability: you can feel their power as you walk through the door of certain law firms, PR consultancies and even corporations. How long will it take before the culture of the Western elite swings towards emulating Putin and Xi Jinping? …The self-belief of the 1 per cent is in danger of ebbing away, to be replaced by a pure and undisguised oligarchy. But there is good news. The 99 per cent are coming to the rescue. Postcapitalism will set you free.”
Tiananmen Square, 2009: “Across the concrete, hundreds of metres wide, tens of thousands of unquiet spirits had begun to march … The dead, scraped up off the floors of unlit factories; the victims of firing squads; workers whose lives had been shortened by cancer and poisoning. A whole delegation of brick-kiln kids, their childhoods stolen by work and physical abuse, skipping along in formation, waving the national flag. Brough watched the coalminers turn their faces skyward and wave, as a bunch of recently killed mates flew in from a mine disaster in Shenyang.”
Cairo, 2011: “The ground floor of Musa Zekry’s house is head-high with garbage and thick with flies. The floor above is home to the widow of his brother, shot dead during the revolution….A dead brother, several fear-filled days in Tahrir Square, weeks of danger and distrust: that’s the balance sheet of Musa Zekry’s revolution. All he’s got to show for it is a banner slung across the street outside, hailing his brother as a martyr, alongside a portrait of Jesus Christ. Plus freedom.”
Lehman Brothers, 15 September 2008: “I stumble aboard the train. As it speeds through Maryland, I try to follow the news via guerrilla log-ons to wi-fi as we pass through stations: Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark. The Susquehanna river flashes past, shimmering in the dawn. The herons, gliding low across the water, were here long before investment banks. What nobody on earth has yet realized is that, within seven days, there will still be herons – but no more investment banks.”
Shenzhen, 2003: “When they came into the room the guys were sheepish and so was I; every one of them was missing a limb. I had dragged them across the city to meet me in this tatty rooming house because, for a Western journalist, going to Longgang – an industrial suburb of Shenzhen – is only possible with a government minder. And they did not want to meet one. ‘I was loading cotton into the front of a mattress machine…,’ Cao Xian-yi tells me, indicating the stump of his arm to complete the story. They were all young, they were all migrants, they were all sacked.”