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.

Setting the record straight

Since I started writing regularly about the Israel/Palestine conflict – my first major article on the subject appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald in July 2003 – I’ve received mountains of hate mail, abusive phone calls and threatening emails.

“The degree of abuse and outright threats now being directed at anyone – academic, analyst, reporter – who dares to criticise Israel (or dares to tell the truth about the Palestinian uprising) is fast reaching McCarthyite proportions”, wrote Robert Fisk in December 2000. “The attempt to force the media to obey Israel’s rules is now international”. The situation has only worsened since September 11.

After I contributed a major chapter in last year’s best-selling Not Happy, John! – on the Hanan Ashrawi affair – the usual suspects spewed forth with predictable venom. I didn’t expect, though, to be appraised by the Adelaide Institute, the far-right Holocaust revisionists led by Frederick Tobin. I discovered this soon after publication and publicly distanced myself from their rantings. I do so again now, after a number of individuals have lazily connected my writings to raving anti-Semites. It’s a familiar slur and utterly inappropriate. But then, such are the tactics of those who fail to understand that criticism of Israel and Zionism are healthy elements in a democracy. Indeed, no country should be a sacred cow.

During the recent controversy over my forthcoming book on Israel/Palestine – and constant criticisms of Jewish Federal Labor MP Michael Danby – I’ve learnt that a number of individuals have written abusive emails to Danby, some verging on anti-Semitism. Once again, I condemn this in the strongest possible terms.

Let me set the record straight. I am against extremism in all its forms. Neo-Nazis, the far right, the far left, the fundamentalists and the bigoted get no comfort here. I’ve discovered that writing about the Middle East brings its own challenges, not least the vitriol and threats by some Jews, Zionists, pro-American fanatics and Orientalists who see no fault with the colonial outpost in the region known as Israel.

A number of colleagues – including Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein – are occasionally quoted by extremists, yet I know they all disassociate themselves from fundamentalism. Chomsky, for example, is a true libertarian, and defends free speech for all with no exceptions, a brave act in the 21st century.

In his latest book, Beyond Chutzpah, Finkelstein explains the political reality of speaking out on the Israel/Palestine conflict:

“Whenever Israel comes under renewed international pressure to withdraw from occupied territories, its apologists mount yet another meticulously orchestrated media extravaganza alleging the world is awash in anti-Semitism. This shameless exploitation of anti-Semitism delegitimises criticism of Israel, makes Jews rather than Palestinians the victims and puts the onus on the Arab world to rid itself of anti-Semitism rather than on Israel to rid itself of the occupied territories.”

The slurs and vilification will continue – and undoubtedly intensify as my book approaches release in May 2006 – but let nobody accuse me of sympathising with extremists. It’s intellectually dishonest and patently untrue. Hopefully the truth still matters to some people.

50 comments ↪
  • James Waterton

    and constant criticisms of Jewish Federal Labor MP Michael Danby

    It’s nice to see that Michael Danby’s “censorship” has been downgraded to “constant criticisms”.

    Perhaps my own criticism has had some effect.

  • Wombat

    “Occasionally? Really? Neo-nazi, white supremist, and holocaust denial sites devote huge amounts of bandwidth for these demi-extremists. Are you numbering yourself among them?”

    They are also often quoted by peace lovers and those who see war as grossly offensive. Are you such a person Ibrahamav?

  • Human

    Peace to all. Today’s bottom line is – There is not 1 single moral hill that either belligerent in the Bloody Land can stand on. The atrocities committed by both side are appalling.

    If the sides can ever get their crap in one bucket they could make billions off of tourists.

    As to any criticism of Israel, it always garners hate even in America. Until both sides choose leaders that want Peace there will be none. The last man Israel had for Peace, fellow Jews killed him. There are many who live off of the daily carnage. They will resist any attempt at Peace.

    My country is the biggest supplier of weapons and carnage. to the world. There was the biggest anti America-Iraq War
    On Sept. 24th. For my personal report of that day go to http://thelastchancecafe.blogspot.com

    I also want to add that there was a Bio hazard detected that day and many participants have become infected. The Government is denying any infection. As I already firmly believe that the Bush Regime aidded and abetted the 911 attacks, this attack also was most likely from the Government. The Bush Regime is the biggest threat to the world.
    They are quickly losing any clout with the public. All need to pay attention. The village you save could be yours.

    Thank you for your time. I come in Peace, I leave in Peace.

  • Shabadoo

    Aren’t you drawing a bit of a long bow calling Fisk, Chomsky, and Finkelstein your colleagues? These are journos and academics with, despite their nutty opinions, decades of real work under their belt.

    You’re just a kid, an ex-Margonaut turned book reviewer/online opinion monger who still lives with mummy and daddy and somehow managed to con his way into a book contract…

  • NicM

    Antony
    I’m sure there are a number of lurkers who, like me, rarely post but regularly enjoy your reading your reports and views.
    There is no need to set the record straight. Your posts already make abundantly clear that you dont share the opinions of extremists.
    Only those with a distorted view of the world would think so.

