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.

Confused priorities

Federal Labor MP Michael Danby is clearly a very busy man. If he’s not defending the Zionist cause, slamming opponents or forgetting that he’s actually an Australian politician, he’s working feverishly on goodies for his lucky electorate. It seems, however, that attention to detail isn’t his strength. Today’s Australian reports (no link available):

“Michael Danby, federal member for Melbourne Ports, had a brainwave of sorts three years ago; he sent his constituents fridge-magnet calendars, highlighting public and religious holidays as well as school terms. Trouble was, he listed April 24 as Anzac Day. This year he got Anzac Day correct, but the good news ends there. He apparently still doesn’t know what day of the week it is. Danby shaded in the NSW school holidays – of little use to local Victorians who include Simon Crean and Greg Combet. Labour Day is shaded in as being on March 20 – it’s the 13th. He has listed most of the Christian and Jewish holidays, but only one Greek, and not a mention of any Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim significant dates. Oh yes, and there were a couple of misplaced suburbs in the map of the electorate. But the sin to end all sins was Danby’s omission to register the biggest religious/public holiday of all – the Melbourne Cup on November 7.”

Memo to Danby: spend less time on fighting the Zionist cause and more energy on actually providing useful information for your electorate.

12 comments ↪
  • James Waterton

    "slamming opponents". Much better.

  • Melanie

    Well I've his fridge magnet calendar right in front of me and it has Anzac Day as the 25th. It also has cup day on Tues. 7th Nov. etc.Furthermore I can't see where you linked from so I'll assume the nonsense is coming from Antony.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    "slamming opponents" … I think "urging publishers to make sure certain views he dislikes never make it into print" would be more accurate, but it doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well.

  • OshKosh

    You would hope that the electorate was educated enough to know those dates.

  • James Waterton

    Even if it did, Edward, what's your point?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    James Waterton said… "Even if it did, Edward, what's your point?"It would have made for a more accurate statement.BTW, do you think urging a publisher to make sure certain views one dislikes never make it into print constitutes an attempt to limit freedom of speech on a topic?

  • James Waterton

    No – not if the person has no power to enforce his opinion. You could argue that Danby does – however if he did exercise the power of his office in such a way, it would constitute an abuse of that power vested in him by his electorate. And of course there is no evidence that this is what he did. He publicly called for MUP not to publish the book (as is his right) and MUP ignored him (as is their right). So what's your problem?My point right from the start is that Danby didn't censor Loewenstein. Nor was he quashing dissent. He was exercising his right to voice his opinion. Calling it anything other than that is resorting to hysterics.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    James Waterton said… "No – not if the person has no power to enforce his opinion."So, for example, if a homeless guy calls for a book to never see the light of day, that's NOT an ATTEMPT to limit the freedom of speech because the homeless guy believes he has no influence over the matter.And similarly, like the homeless guy, if a federal politician, calls for a book to never see the light of day, that's NOT an ATTEMPT to limit the freedom of speech if the federal politician believes he has no influence over the matter.There does seem to be a question arising from this however. Why would a federal politician make such a public statement, calling on a publisher to stop publication IF he thought it would have absolutely no influence over the matter? Surely if he thought he had no influence he might say it to friends over coffee, etc., but wouldn't make the statement in such a public manner. Indeed, given that he must have known there would be something of a political cost due to the inevitable media blacklash over the statement, as a rational being, he must surely have believed there was a better-than-chance probability that it would have some influence (viz. his preference would be realised). That, it seems, is the most plausible case: that the federal politician DID believe his call would have some influence over publication and thus did, by your definition, attempt to limit the freedom of speech. I thought it was obvious that the fact that it was an unsuccessful attempt is neither here nor there, but maybe not:"My point right from the start is that Danby didn't censor Loewenstein. Nor was he quashing dissent. He was exercising his right to voice his opinion."Well of course he didn't censor A.L. because his call to action was dismissed. He didn't crush dissent because the publisher refused to do as he asked. And yes, he was exercising his right to call for mature adults to be allowed to see what an author had written.

  • James Waterton

    It's not an attempt to limit free speech whoever makes such a call. Requesting a publisher not publish a book is exercising one's freedom of speech, and it's not removing those of another. If Danby made a case to MUP regarding why they shouldn't publish, and MUP reviews their decision based on the merits of the case and decides not to publish, then that isn't censorship – that's a standard commercial decision. Antony has a number of options available to him to get his views heard. He doesn't have a right to be published. Just because one does not get a book published does not mean their freedom of speech is curtailed. Look, I'm absolutely certain that Danby realised MUP would ignore his demands. I imagine that Danby went public with his demand because he was a) responding to his constituents b) playing up to his constituents c) acting on his own personal beliefsAnyway, this is a tedious, tangential path you've dragged us down. The seminal point I was making was that Danby did not attempt to censor, nor did he quash dissent etc. However, Antony has claimed that he's done both. I merely commented that "slamming opponents" was a more accurate description.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    James Waterton said… "Requesting a publisher not publish a book is exercising one's freedom of speech, and it's not removing those of another."Of course Danby is exercising HIS free speech … to call for SOMEONE ELSE'S free speech to be eliminated. The fact that Danby is USING free speech to attempt to eliminate someone else's freedom of speech does not somehow mean that the attempt DIDN'T OCCUR! It's a pretty basic principle of classical (Millian) liberalism that one's rights extend only up to the boundaries of someone else's rights. If it is reasonable to expect that the exercise of a right will extinguish another's right (in this case the very same right), then on classical liberal principles that is an illegitimate extention. It seems to me that a plausible case can be made for holding that Danvy did reasonably believe the exercise of his right to free speech would extinguish the right of A.L. to his."I'm absolutely certain that Danby realised MUP would ignore his demands. I imagine that Danby went public with his demand because he was…."This is obviously the source of disagreement. I don't think he was doing this MERELY 'for show' in order to garner support from his electorate. If that were the case he could have simply sent out a letters to his constituents expressing his dislike of A.L. and his views, or perhaps expressed the same via the local newspaper. That's what politicans normally do when addressing a specific target constituency. Danby did NOT do this. He addressed the publisher explicitly and made a direct appeal to not publish. Thus, the reason you have supplied for being "absoluely certain" is less plausible than the alternative.

  • James Waterton

    Even if the publisher listened to Danby (or anyone else who made such a demand) and decided not to publish the book, that STILL does not constitute an extinguishment of free speech! Neither Antony nor anyone else has an inalienable right to have a book published by a third party! And there is no reason why a company cannot go back on its initial decision to support an author – there may be consequences due to contractual arrangements, granted – but a publisher is under no obligation to publish a book. This is so incredibly obvious it's scary."That's what politicans normally do when addressing a specific target constituency."One size does not fit all. You have absolutely no basis to make such a claim. If anything, constituents like their representatives to be proactive. Especially over an issue like this.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    James Waterton said… "Even if the publisher listened to Danby (or anyone else who made such a demand) and decided not to publish the book, that STILL does not constitute an extinguishment of free speech! Neither Antony nor anyone else has an inalienable right to have a book published by a third party!"Nice try to shift to the publisher. We're talking about the actions and intentions of DANBY here. He attempted to ensure that someone else's views didn't see the light of day because he didn't like them. Because that it is the situation, bring in hypotheticals about autonomous decisions of the publisher is irrelevant."constituents like their representatives to be proactive." And another ferfy – this time about the role of political representatives: Representatives have an obligation to protect the interests of their constituents – but as noted in Liberalism 101 above – they does not extend to curtailing the basic rights (such as speech) of others.What is scary is how apparent defenders of free speech can abandon the principle so easily when the speech is about something they disapprove of.