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.

Degrees of evil

Cartoonist Michael Leunig – yesterday defending his anti-war stance – has received further grief from Age letter writers:

Leunig’s complaint

Aside from the fact that it was falsely submitted on his behalf, it is hard to understand why Michael Leunig is so distressed that one of his cartoons that was rejected by The Age was so warmly accepted by the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri.

It clearly met the criteria that made him eligible for a prize in Hamshahri’s mock-the-Holocaust contest. Perhaps he should thank the person who submitted it for identifying a new self-evident market for his work.

Ian Farrow, Hampton

Fighting fascism

That Leunig sees himself as a warrior against fascism is a wonderful joke: he opposes fascism by opposing the overthrow of Iraq’s fascist regime and by viciously attacking Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. Go figure.

Leunig has a certain talent for whimsy and drafting cute wee duck thingies; why doesn’t he go back to this and leave fighting fascism to people such as Tony Blair, who can recognise real fascism when they see it.

Bill Anderson, Surrey Hills

It is clearly inappropriate for anybody to draw attention to Israel’s occupation. It is apparently not acceptable to draw parallels between the behaviour of the Nazi regime and the Israeli government. As leading American dissenter Norman G Finkelstein points out when writing about blind supporters of Israel, it is “acceptable and justified – one might even say de rigueur – to compare Palestinians and their leaders to Nazis.” After the recent Hamas victory in Palestine, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu compared it to the rise of Hitler in 1930s Germany.

As for the laughable suggestion that Blair is leading the charge against fascism, perhaps Bill Anderson would care to discover how he misled the British people.

6 comments ↪
  • Progressive_Atheist

    … Benjamin Netanyahu compared it to the rise of Hitler in 1930s Germany.

    Ah yes, the ever familiar reductio ad Hitlerum.

    Three words come to mind: pot, kettle, black.

  • Addamo

    Mr Anderson (apparently still stuck inside the Matrix?) is in dire need of a crash course in social science 101 before throwing around big words like Fascist, which he clearly has no concept of.

    He musy be the only other person in Oz, apart from Howard, who thinks Blair ahs any intention of fighting something he is working so hard to emulate in the UK.

  • smiths

    ya know, because of the terrible mass murder that is associated with fascism, a lot of older people and liberals as well recoil at the use of the word to describe modern states like america,
    but by any definition of the word, america and increasingly britian are fascist
    i said this recently on this board and was ridiculed for not offering proof which is pretty stupid because where do you begin,
    but i will begin with a bit from wikipedia on the page called fascism

    Fascism in many ways seems to have been clearly developed as a reaction against Communism and Marxism, both in a philosophic and political sense…
    america has also defined itself on anti-communism
    It viewed the state as an organic entity in a positive light rather than as an institution
    designed to protect collective and individual rights, or as one that should be held in check.
    whilst talking about reducing size and scope of govt, bush has increased it
    It tended to reject the Marxist notion of social classes…
    as does america in its own mythology
    embracing nationalism and mysticism…
    as does america
    and advancing ideas of strength and power as means of legitimacy, a might makes right that glorified war as an end it itself and determinant of truth and worthiness.
    as does america
    These ideas are in direct opposition to the ideas reason or rationalism characteristic of the Age of Enlightenment, from which liberalism and, later, Marxism would emerge.

    Fascism is also typified by totalitarian attempts to impose state control over all aspects of life: political, social, cultural, and economic.
    as does america
    Fascism uses explicit populist rhetoric; calls for a heroic mass effort to restore past greatness; and demands loyalty to a single leader, often to the point of a cult of personality.
    as does america with their commander in cheif

    Fascism attracted political support from diverse sectors of the population, including big business, farmers and landowners, nationalists, and reactionaries… conservatives and small businessmen, and the poor to whom they promised work and bread.
    as with america, big business, hand in hand with govt, conservatives, small business

    the difference is, everyone learned a lot from the last attempts at totalitarianism,
    so its much more sophisticated now, we help to dumb ourselves down, we disconnect from our support networks, we fight with each other instead of them,
    but worst of all we tell ourselves that we are free, and the media is free, and speech is free

  • Addamo

    You are right Smiths,

    Those right wingers who objects to the Us being described as a fascist state insist that until there are gulags and secrety prisons, where government enemies are shisked away, then the word fascism doesn't apply.