  • Ibrahamav

    You will find that if the far far right wing of politics, including holocaust deniers and white supremists, adopt your articles, it must be for a reason.And that reason will certainly not be that your article was an unbiased account of reality.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Nicm,
    Thanks for that. Sometimes it’s important to put things on the record, even for most sensible people my positions are clear as day.

  • Ibrahamav

    "A number of colleagues – including Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein – are occasionally quoted by extremists"Occasionally? Really? Neo-nazi, white supremist, and holocaust denial sites devote huge amounts of bandwidth for these demi-extremists. Are you numbering yourself among them?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Well said, Nicm. I will be subscribing to your methods from here on in. I read Ant’s posts and am able to make up my own mind about them. The abusers and accusers will be ignored from here in.

  • Comical_Ali

    "A number of colleagues – including Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein – are occasionally quoted by extremists, yet I know they all disassociate themselves from fundamentalism. Chomsky, for example, is a true libertarian, and defends free speech for all with no exceptions, a brave act in the 21st century."yes, it was simply too much of a concidience that this "true libertarian" who "distances himself from extremism", wrote a forward to and funded a neo-nazi holocaust denial book. Or shared the stage with Israel Shahak – an antisemite who openly praised the 17th century Chelminiki massacer of Jews and called Jews christ killers — writing a forward to his book (which expressed the same ideas) as well.A book which claimed "both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands….On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God… but on the other he is worshiping Satan…"yes its just all too much of a conciedence — a classic case of innocent scholars who are simply after the "truth", becoming victims of "guilt by association." And how fitting this is, when earlier a Neo-Nazi came on the board to express his sympathy with you and compared you to that other great martyr Israel Shamir — the same guy who pro-palestinian groups like eletronic intifada want to keep their distance from.who knows ant, perhaps if Danby did not "announce his religion" and take your advise, he wouldnt be attacked by antisemites.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I love collecting clueless bile….Speaks volumes.Live at home with my parents? Yeah, in 1995!

  • Brian

    Folks, you shoot the messenger.Enemies of the Jews rejoice when the "Jewish State" commits bad acts.Silence them, not by hounding those who report the bad acts, but by stopping those bad acts altogether.

  • David Heidelberg

    Andrew Bolt is the poster boy for the neo-nazi patriotic youth league.

    I despise bolt, but doubt that this is a title he would cherish.

    When writing about controversial issues, you may attract people claiming to be allies, but actually have a hidden agenda.. The trick is to identify these people and distance yourself from them. As a long time reader and occasional contributor, I’ve seen Anthony do this on a number of occasions.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Brian,Common sense in this debate? It's rare commodity, to be sure. But why look at Israel's actions too closely? We know what we find…

  • Human

    No facts, just personal attacks from ones who by the rhetoric reveal their extremism.

  • Ibrahamav

    "Folks, you shoot the messenger.Enemies of the Jews rejoice when the "Jewish State" commits bad acts."We are shooting the fools who change the name of the normal actions of normal States into 'bad acts' when committed by Jews.The messenger is the enemy.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Once again, thanks for all the support. All much appreciated and advice taken.
    We soldier on…

  • leftvegdrunk

    Sanctimonious twaddle, James? That’s a bit rich. That could be the title of your own blog. But, no, I shan’t be catty. (Sorry, attempt at light-heartedness. Not serious.)

    Anyway, I’m happy for you to call yourself my enemy. That simply reinforces the image of net-based rightists holding a simplistic us-and-them view of the world. Good work.

    The world is against you, James. Only a small circle of virtuous intellectuals can save you from the monolithic “left” that threatens to overwhelm you with its lies and false concerns for the welfare of others. Stand tall, sharpen your wits, and continue the good fight – via lecture theatres and blog threads – for all of those undefined values that you treasure so much.

    And I’ll note that you were happy to sidestep the issue of who the extreme right truly supports. It isn’t Loewenstein, and you know it. Tell us, James. Who really attracts the support of neo-Nazis? Lie if you wish, or better still, avoid the issue. That only strengthens my argument.

    You may construct a sentence with little difficulty, James, and sometimes you show that you know how to use a spell checker, but many of those who are on your “side” do not. If the patriarchs of the rightist blogosphere – or even you – can dedicate entire posts on their blogs to typos made by those they don’t like, then surely I can thrown an incendiary “semi-literate” at the likes of Loewenstein’s regular rightist visitors. You would have to agree with me that some of their efforts are primary school level at best. Or is it catty if someone on the other side says that? Of course, one rule for you…

    And you cannot tell me that commenters here do not bait Antony by throwing obtuse or ridiculous statements his way. Not all rightist commenters are illiterate or ignorant – and I would mark you as an exception to any generalisation I’d be tempted to make in a fit of keyboard anger – but many who visit here show that they are. Surely you can concede that. It is widely acknowledged that some bloggers exist simply to stir shit – they admit it themselves.

    I’ll let your predictable “dodging” and “irrelevant” tags slip by. I am happy with what I said, and don’t really care that you (who know me so well) should disagree. In fact, I’m glad that you do.

    Cheerio.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Comical, I have just had a bit of a read about the Faurisson affair. Thanks for mentioning this – it’s a bit before my time (1979?), and while I had heard some say that Chomsky had anti-Semitic views I had never come across them myself.

