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.

Too comfortable to care?

Australia has one of the more tightly controlled media environments in the world. Dissenters are routinely ignored, silenced or shunned. Every now and then a figure appears – such as John Pilger on last night’s ABC Lateline – that reveals the paucity of our debate.

He began:

“You [Australia] have probably one of the most restricted medias in the Western World. Journalists are very close to politicians. Presumably, that’s why the whole question of state terrorism, of Howard making Australia a target for terrorists, has not been debated at all. It’s just been left off the agenda.”

Host Tony Jones wasn’t sure what to make of that and Pilger reminded him that he’d only been invited onto the show to be the token “dissenting voice.” When he was on the program in 2004, the renowned journalist and author rightly argued that any country when attacked had the right to resist. He explained last night:

“Australia had a right to resist the Japanese in the Second World War, Britain had the right to resist the Germans, and the Iraqis have a right to resist the attack on their country. Resistances are often appalling. They do appalling things. Often, as appalling as the attackers, but the truth is in Iraq is that the overwhelming number of people who have been killed, maimed and dispossessed in that country since April 2003 have been done by the so-called coalition, of which Australia is a member. That’s an issue that really is at heart of this. Now, you know, whether I’m prepared to go to jail – I’m always prepared to go to jail for speaking the truth. I think that’s what journalists should do. You know, democracy and freedom of press is entwined in Australia.”

After dismissing Howard’s “anti-terror” laws – unsurprisingly fully supported today by quasi government proxy, Gerard Henderson – Pilger reminded viewers that Britain’s Law Lords maintained greater independence than our High Court and would therefore provide greater scrutiny to Blair’s “draconian” measures.

Finally, he articulated the great unspoken truth when debating terrorism: state terrorism:

“If we’re talking about terrorism, left off the debate, left out of the debate, is state terrorism. The fact that Australia enthusiastically joined a rapacious, illegal attack on a defenceless country in which tens of thousands of people died. That under international law, under the Nuremberg enactment that formed the basis for international law all those years ago, that is an illegal, rapacious and an act, in effect, of terrorism. Why is that not included in the debate on terrorism, because in the end state terrorism absolutely dwarfs the Al Qaeda variety, which is minuscule compared with the kind of bloodshed and suffering and attack that has gone on in Iraq.”

Don’t expect similar debates to occur regularly in “comfortable” Australia.

3 comments ↪
  • Ambrose

    I expect a 'Tony Parkinson' onslought in the Age/SMH any moment now

  • Andjam

    Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot are more likely to go to jail under Victorian jurisdiction than Pilger or some cleric being jailed (as opposed to immigration detention) in federal jurisdiction. I doubt the Australian government will even strip Pilger of his Australian citizenship.Don't expect similar debates to occur regularly in "comfortable" Australia.The debate occurs regularly. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard the phrase "the real terrorists".

  • Andjam

    Britain had the right to resist the GermansI'm glad that he backed our side, but I'm wondering how this is consistent with his other statements: Britain declared war against Germany, not the other way around.