    Liek you said, where do you begin with the explanations?

  • rhross

    Having known Michael Leunig many years ago I would say that his 'horror' at what happened with his cartoon has more to do with his sense of having his privacy invaded. He is a very private man. He is a very introverted person and that sense of privacy, introversion, self-absorption is part of his brilliant talent.

    The cartoon that Gawenda rejected was brilliant. It was also subtle. I have no doubts that Leunig would be prepared to defend the cartoon itself.

    But I can understand how he would be 'upset' to have a stranger make use of his work without consulting him. Anyone who writes or paints or draws cartoons or creates in any way would be.

    And people like Leunig, who want only to live a quiet life for and with his art, would be traumatised by the attention, unsought, which has come his way.

    On the other hand, sometimes Life demands that we take responsibility for what we do and who we are and maybe this is one of those times when Life is demanding it of Leunig.

  • Leo Braun

    Certainly, ignorance is not an excuse for anyone likely to remain oblivious of the fascism precedent, unleashed in 1933. In reflection on the contemporary reoccurrence of the fascism on the global scale. So as we proceed to review an authentic history annals, there is quite notable milestone, worth remembering. That on Feb 27th, 2003, was 70th anniversary of the plotted firebombing German Parliament (Reichstag) by the Dutch pseudo-terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe.

    Reminiscent as a typically contrived act, which catapulted Baron Rothschild's descendant, the infamous Adolf Hitler into top chancellery role and the legitimacy to reshape German constitution. Though 70 years later such anniversary was barely reported in the corporate media. Wasn't noticed in US or Australia, yet demoralised Germans remembered very well such a fateful day of Feb 27th, 1933. As they commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace, and mobilising other citizens across the world.

    In reflection on what started 73 years ago, when German government in a midst of the worldwide economic crisis received reports of the imminent "terrorist" attack. As some foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on the few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored such a relatively meagre efforts. German intelligence services knew however, that the odds were for the "terrorist" eventually to succeed (some were still arguing whether rogue elements within the intelligence service helped).

    Amazingly, warnings of the investigators were totally ignored at the highest levels. In part because the government was "distracted", as a man who claimed to be the nation's Commander in Chief had not been actually elected by the majority vote. So conscientious citizens still claimed he had no right to the powers, he coveted. Though by the time of his successfully brief action to seize Austria (in which almost no German blood was shed), Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation.

    Likewise hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man of the Year". Most remember his Government's Office for the Security of the Homeland, branded as Reichs-sicherheits-hauptam. Along with its Schutz-Staffel what was simply known by its most infamous agency's initials of the SS.

    We also remember that Nazis developed a new form of the highly violent warfare, termed as the "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which while generating devastating civilian losses, produced a highly desirable "shock and awe" amongst world nation's leadership (according to authors of the 1996 book "Shock and Awe", published by the National Defense University Press).

    Hence in reflection on that period, the American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) defined a form of the government, where German democracy through Hitler's close alliance with the largest German corporations in tune with Hitler's policy of using war as a tool to keep the power, materialised as: fas-cism (fbsh'iz'em) n.

    A system of the government that exercises dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through merging of the state and corporate business oligarchs, wrapped in the belligerent nationalism. So with the hijacked world at the crossroads, we face sabotaged industrial relations and contrived unemployment nowadays.

    Meant to destitute dissidents cadre under draconian master-vs-slave norms imposition. As financial and socio-political fraud being replicated worldwide. Useful remember therefore at the moment that the ravages of the previous economic depression hit Germany and US alike.

    Through 1930s however, Hitler's and Roosevelt's regimes, chose a very different courses to bring nations back to the power and prosperity. Germany's response was to use an extreme right government's position to empower corporations and reward the society's richest tribe oligarchs.

    To privatise much of the commons, stifle dissent and strip people of the constitutional rights. All along the outlandish somersault acrobatics performance to create an illusion of the prosperity through continual and ever-expanding appropriation bills emission in lieu of the war on the "terrorism".

    At the time when America passed a minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced the anti-trust laws to diminish the power of oligarch corporations, increased taxes on corporations and wealthiest tribe affiliates. Created Social Security and became an employer of the last resort through the vital programs to build national infrastructure.