Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

The two-party system is dead

Charles Kennedy is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the third force in British politics. In the upcoming general election, the party is poised to overtake the Tories as the alternative government. It’s been a remarkable rise and in today’s Guardian Kennedy explains the rationale behind their philosophy and the moral and political bankruptcy of Tony Blair’s Labor party and Michael Howard’s Tories.

In Australia, our media elite is determined to maintain the status quo, ensuring a pale version of democracy occurs every three years. During last year’s Federal Election campaign, the Murdoch press conducted a fairly successfully deception against the Greens. Those with vested corporate interests and close ties to John Howard’s Liberals or the Labor party simply could not allow a third-force to challenge. When our undemocratic political parties accept massive financial contributions from the business community, compromise and corruption is inevitable. The Aussie Greens recently launched this wonderful website, Democracy4Sale, detailing the ways in which our political elites are bought off annually.

But back to Kennedy: “At this election, I will make the case for a Britain that is governed as a progressive, outward looking, environmentally friendly society. I favour multiculturalism and our traditions of tolerance and inclusiveness. I will continue to talk positively about sensible immigration and asylum policies, and I shall keep a wary liberal eye on issues of civil liberty where the executive seeks to undermine hard won rights.” The Liberal Democrats were also fiercely against the Iraq war.

Long-time anti-war and human rights activist, Tariq Ali, recently wrote that “for one day only” he would be a Liberal Democrat, because it was the only major party that had consistently fought the Iraq war and Blair’s attacks on civil liberties.

In most Western democracies, we’re constantly told that it’s a choice between a bloke with ties to big business and another bloke, with ties to even bigger business. The Liberal Democrats prove that there is a third-way.

9 comments ↪
  • Guy

    Despite being an ALP member, I do tend to think that the two-party preferred system is in a lot of ways past its used by date, particularly if you are talking about proportional representation. It will be indeed interesting to observe how the Liberal Democrats progress in the upcoming elections. Suffice to say I could not bring myself to vote for Blair if I was living there and eligible to vote.As for the Australian Greens, I think they need to somehow escape their popular image as an "enviromental" or "protest" party in order to achieve serious inroads into the territory that the ALP and the Liberals now enjoy. I'm not sure how they will do this, or indeed if it is even possible. It will be very hard for them to escape the very strong media image that the mainstream press (and to a certain extent – party members themselves) has foisted on the "Greens" party label.

  • Anonymous

    Antony,encouraged to hear that the Liberal Dems might be number 2, after election. The Torys still have time to use imported dirty tricks, at last moment, with oz expertise. Heard they are test running a bit of gypsy bashing ,for instance. Maybe, Ruppy has slightly less influence over there and a fairer vote might eventuate. Fingers crossed. No hope for Australia. Many don't get, how devastating The Sun-Herald campaign was for The Greens ,just before the election. In Australia, many deny the influence of this regional propaganda sheet. It was a subtle stroke that will make children overboard look like small beer, in terms of influence on our future. Less subtle has been the medias lack of coverage of this critical scam. Media Watch hasn't touched it. The Australian Press Council couldn't get the message out.What hope have we?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    What hope have we? Good question. Finding alternative forms of info dissemination, and not just speaking to our 'own.' The mainstream should be used and abused, as most people still gain from info from it. Just read today in fact that Murdoch's Sun in the UK announced today it still hadn't decided who to support on election day. Probably Blair, I suspect. Still a massively powerful instrument for Rupert.

  • Anonymous

    Reckon you agree that Ruppy/Kerry P, have won the game, as of new financial year. Interesting convergence there. Goodbye senate. In Monopoly, I always imagined that the banks were the best buy.Turns out, that they did not understand, that if you control the say ,you can buy off the bank and……… Thanks, Antony

  • Flute

    I'm not convinced of the Lib-Dems getting traction. They have filled the vacuum in the left after Blair's New Labour marched towards the middle and the Tories are in a woeful state (yippee!). However, the UK does not use preference voting and so unlike the beat up in Wentworth before the last election here, splitting the vote really does happen over there. Disaffected labour voters may switch to either the tories or the Dems, but I can't see that happening in such a way that will not see the tories take seats from labour. If the libs do take the opposition slot ahead of the conservatives, it may be the death knell of traditional labour politics, unless Gordon Brown takes over sharpish. Old school labor politics died in the arse in Australia years ago so it would be a shame to see it disappear in the mother country too.

  • Ambrose

    I am not quite sure that the conservative media necessarily wants the Lib-Lab status quo. They are there to make sure that free market -pro USA capitalism survives, and while the Greens were a cute irrelevancy they did not bother them, but when they they threaten to uspet the apple cart (especially in the Senate) then they did that stitch-up job. What I can say to the Greens is: Welcome to the real world.The Greens often complain (with some justification) that the ALP is too wishy-washy when it comes to alternative progressive politics. However if Labor had the same more progressive policies (especially when it comes to diminish the influence of capital and management) as the Greens you would have had the same treatement dished out to the Greens from the Murdoch media in spades. So they can't really whinge about mis-representation as the ALP has had that sort of treatement many times before.

  • Piginzen

    Antony,Having just returned from three years in the UK, and being an interested but not obsessive follower of UK politics, I am looking forward to the election with interest. The Lib-Dems have proven themselves to be the second party after Lab in several local council elections, however many English commentators have pointed out the inherent conservatism in national politics, with voters tending to stick with the Lab / Tory coin toss (well at least those who could be bothered to vote on a Thursday workday). Many voters appear to be willing to tick the Lib-Dem box in local elections, but may be tentative to do the same when selecting the nation's parliament. An increased voter turnout for the Lib-Dems may well see some changes to Blair's policies if he finds himself battling for the votes not of dyed in the wool Tories, but with straying traditional Lab supporters. Roll on May. By the way, good to see you blogging. I fell across webdiary three years ago yearning for some news "from home" and have been an avid reader since. I hope this site becomes just as successful.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    All very interesting comments (and thanks for the welcome, Piginzen.) Voters are inherently conservative and when fear is used and abused, by the major political parties here, the UK and America, the results speak for themselves. The Lib-Dems are not without problems, but to give the two majors a massive scare would be wonderful. Witness the scare campaign here against the Greens, by the media, ALP and Libs, and yet around 7% still voted for Bob Brown's party.In the UK, I hope Charles Kennedy shows the policies of hope, as he articulated at his campaign launch yesterday. We can only hope.Now we just have to 'reform' the conservative media. May blogging be the beginning…

  • Anonymous

    You're dreaming.Current polls show no sign of the LDs coming in second:Guardian/ICM: Lab 37 Con 34 LD 21 (Lab lead 3%)Times/Populus: Lab 37 Con 35 LD 19 (Lab lead 2%)FT/Mori: Lab 38 Con 33 LD 23 (Lab lead 5%)