    The Faurisson affair, though, seems to have centred more on the matter of freedom of expression, rather than anti-Semitism. Chomsky said on a number of occasions that Robert Faurisson’s views didn’t amount to anti-Semitism, and could be quite easily rebutted anyway. Chomsky stood at Faurrison’s side to defend his right to free speech.

    Essentially, we should remember that condemning censorship should not be read as support for the censored view. And is it not true that Chomsky’s essay was included in the book without permission? Whatever the case, it seems that your charge that Chomsky – as a representative of the “left” you fear so much – “actively endorsed/funded the writings of a Neo-Nazi” is a bit fanciful. It can be shown that Faurisson was not a neo-Nazi, and indeed that Chomsky did not support his views.

    It’s an even more ridiculous suggestion that Loewenstein is a holocaust denier because of this academic furore in the seventies and early eighties. Millions of people read and respect the views of Noam Chomsky. This does not make them anti-Semitic. Your guilt by association argument is a fallacy on all counts.

    Why rehash this tired old crap when it can so easily be found to be untrue? Did you think the anti-Semite accusation was a coup de grace that required no validation?

    Look, it is not compulsory to disagree with everything said on this blog. Your contribution could be much more valuable if only you would let go of some of the pre-fabricated and unfounded (and counterproductive) disdain you hold for the others who read and write here.

  • Darp

    who still lives with mummy and daddy and somehow managed to con his way into a book contract…You're getting Ant confused with me Shabba.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ant, I appreciate that you felt the need to state your case in black and white here. The abuse and accusations of some who visit this site border on the hysterical, nudge close to obsessive, and fall way short of informed.Often while reading a thread or deciding whether to make a comment of my own, I feel the need to type in big letters: I do not hate Jews, I do not support tyranny, I do not hate freedom, I do not hate Bush or Howard.Unless you unequivocally agree with the prevalent rightist view – summed up nicely where you say "Bush is rational. The BBC is a hot-bed of communism. Iraq is a democracy." – then you are smeared with as much shit as a single semi-literate commenter can muster. Collectivist (?), freedom-hater, anti-Semite, terrorist-sympathiser, Howard-hater – all of these and more; what we could call "scare labels" (not unlike the right's favoured "scare quotes").This is the intellectual currency of the right; or, more correctly, the language of its salivating shock troops, the 101st fighting keyboardists. Like good subalterns, it is their (often unwitting) duty to defend the conservative order in any way possible and to harass its opponents through trash talk, intimidation, censorship (banning), long-winded hyperbole, and straight up denial of reality.This clearly demonstrates the political confusion of the reactionary, vocal, internet-connected right. What does it stand for besides its own continuity and a fear of change? Nothing.Just quickly, in reference to comments in this thread, the suggestion that you are sympathetic to or respected by Neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups is completely ridiculous and fallacious. Another unfounded personal attack. The only white supremacists I have seen comment here were abusive.On the contrary, those bloggers within the little Australian rightist circle are often frequented by elements of the far right. While the right may demand that so-called lefties (that is, anyone they disagree with) constantly condemn the actions of extremists, this same requirement does not apply to those who pose as moderates while providing fuel to extremist fires on the right. I trust you know who I am referring to here.In short: Glad you stated your beliefs so clearly here, although I regret that it was necessary. Continue the writing and linking, for many of us who visit regularly find your blog incredibly stimulating and valuable. And please don't respond when the shock troops attempt to bait you. It is these responses which lead to further ridicule (often of the pedantic or "catty" variety), abuse on other blogs, and then more bloody abusive idiots visiting your site. (Is this the RWF method, James?) Ant, you don’t need the hassles.Cheers. DBO.

  • Comical_Ali

    note that I never directly called Lowenstein a “Holocaust denier” or claimed to have any evidence to suggest he was. All I was suggesting was that in the school of thought of which Loweinstein openly associates with – there is more to it than “simple innocent criticism of Israeli government policy.”

    The open endoresements and associations of this
    “intellectual” school of thought and far right Neo-Nazi organisations is all rather telling and proves to be too much of a conciedence. And to say that Jew-hatred is involved in the Chomsky school of thought, rather than “simple innocent criticism of Israel”, is no bold statement as I have pointed out time and time again. And its certainly no conciedence that civil liberterian Lowenstein – ” dont announce your religion” (deny it all he wants) became a favourite poster boy for the Adelaide institute

    Claiming that there “is nothing antisemitic” about denying the existence of gas chambers, Anne Frank’s diary or better still propogating the claim that the “Jews started the war” (and calling all that “extensive historical research”) is a little bit over stepping the mark when it comes to simply “supporting free speech?” Dont you think? Or even funding and promoting that particular work? Or is the meaning of the word “libeterian” taken to all new heights? Aside from “the Jooz started Wolrd War two” – Whats next on the “free speech agenda” – Black people starting the aids epidimic and pushing drugs?

    Its not the first time that I brought up the Chomsky et-al association to Neo-Nazis to counter Antony’s assertion of how great and inncoent a scholar Chomsky is. And in the typical Lowenstein fashion,he ducks and hides. Who knows perhaps this time he might be obliged to pop his head out and not need to appoint a kind hearted spokesman like yourself. Waiting with bated breath.

