people at How the Light Gets In Festival at Kenwood House

In Conversation: Paul Mason, HowTheLightGetsIn

Ahead of his appearance at this month's philosophy, comedy and music festival up at Kenwood, we speak to the former BBC and Channel 4 economics editor
Why do you think forums for discussion, like HowTheLightGetsIn, are important? 

There’s a whole world of book and ideas festivals out there, mainly attended by people over 55. HTLGI – especially when it’s in London – drops the average age by a couple of decades, bringing a new generation in. That’s why I like it.

Do you think objective truths exist? 

Objective reality exists independent of our senses. Our theories about it are always the best approximation to the truth, but so long as they produce operational knowledge that’s good enough for me.

What worries you most about the current political climate in this country? 

The normalisation of the hate, stigma and elitism encapsulated in right wing conservatism, closely followed by the Putin worship of a section of the left.

What brings you hope?


What do you think the future of journalism looks like? 

Like Present day Russian journalism… an extreme bifurcation between insider access and a hunted oppositional press – unless people in the mainstream fight for something radically different.

What’s something you wish more people knew?

The crimes of the British Empire and the history of the working class.

What has being alive taught you about humans?

We are linguists, teamworkers, imagineers and technologists through our DNA and therefore have the capacity, and high possibility, to set ourselves free.

How do you want to be remembered? 

“Antifascist” – I was other things but the most important turns out to be this.

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