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.

Listen up

“This was not the speech of an independent conservative thinker, like, say, Family First’s Steve Fielding. It was the speech of a party hack from a hick party.”

Sydney Morning Herald’s Mike Seccombe, on Barnaby Joyce’s maiden Parliamentary speech

The speech itself – and how to respond to a man who claims the corrupt Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson as an inspiration? – will resonate little around city Australia. It was parochial, conservative and fearful of progress. But to simply dismiss the speech is a mistake, I believe. Seccombe’s superior attitude is dangerous because it opens the city “elites” to ignoring voices from the bush or rural Australia. Joyce and I are worlds apart but he represents a proportion of Australia that shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.

Remember what happened to Pauline Hanson, who last weekend praised Joyce and hoped he would finish the work she’d started. “It is good to see a man in Parliament who has got some intestinal fortitude and say I’m here to represent all Australians. I congratulate him,” Hanson said.

Seccombe’s contempt for Joyce and his views should be reserved for those in Canberra with real power, not a Queensland National MP. But then, that would actually involve taking a professional risk.

  • Shabadoo

    Really, Ant, I would have thought there would have been a fair bit in there that you would have approved of, especially the anti-corporate-oligopoly, anti-Telstra sale, anti-VSU, and the infrastructure/planning area (i.e., getting people – presumably not yourself – to live elsewhere outside the cities) bits.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Indeed, I do agree with some areas, but I have concerns about some of his more fundamental values. Questioning the lure of the corporate dollar is welcoming, to be sure..

  • leftvegdrunk

    Shab, did you read Joyce's rationale for supporting each of these positions?He seeks to defend farmers and growers (why else would he identify a retailing duopoly as a major problem in Australia?). His defence of student unions stems from the reality of rural and regional campus amenities which are dependent upon student associations/unions to run them and fund them.What, no ideology? Just reality?The response to Joyce will demonstrate exactly how far removed the Howard-Costello nexus is from the Nats. What would happen to Australian conservatism (besides the chattering classes that surround the likes of Tim Blair) if the coalition were to break down?Joyce's views – like Hanson's and those of other "maverick" pollies – show that you don't need to be a Howard-hating-chardonnay-lapping-innner-suburbanite to oppose the long term strategy of the current government.What do you think, Shab?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Just reread the reference to Steve Fielding as an "independent conservative thinker". Tee hee.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Seccombe's piece is lazy journalism at its worst. Fielding is as independent a thinker as Joyce, albeit in a totally different way. In fact, they probably share many values…

  • Shabadoo

    Dirt: Sure, but look where Pauline Hanson and John Howard each are today. Pauline, despite being tagged as a hard-righty, was basically a populist socialist without very well-thought-through ideas. I think (and I'm at work so I only had time to skim the Joyce speech) Joyce may very well turn out about the same. Either way, it's at least interesting to have some sort of debate about ideas and policies coming from somewhere – even though I'm a JWH man as readers of this blog will well know – since Labor is so utterly incapable of mounting a coherent intellectual charge.On the duopoly, I'm not a huge fan of it either as a consumer (have you ever bought an onion from Coles that wasn't rotten?), but because I live in a trendy inner-city electorate I have my choice of alternate providores, and because I'm a foodie I also am willing to pay a premium. But I don't think the heavy hand of government will do anything positive for the consumer. ("You two! You're too successful! Yellow card!") On VSU, if students are so upset about it, well, no one will stop them from paying the dues if they want to, and if the activities are so damn popular, then there should be no problem there. But I don't believe individuals should be forced to subsidize other people's fun, and I suspect most of the manufactured outrage comes from the hard-left campus types who run the unions finally getting some real-world blowback for their silliness.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Thanks, Shabba! Points well made.I am also in an inner-city electorate. Like yourself and Antony, I feel that Joyce's views – like Hanson's a few years back (I even voted for her when I turned 18!) – should be considered and taken seriously, even if they do grate against the party line. We cannot afford to ignore the opinions of those in rural and regional Australia, especially in terms of the telcomms sale. Your view of student unions is in line with Howard's – and I could argue that point strongly from my own experience (associations provide many essential services for studying kids). Howard and Co are obsessed with (as Laura Tingle puts it) "weeding out the pinkos" that emerge from the NUS. Joyce shows that you don't have to be a pinko student to see the value of student bodies.And he should know. Read about his background – he's more of a "battler" and working bloke than many on the front bench at the moment. (Most of em are chardonnay sippers through and through.)The "retail duopoly" is a funny one – ask Tassie farmers about it. We don't necessarily need the "heavy hand of government" as you phrase it. It's just that Howard and the ideologues that support him don't like admitting that problems arise when their policies are allowed to run away on them. Anyway…As for the ALP's intellectual charge, you are preaching to the converted. 😉

  • Shabadoo

    Look, Dirt, Mrs. Shabadoo is not very far removed from the world of higher academia, and I've been on campus to see Student Union/Association shenanigans. While a case could be made that everyone should kick in a few bob to pay for basketballs or rowing shells, she/we objected mightily to the most public forms of SU activities, i.e., hard-left radical propaganidizing. Why should my wife, a Howard voter, pay money for other kids to charter a bus to Canberra to shriek anti-war slogans and feel morally superior with one another?Likewise the services, etc, on campus were all expensive jokes (talk about your monopoly!) and there wasn't even an ATM machine anywhere to be found – apparently the Union wouldn't let one on the property because they didn't want some outsiders making money off fees!

  • leftvegdrunk

    Shab, at the risk of letting the discussion digress…Visit a regional campus (perhaps UNE at Armidale where I study now, and where I believe Mr Joyce studied at one time) and try to apply your generalisations there.Your wife's experience sounds like a shocker – my experience of student associations has been a small rabble of ratbags, yes, but mostly the services were useful: a sports association and inexpensive facilities, affordable tucker, advocacy services, a second hand book shop, study room, provision of study materials not otherwise available, a shuttle bus service (essential on the campus I attended owing to pathetic public transport), an employment service… So no, it's not all about basketballs and propoganda. Why do you feel the need to be patronising? No one is impressed here.

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