    In any case, his past silence over my bringing up of Faurisson was very telling.

  • James Waterton

    Oh my god. Congratulations, DBO, you're plumbing new depths of sanctimonious twaddle. Anyway, a quick fisking should cover that – "and fall way short of informed.""single semi-literate commenter can muster."It's never wise to underestimate your enemy. Especially when your enemy's camp controls the agenda."(not unlike the right's favoured "scare quotes")"Which the left never does – nor this site's benighted blogger and his sympathetic contributors? Go buy yourself some perspective, DBO. and straight up denial of reality.Nope, we definitely lost there. You guys have cornered the market in that. This clearly demonstrates the political confusion of the reactionary, vocal, internet-connected right.What does it stand for besides its own continuity and a fear of change? Hardly. You think we don't have an intellectual cause – we're ignorant, huh? The irony is that such a comment is borne out of your own ignorance. You don't know what we stand for, and/or you don't know how to counter us, and therefore you tag us ignorant. Nice dodge, DBO. Look, if it helps you sleep at night, just go on believing that. However, it consigns you to the "irrelevant" dustbin. I trust you know who I am referring to here. Not really. Who are you referring to? And please don't respond when the shock troops attempt to bait you.Oh puhlease, you delicate snowflake. As if he ever did in the first place? Antony's the biggest cut-and-runner I've come across in the blogosphere. Antony knows full well that most of the things he gets pulled up for on this blog he can't defend. So he makes the perfectly logical decision not to engage. There have been plenty of times when Loewenstein has legitimately been challenged as to statements he's made on here – and there has clearly been a case to answer. If you reckon that's just baiting, then you aren't too bright because you're unable to comprehend an intellectual challenge. Or perhaps you're in denial. Or you're being deliberately misleading to create a notion of victimhood. Which is it, DBO? (Is this the RWF method, James?) The what?And last but not least, Antony – We soldier on…Into which oblivion – ineffectuality, irrelevance, leftist reactionary muddleheadedness, all of the above…?

  • Comical_Ali

    "Who really attracts the support of neo-Nazis?"I'll be a sure as hell waiting for you to point out how white superamicst neo-nazi organisations — praise, reference and provide links to the works and writings of people that stand on the opposite side of the fence from you. In addition to instances where these people (or person) even wrote a forward to + activley endorsed/funded the writings of a Neo-Nazi. Much like they only "too innocently" and "too conciedently" praise, quote, reference and link chomsky, finkelstein and your mate Lowenstein. The pen of that "true liberterian" Chomsky, (who distances himself from extremism among other things)…must have accidently and quite innocently slipped when he wrote that introduction to Robert Faurrison's book which denied the gas chambers.The accussations of self-hatred and bigotry that goes beyond simple criticism of Israeli government policy are levelled at the likes of Chomsky et-al for good reason. I adaquetly explained some of the reasons in my first reply to this thread and note that it went unchallanged. Even Ant, who makes an argument and then ducks and hides, knows that its too hard a task to deny the obvious. Esp when he himself occassionally lets slip his own disdain for his own people –thats right Mr. "I did not experience antisemitism in the Ukraine because I did not announce my religion". thats criticism of Israeli government policy at its very best.Man if only my father (who grew up in the most antisemitic part of Ukraine) took your advise. He only "announced" his religion in the physical sense — out of a town of thousands of blue eyed, fair haired Ukrainians, he kinda stood out with a brown afro hair and a shylock nose. Who knows, perhaps if he had plastic surgey they would have just left him alone. Now, thats something to write about Ant.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Comical, with regard to neo-Nazis, did you follow the Drew Fraser saga? Will you now attempt to show how he is a lefty, as is Loewenstein and anyone else you can think of?As for your "unchallenged" argument above about Faurrison and Chomsky, I haven't read this book, so I will look into it.Your father's situation in Ukraine does indeed sound like something worth writing about. I would be interested to read it should you put pen to paper. I am critical of Israel's actions in Palestine, but in no way does this mean I condone (or refuse to acknowledge) atrocities of the past, whoever was responsible.If Loewenstein is indeed a holocaust denier then I will certainly rethink my support for his position. This will not diminish my support for Palestinian rights. Or for human rights in any other part of the world, either against theocratic, military, or any other regime.Is there common ground here, Comical? Or do you wish only to stoush?

  • leftvegdrunk

    How long would you like this to go on for, Waterton? Surely you have books to read or something…

    I have defended Loewenstein against (indirect, uninformed, and mischievous) accusations of ant-Semitism and holocaust denial. I have urged him not to respond to such abuse.

    I have suggested that those who imply ties between the far right and Loewenstein’s ideas are incorrect. I have challenged them to identify the true sustainers of racist thought. After all, the only white supremacists and racists found on this site are abusive. And no, asking you who the neo-Nazis really admire was not an accusation against you. I am certain that you are anything but a racist. Nor am I suggesting that you feed those currents of ideas with your blogging. My original post was addressed to Ant, not yourself, and was referring to his intellectual opponents in general, not just the long-winded ones. 😉

    As for the intellectual cause which the right defends, I am anything but ignorant. Perhaps we can discuss this sometime when it is more relevant. For now, we will have to accept that we each consider the other – while in many ways worthy of respect – unfortunately (but not irrevocably) misguided. Just as you would ridicule those who tend toward (what you consider to be) the left, my perspective is that those who seek comfort on the mid-to-far right are politically confused. And no wonder, when one analyses the social forces at work.

