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.

Time to resign

The NSW Liberal Opposition Leader, John Brogden, has been caught sprouting a racist obscenity. Again. During an “alcohol fuelled night” – according to the Sydney Morning Herald that placed the story across its front page – Brogden pinched a journalist’s behind and called former NSW Premier Bob Carr’s wife, Helena, a “mail-order bride”. On July 29, soon after Carr’s resignation, Brogden says he was “very happy with the change and events in NSW.”

Brogden should resign immediately.

This is not the first time Brodgen has displayed racist tendencies. In 2004, during the Orange Grove controversy, he said this in relation to Frank Lowy: “Bob Carr is a Judas to the people of Western Sydney. He has taken his 30 pieces of silver from Westfield and they get a good deal.”

The Australian Jewish News rightly condemned the comments as alluding to anti-Jewish stereotypes.

It is amazing, however, that Brogden comes under heavy fire – deservedly, to be sure – and yet any number of Federal Liberal MPs rave on about “Australian values” and banning Muslims headscarves and it’s considered an acceptable part of civilised debate.

UPDATE: Good riddance, John.

9 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    Turkey for the longest time banned Muslim headscarves; what do you think about the Kemalist/secular Turk attitude towards the issue? And do you think Muslim wymyn should be allowed to wear face coverings/headcloths in, say, drivers' license photos and such? Given your hostility towards overt displays of Christian and Jewish expression, why should Islam get a complete pass?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I believe all religions should be able to display their beliefs, clothing etc, without issue. That includes Jews, Christians, Muslms etc. For me, France is not a model in this case. Of course, your dislike – and ignorance – of Islam makes you uncomfortable with any Muslims being here at all. Sorry you.

  • Shabadoo

    Mate, I said nothing about France — I was talking about TURKEY. When the modern Turkish Republic was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, one of the first things he did was legislate secularism, equality of women, etc, and part of that involved banning headscarves. And that was one of the best moves he could have made — the Middle East could use more Ataturks right now. This was a place with a 95-99 per cent Islamic population whose leader banned the veil, and I wanted to engage you on this topic.In fact I am not ignorant of Islam, and am very well-versed in its tenets, its cultures, etc., and have spent tons of time in the Mid-East, so don't go assuming I sit in a dark room somewhere channeling Daniel Pipes. But it's only my acquaintance with the faith, its history, etc, which gives me my jaundiced view…and its a view held by many Middle Easterners/technical Muslims as well, privately.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Shab, can you explain exactly why banning headscarves was "one of the best moves he [Attaturk] could have made"?

  • joe2

    Have heard that a young lib, with a bit of a history, was the man behind the blab! Blogdens behaviour ,reprehensible, but was this the inevitable shift further to the right, by so called liberals, in extremist N.S.W.? Dont know much of that states politics,obviously,but was it a further flushing of any small l liberals who RESIGN when they fuck up? What do you reckon Antony

  • Rich Bowden

    PM reported the leaker as Alex Hawke, the neo-con in training himself…As for religious attire, doesn't freedom of religion mean the right to wear the headscarf or any form of clothing if one wishes?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Yep, Alex Hawke it is.He's long thought Brogden is a bleeding heart (God help us!).Read this for some background: <a href="http://antonyloewenstein.blogspot.com/2005/05/liberal-future.htmlhttp://antonyloewenstein.blogspot.com/2005/05/lib… />Hawke and some of his friends are connected to the far-right Christian movement and have essentially taken over the NSW Young Liberals.

  • Rich Bowden

    Thanks for the link Antony….interesting (and quite scary) stuff when you consider that the likes of Hawke, Clarke et al could be our future political masters. The Monthly also ran an interesting article a couple of issues back on the Young Liberals conference in Wrest Point, Tasmania.

  • Andjam

    The Australian Jewish News rightly condemned the comments as alluding to anti-Jewish stereotypes.As would Margo's comments here?Why the Coalition hates Barnaby on Telstra, a reminder of their Judas day in 1998The Judas National Party SenatorsMargo a Jew-hater? But I thought one of her best friends was you-ish.