Today, the human race faces a new problem. Thanks to information technology, vast asymmetries of knowledge and power have opened up. Through the screens of our smart devices, corporations and governments know what we're doing, what we're thinking, can predict our next moves and influence our behaviour.
We, meanwhile, don't even have the right to know that any of this is going on. As Paul Mason argues in this pyrotechnic new book, all this is intimately connected to the urgent economic, political and moral crises we are living through now.
Clear Bright Future explores how, during the preceding decades, the free-market system reduced us to two-dimensional consumers. Underlying the dominance of these forces, Mason contends, is the idea that human values no longer have foundation - an idea that, as we allow the all-pervasive presence of machines in our lives, we are tacitly coming to accept.
And, if these forces are not stopped, we will relive something even worse than the 1930s.
But there is another way. We have the power to imagine and design a better system, at the heart of which is a radical reassertion of our common humanity. All this, Mason asserts, starts with a simple, fundamental choice.
Will we accept the machine control of human beings, or will we resist it?