    Ignoring the issues in this post? Hardly. The comment which first raised your hackles addressed the post directly – see the first three paragraphs. Since then, I have engaged comical_ali on the issue of Holocaust denial. Speaking of cheap literary devices, that commenter attempted to smear Loewenstein by (a) airing an old and disproven claim that Chomsky is a Holocaust denier, (b) linking Loewenstein to Chomsky because of his support for Chomsky’s ideas on Palestine, and (c) implying that Loewenstein (for this and other unspecified reasons) is therefore a Holocaust denier.

    If your primary concern is that Loewenstein has a tendency to avoid serious intellectual debate then you will have my agreement wherever that occurs. I haven’t been reading this blog (or any others for that matter) long enough to know the full story, so I can only speak from my experience. So far, I have seen nothing that would convince me of your view, and have indeed seen far more egregious examples of intellectual evasion on other (less liberal) blogs.

    I must close (I have wasted too much time here this morning, and should be working!) by saying that your tone (as you are likely aware) is quite patronising. I understand that this is a popular device in the blogosphere, whatever the political slant of the author. But it does you no favours. Indeed, your use of clichés (irrelevance, sanctimonious twaddle, strawman, snip!, etc) makes you seem more of a parrot than I am sure you would like to. This is honest and friendly advice only. Otherwise your arguments are, for the most part, compelling. (And I would be wary of letting these habits become too entrenched lest they slip unnoticed into your academic writings.)

    Let’s stoush again. Since you no longer find me a worthy adversary, I’ll try to lift my game! Perhaps we’ll both learn something along the way. Maybe. (Dissect this line by line if you can be bothered. I’m attempting a rapprochement in the interests of constructive engagement in the future. See what you reckon.)

  • Glenn Condell

    ‘Antony’s the biggest cut-and-runner I’ve come across in the blogosphere’

    Really? You don’t get out much. There’s a bloke who runs Australia’s most patronised blog (it patronises back, big time) who never dips so much as a toe into the fetid waters of his comments box and even has a hatchet faced harridan to patrol the gates, keeping out anyone who asks a pointed question. Blair is like his mentor Glen Reynolds in this; they don’t even bother pretending to engage. Antony’s rather endearing need to respond to all comers is anathema to elitists like them. And wannabe elitists like you.

    Like many tadpoles in the empire’s tributaries, ‘engagement’ or rather relentlessness, is your schtick. You ‘fisk’ extensively but without illumination on the particular issues and utterly without a general organising set of values, other than buttressing the rightwing-approved agenda.

    ‘Indeed, your use of clichés (irrelevance, sanctimonious twaddle, strawman, snip!, etc) makes you seem more of a parrot than I am sure you would like to.’

    Spot on DBO.

    ‘ I once thought you might be an interesting adversary. I now know you to be another hysterical idiot.’

    This is you to a tee. I thought I’d encountered your particular whiny tone before and I was right. In your previous incarnation as dariuskan, under which dispensation you prissily defended Douglas Wood’s honour against my calling him an arsehole, you displayed this same self-aggrandising tendency, allied to the high-school prefect abuse – ‘I now know you to be another hysterical idiot’.

    You’re the hysterical one James. It strikes me you’ve not had much sex lately. Get yourself a good seeing to, and try to relax. Not too much mind, you might turn into a lefty or something.

    The other tactic might be to wait around a few years for some maturity to arrive. It might bypass you altogether of course, there are lots of precedents, but there are measures you can take to expedite the process. I’m happy to assist for a small fee.

    Just trying to help.

  • James Waterton

    As for Glenn Condell’s post, he has once again proven that his grasp on reality is weak at best, and seems to be continuously slackening as he is exhibiting a steadily decreasing level of comprehension.

    Antony’s rather endearing need to respond to all comers

    Is there another Antony you’re talking about? Because the Antony on this blog rarely responds, and when he does he attempts ridicule (poorly) rather than rebuttal. All up, the performance is usually over in three lines or less.

    You ‘fisk’ extensively but without illumination on the particular issues and utterly without a general organising set of values, other than buttressing the rightwing-approved agenda.

    Hrm. You declare that you have never read my blog, which would be the easiest and best place to discover the breadth of my discourse. You couldn’t possibly know about my level of ‘illumination’. So you wouldn’t have the first clue about the range of opinions I possess, and this ignorance makes the above quote an ad hominem remark – a common tactic of a debater who is struggling. Make out that the opponent is of diminished stature, without knowledge or stupid. It’s rarely effective and usually is a sign that the game’s up, however it may let the unfortunate debater escape with some pride intact if s/he’s the self-delusional type. That’s one possibility. Another is that you are arrogant enough to believe that anyone who doesn’t agree with your point of view lacks illumination and merely toes the party line. It’s one or the other, Glenn. Neither alternative marks you out as much of a thinker.

