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.

New headwear required

One British university seems to have a problem with religious dress and street wear:

“Imperial College London has issued a ban on its staff and students wearing hijabs or hoodies in its buildings as part of an effort to improve campus security.”

The decision was taken in the name of security, you understand, and a desire to not allow students to obscure their faces.

It seems, however, that the university’s accountant may step in sooner rather than later:

“Students also pointed out that the move could be bad for sales of the university-branded hooded tops from union shops.”

16 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the hijab has no place in a university. Bravo! (Even if they had to hide it behind a hoodie ban).And before you start screaming 'racist', Ataturk thought the same thing.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Just clueless…

  • Shabadoo

    Ataturk was clueless?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ataturk lived in a rather different world.

  • Shabadoo

    Ataturk recognized that Islam was a barrier to modernity and equality, then as now.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    "A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the TURBAN has no place in a university. Bravo!""A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the KIPPAH has no place in a university. Bravo!""A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the BERET has no place in a university. Bravo!""A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the BASEBALL CAP has no place in a university. Bravo!"Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that a LAW which COMPELS a woman to wear a hijab is "repressive". And conversely, a LAW which COMPELS a woman NOT to wear one is "repressive". Choosing to wear a piece of cloth on one's head in itself could hardly be described as repressive.Incidentally, I can imagine some Orwellian distopia where it would be useful for "security" reasons to ban a veil which covered one's face (prevents face recognition software in its tracks), but I can't see how banning the hijab (which doesn't necessarily cover the face at all) would help "security" matters one jot.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "Ataturk recognized that Islam was a barrier to modernity and equality, then as now."Atatuk is only an "authority" in your book because he agrees with you – i.e., Atatuk is just a rhetorical mouthpiece for your own views. Why not be more economical (and honest) and say: "In my opinion,…."?Incidentally, that lovely gentleman Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, banned the hijab too. As a result, most women of that time chose to stay never go out in public because they felt like they were "naked" without their hijabs. Ironically, in this case, the banning of the hijab was MORE repressive to women than not banning it! (Of course, NOW with the younger generation of Iranian women, the opposite is true.)

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Edward, don't confuse the issue with facts and nuance. Please, I beg you. Islam must be slammed, over and over again. It's politically correct in some circles, you see.

  • Wombat

    Yes Edward.As always, your opinions are very eloquently and elegantly pieced together.I do agree that there is just as much repression in the act of imposing blanket laws that give no choice to the individual.

  • David Heidelberg

    In what is being termed, Islamic Feminismmany Egyptian women are making the choice to put back on their Hijabs. These highly educated and successful women, sick of being told not to wear the hijab by their (Americanised) government, feel that not only does the hijab express their spirituality, but also their femininity.

  • Shabadoo

    Ah, but the kippah/beret/prole-cap wearer does not have a duty of dawa to try and put everyone else in a kippah/beret/prole-cap (to use Paul Fussell's wonderful term in his wonderful romp through American society, Class).That's the big difference, al-Eddy.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "Ah, but the kippah/beret/prole-cap wearer does not have a duty of dawa to try and put everyone else in a kippah/beret/prole-cap"I don't understand the point you're trying to make. Assuming you're referring to da'wah,* what does that have to do with banning the hijab?____________* Da'wah means "invitation" [to Islam]. That can (and does) take many forms. For example, explaining an Islamic idea to a curious interlocutor (be they Muslim or not) is to perform da'wah. If a Muslim seeks to learn about Christianity or Judaism, that can be to perform da'wah too. One of the least common forms of da'wah is "evangelising". When was the last time a couple of Muslims knocked on your door and wanted to talk to you about g~d? Performing da'wah is not obligatory for Muslims, but it is regarded as being a good thing as long as it doesn't annoy anyone. (N.B. Some Muslims will no doubt disagree with this, simply because, as in every religion, almost everything is debatable.)

  • Woodge

    Bravo Edward, AL and company. The issue, which with respect Shabadoo, is choice. Telling a grown woman what she can and can't wear in the 21st Century is ludicrious! Especially in an educational institution – conceptually that would be classed as discrimination.

  • Shabadoo

    Right…because it's perfectly fine if she's being made to by her husband/brother/father, or because she's superstitious that allah is going to torment her forever if she lets a man see her hair. Yeah, that's great for an educational institution.

  • Wombat

    Shab,Perhaps you should take a gander at the article Al posted fromm the SMH that mentions soaring domestic violence in our utopian democracy. In the mean time, perhaps you should drop the charade about giving a damn about women in countries you were happy to see being bombed back to the stone age.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "Right…because it's perfectly fine if she's being made to by her husband/brother/father,"…err, your original "argument" (so to speak) in support of the ban was weak. This one is not even that. Although you don't frame it well, your new argument here seems to be this: Banning the hijab for all women at tertiary institutions is desirable because some women might be compelled to wear it by their relatives. So, by banning the hijab at uni, some of these women may be "liberated" (at least while they're at uni). But wouldn't women who are being compelled to wear the hijab, and don't want to, simply remove it voluntarily while they were at uni? In that case, what would be the point of the ban, except to restrict those women who do want to wear the hijab because they enjoy it?"or because she's superstitious that allah is going to torment her forever if she lets a man see her hair." Universities do have an important role is disabusing people of superstitions – but they do this via the transmission of ideas, arguments and by free and open debate, not by forcible removal of the outer expressions of superstitions. Forcible removal of such outer expressions doesn't disabuse people of their superstitions – it only makes them feel like they're being persecuted. "Yeah, that's great for an educational institution."It's neither here nor there with respect to an educational institution. Maybe you should try out an educational institution sometime. You might be surprised at how nice it is to be able openly express your own ideas and to wear whatever you like. It's quite liberating!