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 decline

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald continues its slide into irrelevance. The lead page one story is about how new Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce – it should noted, a protege of recently deceased corrupt Queensland despot, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen – is threatening to cross the Senate floor over draconian government legislation, including industrial relations changes and the full sale of Telstra.

The paper offers this sub-headline: “Howard praises Joyce as good bloke.”

Sorry? Let me get this straight. The Prime Minister offers irrelevant Australian lingo about Joyce and the “quality broadsheet” reports this as a major, page one story. Of course, its editorial is little better and although acknowledging some issues with the government’s proposals, it argues Joyce should know his place.

The current wrangling of the Senate is largely irrelevant. The mainstream media seem to think that because one individual is making a large noise, it’s the biggest yarn of the month.

Crikey’s Christian Kerr got it right yesterday: “Something has changed in the Howard Government – and just saying “Barnaby Joyce, Barnaby Joyce, Barnaby Joyce” grossly oversimplifies matters.” The media, as ever, takes the lead from the Howard government and refuses to actually see the growing numbers of disaffected Liberals. But it’s much easier to highlight Howard’s “fears” over his “reform agenda” – as the SMH says today – than actually discover the undercurrent of anti-Howard sentiment in its own ranks.

UPDATE: Let me make a reasoned guess that one of the main reasons this article is leading smh.com.au today – a feature about the David Jones spring/summer collection – is because David Jones is a major advertiser in the SMH. It’s hardly news, after all.

6 comments ↪
  • Glenn Condell

    It has been instructive to see the govt panic over Joyce. Howard has wheeled out his thugs, Heffernan and Tuckey, to slap him into line, but it has backfired. The sight of that big galoot Heffernan shirtfronting Joyce is not a good image for the govt, nor is Tuckey doing his block at doorstops. They should both be antiques in some museum of Political Jobbery by now. Jackie Kelly made a goose of herself too; particularly to any country voters who might have caught her selfishness on TV. Howard himself made a grave miscalculation spelling out Joyce’s obligation to place party room above consituency.

    Joyce has played them all off a break so far. He seems in comparison a reasonable human being. I don’t care where he’s from on the political spectrum – anyone who wants to keep Telstra in public hands, label food correctly and stop VSU has got me interested. He’s doing what politicians should do – represent their constituents best interests.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The sight of Heffernan – already a thug after trashing Justice Kirby for no reason – was hilarious, in a twisted kind of way. As you say, what kind of democracy is merely supporting a party when your constituents don’t agree? Joyce could be alright, too early to tell, though I suspect he won’t be the only one causing Howard troubles….

  • weezil

    Whenever anyone mentions Heffo, I get this mental image of him yelling “whoop, whoop” and bailing down a flight of stairs to get away from the press corps.

    You sure can’t say Parliament in Australia isn’t good value for your entertainment dollar.

  • leftvegdrunk

    I agree, Glenn.And when I heard the remarks and guffaws on the radio this morning I found myself thinking – who are these blokes that they reckon these schoolboy games are part of running a democracy?Seriously, if people carried on like this within the company I work for they would get the arse in no time – not by the boss, but simply by virtue of no one tolerating their shit.

  • Armagnac Esq.

    Both Age and Herald are surprisingly poor quality, seeing as though they are held out as the serious papers.I have a dream…. and it involves someone, somehow, starting another national paper. High quality but in tabloid form so we can read it anywhere. Takers?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Mmmm, not sure if a new quality tabloid is the answer…Though, i know there are moves to introducc something like this in the UK and vague plans for here. Crikey's new owner Eric Beecher is involved. It's a long way off, though…But hey, we certainly need a strong alternative to Murdoch and Packer, and Fairfax ain't it. Besides, the upcoming cross media laws will give all the media barons what they want. Ie. More.