    Come to think of it, I’ve never seen you present a compelling argument on anything of substance. Yet, look at the ridiculously and laughably overambitious description on your blog – “wolfbane for wingnuts”. And you have the cheek to call me self-aggrandising!! You idiot.

    who never dips so much as a toe into the fetid waters of his comments box

    Many (I’d even say most) bloggers – left and right – don’t spend much time in comments when they get to Blairite levels of traffic and beyond. And Glenn, the difference between Tim Blair and Antony Loewenstein is that if TB starts something, he finishes it – usually in the body of his blog, rather than in comments. Antony’s method is to say something which is rebutted and then to come back with “ooook then” and then something like “good luck with your delusions.” (end debate).

    and even has a hatchet faced harridan to patrol the gates, keeping out anyone who asks a pointed question.

    The ranty ones are booted, and so are the trolls. Tim Blair doesn’t maintain his comments forum in the way I would, but then, it’s his blog and his choice. Incidentally, the “pointed question[s]” you mention are usually of such a ridiculous or cliched nature (though they’d probably resonate with you), that the poser of the question is usually drummed out followed by a howl of laughter. This might be offensive to an individual with a thin skin, but Blair’s is a rough and tumble blog. Deal with it or don’t go there, but for god’s sake man, stop whining about it.

    It strikes me you’ve not had much sex lately.

    Oh, I see someone’s been to the “Nabakov School of Comebacks”. Soon you’ll be advising me to have a few beers, go to the pub etc. Although Glenn, someone who serves in your position of employment should realise that plagiarism is an academic crime. Regardless, it’s a cheap shot that merely serves to highlight that you’re foundering, and I’ll ignore it.

    you prissily defended Douglas Wood’s honour against my calling him an arsehole

    Yep, you made a dick of yourself then (or, more accurately, Doug Wood made a dick out of you) and you’re doing it again.

    It’s nice to see you agree with DBO when he says

    Indeed, your use of clichés [snip! – no, erm, snap, um…stop? I’d hate to sound cliched]

    Glenn, hypocrite is not a strong enough word for you. How does “prissily”, “self-aggrandising”, “get some maturity”, “go get laid”, “right wing-approved agenda” etc. feature in your book of cliches? Well, if I was using them I’m sure they’d be top of the pile. Self-perception isn’t your strong point, huh?

    You’re the hysterical one James.

    And just because you say that, it must be true.

    Glenn, I’ve got two words for you – go home.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Comical, I have had a look at your “lost [sic] posting on the Faurisson affair”. It is a bit disjointed. Can you please dumb it down for me – highlighting the section I have not addressed – so that I can give you the satisfaction of a reply?

    I don’t wish to patronise you – maybe I’m just tired – but your writing is unclear. I’m sure there is a point in there, I just can’t see it right now. Thanks.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Waterton, I agree with you on Glenn’s cliches. I’ve found that their use is common in the blogging game, on all sides of the debate.

    Glenn, pull your turn-of-phrase socks up.

    Martin Amis, anyone?

  • James Waterton

    That could be the title of your own blog. Ouch. In fact, there's not a great deal you'll find on my blog that could be tagged "sanctimonious". That's if you're using the conventional definition. Anyway, I’m happy for you to call yourself my enemy. You're not my enemy. I used what's called a figure of speech. Do you take everything so literally? If you must know, I think you are most likely an intelligent, well-meaning person. I also think you're misguided. The world is against you, James. Only a small circle of virtuous intellectuals can save you from the monolithic "left" [snip!]Thank you for proving my point on the misguidedness issue. Tell us, James. Who really attracts the support of neo-Nazis?Oh my god. You really are beaten if you are trying to tar me with that brush. Pathetic, DBO. I once thought you might be an interesting adversary. I now know you to be another hysterical idiot. And I'll note that you were happy to sidestep the issue of who the extreme right truly supports. Sorry, what issue? I don't really understand which "issue" I've "sidestepped" here. You're not conducting a Glenn Condell strawman parry, are you? In the words of someone I'm apparently supposed to worship and admire, please explain.If the patriarchs of the rightist blogosphere – or even you – can dedicate entire posts on their blogs to typos Who and what are you talking about? The sad fact is that the so-called "patriarchs" of the rightist blogosphere have consistently made strong cases against the knee-jerk, reactionary squawking on blogs like Loewenstein's. Cases that the owners of these blogs find it very difficult to answer. That's why you and others like to claim that all these aforementioned "patriarchs" do is quibble over spelling and grammar. You don't want to deal with the dangerous stuff these "patriarchs" bring to light, so you trivialise their efforts to try to neutralise the threat. Fine. However, don't think for one second that someone like myself won't realise precisely what you're doing.And you cannot tell me that commenters here do not bait Antony by throwing obtuse or ridiculous statements his way.Some do, sure. Antony should be smart enough to realise who he should ignore and who he should engage. I have, on plenty of occasions, offered a counterpoint to something Antony's said, or challenged the hypothesis he's presented. And so have a great deal of other commenters – ignoring those who just come to insult. Fact is, Antony isn't willing to engage. When there's a case for him to answer, and yet he won't justify his position – sure, that marks him out as a lightweight.I'll let your predictable "dodging" and "irrelevant" tags slip by.Well, considering those "tags" were in a sentence that was concerned with something you totally failed to tackle, well…perhaps I shouldn't be surprised.and sometimes you show that you know how to use a spell checkerAnd some things come naturally to some people. I'm flattered that you think I use a spell-checker to vet everything I write. Thanks! The sad fact, DBO, is that you've failed to address the core concerns in the post you responded to. You've just scribbled a bunch of cheap rhetorical devices. Congrats.

