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.

Saving us from defeat

Paul Gray is a columnist with Melbourne’s Herald Sun, a Murdoch publication. He appears irregularly in the Australian railing against “bias” at the ABC. Today he has another go. Read the whole piece but cherish this part especially:

“At Christmas, they [my family] all sat down to watch the Spicks and Specks yuletide special, A Very Specky Christmas. Despite my often caustic anti-ABC comments, I was impressed that the ABC could create a show attracting a genuine family audience.

“Then when Spicks and Specks host Adam Hills worked in a gag involving a gay kiss – he walked across the set and gave Brokeback Mountain style mouth-to-mouth to fellow program regular Hamish Blake – I looked around the living room at the embarrassed looks on my children’s faces and said: ‘You bloody idiot.’

“I wasn’t referring to the kids, of course, or to Hills. I was angry with myself for believing, even for a few minutes, that the ABC could broadcast a straightforward lifestyle program without inserting some form of ideological offensiveness into it.”

Let me get this straight. It’s “ideological offensiveness” to show two men kissing. The problem is compounded on Christmas Day, because, as Gray argues, he really doesn’t want to see anything other than good, old hetero fun. But wait there’s more:

“In the 21st century, Marxism is dead, but there is still that spiritual void to be filled. I contend that traditional Christianity and its legacy are as much reviled by the Australian Left as ever, with the new value systems of environmentalism and minority rights, rather than Marxism, being seized upon to fill their place.

“Frequent viewing of the ABC reinforces this contention. Whether in news and current affairs or in lifestyle shows, signs of propagandistic opposition to the influence of the Christian West abound.”

Anything related to the “Australian Left” is sure to raise the blood pressure of the Murdoch cultural warriors. Gray fails to understand, however, that the ABC – despite its many faults, of which I’ve written extensively – is enjoyed and supported by the vast majority of Australians. If he doesn’t like seeing gay people, maybe it’s because he’s a homophobe. And if he thinks the “Left” is missing Marxism and is now obsessed with simply bashing Christians – actually “environmentalism and minority rights” – he really needs to leave his little Murdoch-protected cocoon.

Never forget, the “Left” is always to blame for, er, pretty much everything. The inability of certain commentators to argue without using this word shows a paucity of imagination. But then, it must be terribly jolly playing the straight-man to a room full of corporate hacks.

12 comments ↪
  • orang

    who the fuck would eat whale – its disgusting

  • Shabadoo

    When of course it's not the left htat's to blame for everything, but rather John Howard, George W. Bush, "the secretive neoconservative cabal", Karl Rove, "greedy" voters, and of course the Jews…er, Zionists.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Yes, Shab, or the antisemites and greens. Take your pick. Whose blame game is bigger..?

  • Shabadoo

    Don't even get me started on the Greens…just today at lunch I asked for some whale nigiri down at the Sushi Train, and one of the bastards rammed right into me!

  • leftvegdrunk

    Oh, Shab. I didn't see that coming! Pure hilarity.

  • James Waterton

    I wouldn't mind trying whale.Also, I suspect that most Australians are not regular consumers of ABC output.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I can't find the figures right now, but the vast majority of Aussies consume ABC radio, TV or its website.

  • James Waterton

    Yep – frequency is the point, Ant. I strongly doubt that regular (daily) ABC consumers constitute anywhere near a majority, let alone a vast majority.

  • Shabadoo

    Furthermore, plenty of Aussies consume ABC that is non-news/political…I keep the ABC Classical station on in my office most of the day, but except for the hourly news updates, it's not consumer affairs oriented – the same, for example, for everyone who plonks their kids down in front of Playschool.

  • neoleftychick

    Homophobe! Racist! Sexist! Islamophobe! Yada, yada. Haven't you Big Girl's Blouses got any SUBSTANCE? All these lame 1970s name-calling is just so anti-intellectual, it's tragic!

  • Wombat

    Yes Neo,You've set the bar at dizzying heights. We are not worthy.

  • pandaobscura

    Gay kissing on television? My God! Soon these "homosexuals" will be selling our children drugs and raping our women.I for one will not stand for these pinko bastards to overrun the airwaves with programs funded by MY tax dollars.A disgrace, a disgrace!!