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 state has lost its mind

John Pilger writes in the New Statesman of the failures of mainstream media during the recent British election campaign.

“Omission is how it works. Between 1 and 15 April, the Media Tenor Institute analysed the content of television evening news. Foreign politics, including Iraq, accounted for less than 2 per cent. Search the post-election comments of the most important people in journalism for anything about the greatest political scandal in memory – the unprovoked bloodbath in Iraq – and you will find nothing. The Goldsmith affair was an aberration, forced on to the election agenda not by a journalist but by an insider; and no connection was then made with the suffering and grief in Iraq.”

Pilger’s point, well argued, is that establishment journalists are wary of asking the tough questions to political figures or opinion makers. Too risky, too uncomfortable, too likely people like Blair may never come on their program again (though, with a media tart like Blair, a threat is likely all he’ll issue.)

Pilger’s suggestion that Blair’s likely successor, Gordon Brown, is “the same ideologue” reminds one of Australia, and the tussle between John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello. You’d be more likely to spot the difference blindfolded.

And then the greatest taboo of all, imperialism, cloaked in the language of humanitarianism:

“”We should be proud . . . of the empire,” Gordon Brown said last September. “The days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over,” he told the Daily Mail. These views touch the nostalgic heart of the British establishment, which, under Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, has recovered from its long disorientation after Hitler gave all imperial plunderers a bad name. This and the appeasement of British imperialists is rarely mentioned in the endless anniversaries of the Second World War, whose triumphalism in politics and popular culture has bred imperial wars, such as Iraq.”

We are badly served in Australia. Murdoch’s Australian, obsessed with the culture wars and defending the glories of capitalism and conquest, today reminds readers of the folly of questioning the world order dictated by Bush, Blair and Howard. It’s as if to even suggest that policies dictated by the First World are negatively affecting the developing world – not least of which is the wholesome privatisation of Iraqi infrastructure, painfully related by Naomi Klein – is to admit defeat. When the Murdoch press is programmed to repeat official propaganda, it doesn’t just look pathetic, but insular. And once again, they attack the dissenters:

“…Writers, such as Tariq Ali and John Pilger, [who] dress up al-Qa’ida and its ilk as freedom fighters [as] a means of denying that capitalism and the right of all people to chose their rulers have triumphed on the battlefield of ideas.”

Neither Ali nor Pilger have expressed support for al-Qa’ida or its supporters, but why let facts get in the way of a hearty ideological rant? If the Murdoch minions emerged from their cosy editorial office and stopped attending black-tie cocktail parties in the centres of power with the “charming” Condoleezza Rice, they’d realise that much of the world does indeed resent America and its neo-liberal agenda, not least the countries whose democracies have been subverted by the world’s only superpower.

America has a long history of playing the democracy card in the Middle East but in countries such as Syria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan and Egypt, American definitions of freedom ring hollow. And let’s not forget the economic policies implemented by US-led financial institutions such as the World Bank. Pushing water privatisation is often one of the plans insisted upon, despite the fact that this natural resource is frequently priced out of the reach of average citizens. Aid Watch explains the contempt for democracy such activity breeds:

“Privatising advantages those who can pay – it forces people to choose between necessities such as water or health care, education or food.”

“Democratic and community involvement in water management decisions is essential. World Bank agreements, however, are considered to be “intellectual property” and therefore the public has no access to the terms or details of Bank projects that affect their lives. The IMF and the World Bank are not appropriate institutions to be making decisions about water management as they are not democratic, accountable or transparent institutions.”

If the Australian thinks that uncontrolled capitalism is the answer to the world’s problems, perhaps they should spend some time away from their official tour group and speak to real people.

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