  • Comical_Ali

    "I have challenged them to identify the true sustainers of racist thought."Thats been adaquetly done — the challange now is for you to counter the points raised rather than recycling old arguments and beating round the bush."Since then, I have engaged comical_ali on the issue of Holocaust denial. Speaking of cheap literary devices, that commenter attempted to smear Loewenstein by (a) airing an old and disproven claim that Chomsky is a Holocaust denier, (b) linking Loewenstein to Chomsky because of his support for Chomsky's ideas on Palestine, and (c) implying that Loewenstein (for this and other unspecified reasons) is therefore a Holocaust denier."DBO, the real challange would be if you actually attempted to read and answer my last post "smearing Lowenstein" and my response to you over your last minute research of the Faurrison affair. Or better still if Lowenstein came out and spoke for himself (im sure he doesnt need a self appointed defence lawyer). His silence is rather telling. And your chosing to completley ignore my reply to you and recycle your old argument, kinda speaks for itself.

  • Comical_Ali

    poor antony trying very hard to salvage any credibility (if there ever was any) he had left. He even appoints a full time defence lawyer and spokesman. But out of nowhere comes Hurricane "the jooz were behind 9/11" Condell.My favourite old time classic of course was of that British neo-nazi — who came on earlier and sympathised with Ant and the unfairness of "guilt by association" and then compared him to Israel ("the jews are a bunch of christ killers") Shamir. That sort of nailed his coffin.

  • leftvegdrunk

    comical_ali, I take these comments to mean that you are not interested in finding common ground or engaging in constructive discussion. No problem. You can follow up with another snide (and unreferenced) remark if you wish. Then tell all your mates how you won. Good on ya.I'll be happy to discuss things with you again if you can let go of the anger and attempt to engage without venom.PS Self-appointed defence lawyer? Far from it. If there are a dozen or so abusive commenters here, then why can't I step up to defend Loewenstein against the more ridiculous claims? Loewenstein has replied often enough, and has stated his position in plain terms. You seem to want to drag this argument out for as long as possible. Don't you have something better to do?

  • Comical_Ali

    "Far from it. If there are a dozen or so abusive commenters here, then why can't I step up to defend Loewenstein against the more ridiculous claims?"you are more than welcome to — still awaiting your reply to my lost posting on the Faurisson affair.still awaiting a reply from Ant.or else just "cut and run."And I'm sorry, if you call being confronted with hard facts — "abuse." if thats "abuse," then cant help it. soz.

  • leftvegdrunk

    A sound response, Waterton. Let’s stoush again at some point. And I’ll drop by your blog at some point, to save cluttering Ant’s threads with my santimonious twaddle.

    (Perhaps the Economics Focus piece in this week’s Economist would be an interesting topic for discussion.)

  • James Waterton

    DBO – yes, there are plenty of things I could and should be doing. This was going to be short but I got carried away. Oh well.Truth is, DBO, I don't see myself as a right-winger. I'm mainly classical liberal in outlook. I'm certainly not left – the liberal school of political thought and left wing philosophy are 100% mutually exclusive in practice, albeit not entirely in theory – though mostly. And there is a place for me in the breadth of right wing philosophy. However, I observe many of those on the right displaying a depressing number of similar characteristics to those on the left – systemisers, collectivists, statists – those who employ organised coercion against others to force social change. Therefore I'm hesitant to clothe myself in the right-wing garb, lest I'm associated with such people. I have suggested that those who imply ties between the far right and Loewenstein's ideas are incorrect etc.Now I never said that Antony numbered anti-semites or holocaust-deniers as his allies, which you noted. Although I will, as a general observation, remark that the left in its current schizophrenic, reflexive and highly contrarian incarnation, has many strange bedfellows – desired or otherwise. Let me pose a scenario to you, but first let me point out that Tim Blair has never supported, and has frequently contradicted, the philosophy of organisations like the Australian National Front (or whatever it's called). But if they came out and supported something Tim had said, can you honestly say that the left wing coterie of bloggers wouldn't raise a chuckle? That's pretty much exactly what happened to Antony. Sure, it was amusing when the fascists came out in support of him. And well worth a gloating blog post or two, if you're of a mind. Some people went too far and tried to suggest that the two parties were in cahoots. Idiocy is not confined to right or less, it's true. My point is, DBO, if the shoe was on the other foot the left would be shrieking with laughter, and there would be a number of left-wing idiots speculating about, or openly declaring, a relationship between blogger and extremist organisation.Ignoring the issues of this post?Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I didn't mean Antony's post, I meant my own post in the thread that you countered. But that is by the by.As for the intellectual cause which the right defends, I am anything but ignorant.I look forward to confirming this at some point in the future. I can honestly say I understand the left's position because I once was a convinced leftist (and guess what, Glenn, I get a lot more sex these days!) who hoovered up a lot of the relevant literature and philosophy from a position of acceptance, as opposed to extreme cynicism. If the flipside is your experience too, then I will happily concede the fact that you're indeed coming from a sound position of knowledge of thy enemy – don't take that literally! I am saying this because I have encountered a great many leftists who claim that they have read the works of Friedman, Hayek, von Mises, Popper et al. and then declared them absolute rubbish. Fact is that it wouldn't matter how lucidly and convincingly these great theorists and philosophers argued their cases, said leftists are 99 times out of 100 approaching them with a hyper-critical, closed-minded point of view. They've decided that the texts are wrong and fundamentally flawed before they've even opened the cover. But they've got to read them so they can claim they've comprehended the other guys' arguments fully. I'm not trying to say this is definitely you, however the vast majority of leftists who claim to be well-read or well-versed in "right wing" philosophy are like that, in my experience. Thus I've become cynical. Apologies if I'm being unfair to you, and if you prove me wrong I'll happily stand corrected.your tone (as you are likely aware) is quite patronising.I should point out that your tone throughout that whole paragraph was (as you are apparently not aware) quite patronising – or perhaps condescending is a more accurate description; perhaps there's more chance you were deploying that deliberately. Irrespective of that, it's not something that bothers me particularly.Since you no longer find me a worthy adversaryThis was perhaps borne out of a misunderstanding on my part – I thought you were implying that I was one of those who the "neo-nazis really support". If, in fact, that's precisely what you were doing then you wouldn't be a worthy adversary. I am prepared to accept that I misunderstood you.Anyway, rapproachment is fine by me. I look forward to future engagements.

