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.

User beware

Wikipedia has become an essential source of information for millions of online users. A little too informative for some:

“The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the ‘world’s largest encyclopedia,’ The Sun has learned.

“The Meehan alterations on Wikipedia.com represent just two of more than 1,000 changes made by congressional staffers at the U.S. House of Representatives in the past six month. Wikipedia is a global reference that relies on its Internet users to add credible information to entries on millions of topics.

“Matt Vogel, Meehan’s chief of staff, said he authorized an intern in July to replace existing Wikipedia content with a staff-written biography of the lawmaker.

“The change deleted a reference to Meehan’s campaign promise to surrender his seat after serving eight years, a pledge Meehan later eschewed. It also deleted a reference to the size of Meehan’s campaign account, the largest of any House member at $4.8 million, according to the latest data available from the Federal Election Commission.”

The nature of Wikipedia allows anyone to enter, change or add information. This story simply proves that the service is far from a totally reliable source.

11 comments ↪
  • Stev

    Being a big fan of Wikipedia, I find this truly terrifying. I'm not sure how Wiki can address this problem and still hold Wikipedia as an open source encyclopaedia. I think perhaps the only way is to make all users free to add information, but the removal or modification of information needs to be authorised.It's tricky, because doing that would require editors to monitor content, which takes away part of the open source nature of the project, but they really need to address the obvious current potential for abuse of the system.

  • Progressive Atheist

    Generally I have found Wikipedia to be an excellent source of reliable information on many topics. My biggest gripe is with their treatment of the origins of Christianity. Many scholars have become frustrated with Wikipedia's deletion of criticisms of Christianity, especially those that question that Jesus ever existed. There are also a few cases of people having been smeared by Wikipedia, and being unable to correct the record. Wikipedia is a mixed bag.There are several groups that have set up their own wiki-based mini-encyclopedias in opposition to Wikipedia.com.

  • weezil

    Brownie, I guess it's a matter of context. I have no particular opposition to display of a flag, but should it be a fashion accessory? If it is employed a garment, what message is one sending?Mind, I'm not one to hold flags sacrosanct. Mark Twain once said "Sacred cows make the best hamburger." I grew up in the USA, being a kidkid in the Vietnam War era 1960s & 70s. Having a US flag sewn in to one's patched and tatty blue jeans was very much a valid political protest, indicative of the tatty state of the nation when embroiled in an unnecessary and invalid war. Burning a flag is a relatively harmless but strong political message, too. Where I come from, they call it freedom of speech.However, it you're pissed as a newt and wrapped in the Aussie flag, just what is it you're telling the world?

  • Stev

    I think I speak for everyone here when I say 'Huh?'.

  • James Waterton

    Wow, Ant, big story there. Wikipedia may not be reliable because of its very nature. International scoop!

  • orang

    Well, back to Wikipedia… I have been suspicious of some of the content. Take a hot topic of say Israel/Palestine, one would expect some partisan entries and editing. How is this dealt with?

  • JohD

    Quite simple, if you have a lot of money, and a lot of time, you can sit there for months and re-instate anything you want re-instated, and delete anything you want to delete. If you go to wikipedia for information about Palestine, it is potluck whether you will find a pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli bias. Mostly it is pro-Israeli bias, as they have a large Jewish issues project team, and about two full-time Palestinian editors, who have to sleep sometimes.

  • James Waterton

    Orang : have you used Wikipedia much? Why not go to that very entry and have a look at the way they deal with it? And see how much bias you can pick.

  • orang

    james,yes i do, I have and I've picked a fair bit, but I'm "biased" so I wondered about anyone else's opinion-to see if it's just me.

  • orang

    JohD said… "Quite simple, if you have a lot of money, and a lot of time, you can sit there for months…."That's how I imagined it. Judging by the reactions to Spielberg and his flick, and even to our poor old Ant. I can't imagine anything too critical remaining on an ever more frequently used on-line encyclopedia for too long.Sort of on the same topic, we've now got Hamas trying to explain to the world that they're the forces of "good", lined up against Israel, Congress, EU, etc… Those boys have to get some spokespeople for chrissake! A couple of good looking women would be nice and some cultured middle European sounding accents like the Israelis do. No more "Balestinian Beeble" for Palestinian People. What is this, they have no concept of spin?

  • Stev

    I'm not sure which particular articles you guys are looking at – obviously an open source information hub is going to have at least some biased information.What is important though, in my opinion, is that any such article is disclaimed by a warning that 'the neutrality of this article is disputed' – together with, most often, a link to discussions about why the neutrality is disputed.In the context of open source entries, this is all that can really be done.