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.

Where’s the scepticism?

Murdoch’s Australian published an article last weekend titled “A climate of confusion“:

“Perhaps the greatest challenge facing government and industry in response to climate change is how to develop policy and strategy now in response to a scientific debate that is still uncertain and evolving.

“Climate change, like any other major scientific debate over the centuries, is neither polite nor exact. It involves the development of countless theories and counter-theories and their repeated validation and repudiation until eventually we bring ourselves closer to a better understanding of the problem.

“The media and other commentators trust scientists. We tend to presume a new finding report is correct or true, as part of some noble and apolitical synod guiding society inexorably towards science’s irrefutable truth.

“But scientific debate is more like a rolling maul than a mass. A connected series of often heated arguments raging up and down the hallways of universities and research institutions as it lurches erratically but eventually, not so much towards truth but away from falsehood.”

The piece was written by a “special correspondent”, “employed by a resources lobby.” The publishing of such an article raises important ethical questions. Why – as argued by PR Watch – “an opinion column was not on the opinion pages, but in a section normally reserved for features by real journalists, went unexplained. Nor was it explained why a newspaper printed an entire article by an anonymous contributor, when it won’t print anonymous letters to the editor.”

It is virtually inconceivable that the paper would publish an article by an environmental activist without attribution. Simply put, the Murdoch press are enviro-sceptics. This is their legitimate right, but larger questions remain.

Medialens recently examined the contradiction between the mainstream media debating the effects of global warming and climate change and the kind of advertising they receive. For example, if we accept that car manufacturers are partly responsible for creating environmental problems, should responsible companies accept their advertising? Green Euro MP, Caroline Lucas, accurately told Medialens the reality:

“The mainstream corporate media all too often shares the same vested interests as the governments and businesses whose activities make up the content of its coverage…The public cannot rely on the corporate media to provide an honest and impartial view of corporate responsibility for crimes against humanity and the environment.”

3 comments ↪
  • jeffreg

    I am a Zionist because I am a Jew – and without recognizing a national component in Judaism I cannot explain its unique character, a world religion bound to one homeland, a people whose Holy Days are defined by the Israeli agricultural calendar, rooted in theological concepts, and linked with historic events. I am a Zionist because I know my history – and after being exiled from their homeland 1931 years ago, the defenseless, wandering Jews endured repeated persecutions from both Christians and Muslims – centuries before culminating in the Holocaust. I am a Zionist because Jews never forgot their ties to their homeland, their love for Jerusalem, and often established autonomous governing structures in Babylonia, in Europe, in North Africa, governments in exile yearning to return home. I am a Zionist because those ideological ties nourished and were nurtured by the plucky minority of Jews who remained in the land of Israel, sustaining continued Jewish settlement throughout the exile. I am a Zionist because in modern times, the promise of Emancipation and Enlightenment was a double-edged sword, often only offering acceptance for Jews in Europe after they assimilated, yet never fully respecting them if they did assimilate. I am a Zionist because in establishing the sovereign state of Israel in 1948, the Jews were merely reconstituting in modern Western terms a relationship with a land they had been attached to for 4,000 years since Abraham – just as India did in establishing a modern state out of an ancient civilization. I am a Zionist because in building that state, the Jews were returning to history, embracing normalcy, a condition which gave them power, with all its benefits, responsibilities, and dilemmas. I am a Zionist because I celebrate the existence of Israel, and like any thoughtful patriot, though I might criticize particular governmental policies I may dislike – I do not delegitimize the state itself. I am a Zionist because I live in the real world of nation-states, and I see that Zionism is no more or less "racist" than any other nationalism, be it American, Canadian, or Czech, all of which rely on some internal cohesion, some sense of solidarity among some historic grouping of individuals, and not others, some tribalism. I am a Zionist because here in multicultural North America we have learned that pride in one's heritage as a Jew, an Italian, a Greek, can provide essential and time-tested anchors in a world overdosing on materialism, consumerism, and a sensationalism of the here-and-now. I am a Zionist because in our world of post-modern identities, I know that we don't have to be "either-ors", we can be can "ands and buts" — a Zionist AND an American patriot; a secular and somewhat assimilated Jew BUT a Zionist. I am a Zionist because I am a democrat, and for the last two centuries, the history of democracy has been intertwined with the history of nationalism, while for the last century democracy has been a central Zionist ideal, despite being tested under the most severe conditions. I am a Zionist because I am an idealist, and just as a century ago, the notion of a strong, independent, viable, sovereign Jewish state was an impossible dream – yet absolutely worth fighting for – so, too, today, the notion of a strong, independent, viable, sovereign Jewish state living in true peace and harmony with its neighbors appears to be an impossible dream – yet absolutely worth striving for. I am a Zionist because I am a romantic, and the vision of the Jews rebuilding their homeland, reclaiming the desert, renewing themselves, was one of the greatest stories of the twentieth century, just as the vision of the Jews maintaining their homeland, reconciling with the Arab world, renewing themselves, and serving as a light to others, a model nation state, could be one of the greatest stories of the twenty-first century.

  • Shabadoo

    Ditto, as they say!Back to the topic, how exactly is this unethical? It was clearly marked and identified, so it's not like it was being put through under false pretenses. It's interesting to watch you play out your various pathologies towards Fairfax and News Corp, which emanate from different sources but end up in the same place.Columnists/opinion pieces regularly appear in various places in a newspaper – I missed the weekend edition of the Oz so I don't know what section it was in, or how it looked on the page – but really, this is far better than, say, the NY Times, which tags front-page opinion pieces by supposedly non-biased journos as "News Analysis".

  • Progressive Atheist

    The threat of global warming is real. Our children and our children's children are going to suffer because of the ecological crimes we have committed to sustain our middle-class lifestyles. The greatest crime has been committed by the oil companies, who have sought out, and locked up, patents pertaining to alternative energy solutions, especially solar. We must think of the future, and find ways of minimizing our impact on the environment, by embracing every improvement in energy conservation that comes along. If we don't, I hate to think of the future we have created for ourselves.