  • Comical_Ali

    "Can you please dumb it down for me – highlighting the section I have not addressed – so that I can give you the satisfaction of a reply?…maybe I'm just tired – but your writing is unclear. I'm sure there is a point in there, I just can't see it right now. Thanks." I give up. forgot that I was addressing the mentally challanged

  • James Waterton

    Cat got your tongue, Glenn?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Comical, I was being serious, mate. I thought that I had responded to your point about the Faurisson affair but you said that I hadn't. So I reread the comment you referred me to but I found it incoherent – that is, I don't know what your bloody point is.Ignore me if you want. All I am asking is that you reiterate your point so that I can reply – just as I did when you brought up Faurisson. Your call.

  • James Waterton

    DBO! What are you doing here? Get back to work!

  • Comical_Ali

    perhaps another speaker of the english language – james – could help ya.

  • leftvegdrunk

    That answers my question, Comical. I suppose it's hard to tell me what you're talking about when you don't even know what you're talking about.

  • Glenn Condell

    Feel the love on this thread! Hands across the water… uh oh, another cliche. Worthy adversaries find common ground… I dips me lid. (Jesus, another one! Is there a cream you can get for cliche?)

  • leftvegdrunk

    Sorry, Glenn. Shall revert to pointless bickering on the next thread. Promise.

  • James Waterton

    Glenn, nice to see you're keeping up. How's the wolfbane coming along, mate?

  • Glenn Condell

    DBOit's gotta be better than this drivel. You are surely getting the idea by now that 'engaging' with this lot is a mirage. Once you've exhausted your fund of patience and goodwill, you too might enjoy having a crack at them; they certainly aren't shy in that dept. I don't mind a spell in the gutter with them occasionally… you do get dirty but you get a better view of the stars than you do from the drawing room.Jamesstill pecking away like a bull ant. I guess molehills look like mountains from your perspective.Tick tock, as a great man once said.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Glenn, I hear ya mate. Although rather than having a crack, I reckon I'll read Ant's posts – that's what I visit for, after all – and just ignore the background noise. If I want that kind of shit, there's 2UE.Besides, my remarks about being time poor are no joke. I have no time or energy to waste on numbskullery. Cheers!

  • James Waterton

    Glenn – You're such a card. Get off your high horse. We both know you only stop "engaging" when you've been routed (see above). Face it, Gleen. You won't learn any lessons swimming in that ocean of self-delusion. Let me be clear on this point – you getting all preachy about how there's no point engaging with the numbskulls is fooling no one – least of all me.

  • Glenn Condell

    If there is a pill that reduces the symptoms of excessive self-regard James, you should take them. I've just had a scan thru Ant's comment threads and your petulance is one of the more prominent features. You really do think you've slam dunked everyone, or rather, every adversary, 'worthy' or not, that you've encountered here, don't you? You are an annoying child. Maybe I came it a bit high with the no sex gibe before, but I'm wondering now whether perhaps a lack of goalkicking skills in sport at school might explain the pathological need you seem to have to declare your victory over each hapless interlocutor unlucky enough to encounter you online. And I say 'declare' advisedly, because despite your triumphal rhetoric, you have so far been unable to demonstrate your obvious superiority to anyone but yourself. Although one of the anonymouse Likudniks said it would be a shame for you to go as he enjoyed your retorts.That must make you feel good. I don't necessarily judge a man, or a boy, by the company he keeps, but still.