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.

Opposition? What’s that?

In a real democracy – or a false two-party state like Australia – opposition parties can be expected to challenge government legislation or spin.

When Prime Minister John Howard announced today that he had received information about a specific terrorist threat in the country, opposition parties and media outlets should be laughing the man out of town. A terrorist threat may indeed exist in Australia but the timing of such an announcement – when the government wants to push through draconian anti-terror laws – smacks of political opportunism. “This is not a political issue”, Howard said today, a grin sitting just behind his smug face.

In Australia, Opposition leader Kim Beazley represents the kind of alternative government likely to please the Howard government. Historian Clinton Fernandes analysed Beazley in February this year and found a man in love with the US alliance, military hardware and “foreign affairs pragmatism”:

“In his first press conference as Labor leader on January 28, Beazley emphasised that Australian troops in Iraq would stay for as long as Australian diplomats were in Iraq – that is, indefinitely. He also called for Iran to comply with US demands. In other words, Labor’s new leader is once again attempting to knock the members into policy subservience. Whether they obey is another matter.”

Australian democracy is in meltdown.

5 comments ↪
  • Rich Bowden

    Bomber's performance this week – at a time when Australians are looking for an effective Opposition to safeguard our civil rights – has been disgraceful.But then we shouldn't be surprised. Why he allows himself to be outscored by Howard ever time the political heat is stoked up (remember the Tampa) is beyond me.I think the old criticism of Bomber's "lack of ticker" has been proven once again in this sad week for human rights!

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Yes, yes, Beazley is a spineless waste of space (except to the Liberals). That is now a given in Australian politics.The more surprising thing to me is that Howard would try-on the "Last Minute Immanent Threat" trick AGAIN after the Tampa "threat" was so thoroughly revealed to be an out-and-out lie by the government.This would seem to be a case of the boy who cried wolf paradox: he's probably lying, but dare we not believe him just in case?The paradox is only apparent however when one looks carefully at what his very carefully chosen words. From the press conference:"the Government has received specific intelligence and police information this week which gives cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat"The word "serious" is a redundant word that can be thrown in for emotional effect, so we can forget that. (A genuine terrorist threat is always cause for serious concern – never, say, mild concern.)The important words are (a) "concern" and (b) "potential". (a) A concern is a worry, a suspicion about something – certainly not knowledge, and not even belief about something.(b) As to potential threats, there are ALWAYS potential threats/dangers associated with all sorts of things. (Just like there are potential dangers associated with going shopping.) And there is almost always specific information about such potential threats. (Just like the specific information in the offing about the sharp edges on the stairs at the shops.) But these are not the ones governments ordinarily worry about. They worry about ACTUAL threats. Is there any hint at all from Howard or Ruddock that there is any ACTUAL threat? That there is any REAL danger? Nope. Not a peep.So what did Howard really say at the press conference? Let's express it in the negative: He has specific information that provides no actual knowledge of any actual threat to Australia in any way.No wonder the official Threat Level has not been raised.

  • Shabadoo

    Guys:Can I give you a little advice from the other side? You guys are just going to keep getting played as long as you keep whining that Howard keeps gaming you. Sure, of course that terror warning he made was horsesh*t, and I support the man. But going and bitching about how he's a liar and can't be trusted and why-oh-why-doesn't-anyone-see puts you in the exact same position as the Republicans were in the US under Clinton – shrieking again about media bias and lies and why-doesn't-everyone-SEE-dammit!?You know why the Libs are dynamic and keep rolling you? It's not just because JWH is a skillful pollie. He is. But where are the ideas coming from? The only real policy debates in Australia right now are intra-party within the Libs, rather than between the parties (witness, say Turnbull v. Costello on tax cuts). Stop complaining about the other guy and start showing voters what you would do differently. Float policy trial baloons every week. Some will work, some will be laughed out of town. Encourage debate within the party, don't make everyone go lock-step with the left. And stop acting like middle class voters who care about their family and their prosperity are crass scum. It might just work.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Shab, why can't you see beyond two party politics?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    "But where are the ideas coming from?"The nineteenth century.I agree with you however, that the ALP will never have a chance of winning office unless it takes this opportunity to put its thinking cap on and come up with some actual policies all of its own.