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.

The worm turns

During the recent Cronulla riots, a former detective by the name of Tim Priest became the darling of the anti-Muslim rabble. So-called Middle-Eastern crime – explained here in Quadrant – “will have an impact on society unlike anything we have ever seen.” Priest was a peddler of hate, a supposed expert on the reasons certain Muslims were violent and would never integrate.

It now appears that Priest was liberal with the truth, his recollections about life on the beat disputed by former colleagues.  Don’t expect, of course, his supporters to admit the inaccuracies. After all, Priest was little more than an “expert” who confirmed their prejudices and bigotry. A new poll suggests that a majority of Australians think the Howard years have seen the country become less fair and meaner. The Prime Minister may have scored highly on managing the economy, but the other indicators suggest deep discontent with virtually every other policy area.

9 comments ↪
  • John Ryan

    I think its called lieing or bullshit something the RWDB and sertian radio jokes seem to be very good at .

  • John Ryan

    I think its called lying or bullshit,something the RWDB and a certain radio jocks or jokes are very good at,but says the man how told the porkies it all in good fun,but considering the incident,never happened what else can you call it, sorry about above but my keyboard needs cleaning.

  • Glenn Condell

    Kerry O'Keefe told a joke on TV the other night –

    'Hear about the new road they're putting in from Kogarah to Cronulla? They're gonna call it the Middle Eastern Distributor'

    Boom boom.

  • Haha Kerry's a classic!

    An interesting survey of a decade of Howard rule that one. Regarding support for Howard's stewardship of the economy, it is worth noting that such support is predicated on the fact that there is no effective alternative offered by the Opposition. Which is to say that if both parties agree that the economy should principally be geared towards the benefit of private power and elite sectors of society, then the Liberal Party, which is the genuine political party of the business sector, is unlikely to be bettered by the Labor Party.

    If anything, Howard's Prime Ministership is a monument to reductionism and the defeat of creativity. Namely, the reductionism that is favoured by those whose power is limited only by its lack of real popularity. It is a defeat of creativity because, on the back of successive Labor Governments, Howard has convinced the electorate that its best hope for a secure society is to look at immediate, material concerns with limited or no regard for the moral or social consequences. This is why, when the Opposition at the last election asked the electorate 'who do you trust?', Howard quitely skillfully retorted with the further question, 'who do you trust to run the economy?'.

  • edward squire

    John Ryan

    I think its called lying or bullshit

    There is a conceptual difference between lying and bullshitting.

    Lying is the intentional and knowing act of telling untruths.

    Bullshitting is far more complex. It is, for the most part, the weaving together of truths and untruths, valid and invalid inferences, slights, slurs, ambiguities and innuendos – or what we now know as a degenerate form of rhetoric – to obtain some end.

    A bullshitter shares ground with the liar, but whereas the liar is concerned with knowing the truth and then presenting that which is false, the bullshitter simply doesn't care what is true or false.

    Yeah, I know what you're thinking: what a load of bullshit.

  • rhross

    We live in a time of fear when 'certainties' are being challenged and people can no longer 'rely' on things as they once did.

    Jobs are not secure in the way that they once were and huge numbers of people have been retrenched in their late forties or early fifties only to find that the job market, despite it's need, considers them 'too old' to employ.

    In addition privatization has seen basics like power and water become more expensive. The GST has seen costs rise enormously and while those who are doing well are okay, those who were doing badly are even worse off and those who were muddling along are conscious of being in greater danger.

    The borrowing of Australians is also huge and this means people are living on credit and are thus that much more focused on what happens to the economy.

    None of this is particular to Australia. The same things are happening in the US and UK and other developed nations.

    But, in this environment of uncertainty and change, Fear grows ever stronger and when Governments lack integrity this Fear Factor is a valuable resource to be milked.

    It's easy enough to say that we have Howard because of the hip-pocket vote but we also need to understand, shades of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, that there are valid social reasons why people today are more prepared to sacrifice principle in the name of profit.

    The social and economic forces at work today are pushing people to confront, perhaps not so much survival as a basic issue, but a fear of not being able to survive the forces at work.

  • John

    I don't care about Tim Priest, the War On Terror or John Howard. But to dispute that there is a severe problem-worse than anything Tim Priest has alluded to- of violent anti-anglo racism in Sydney's west is beyond the pale. It has been going on since the 1980s, with literally tens of thousands of male and female victims, from teenagers to pensioners. It would take about 1000 Cronulla's, then about 200 racially motivated rapes, for anglos to catch up in terms of intercultural violence and hate. I don't like that some 'right' media commentators put in the same basket as other Islamic issues, because most of the perps don't even attend mosques, but i don't like how the 'left' dismiss or downplay it either. It IS racially motivated,it IS the biggest circumstance of racial hate in Australia's history, including Europan invasion/settlement. One day the full extent of what has gone on will be known. Anyone who downplays it is the moral equivelant of a holocaust denier.

  • Leo Braun

    Iqbal Khaldun: "Regarding support for Howard's stewardship of the economy, it is worth noting that such support is predicated on the fact that there is no effective alternative offered by the Opposition. Which is to say that if both parties agree that the economy should principally be geared towards the benefit of private power and elite sectors of society, then the Liberal Party, which is the genuine political party of the business sector, is unlikely to be bettered by the Labor Party".

    Actually it's time for the gullible populous to wake-up to the reality in being too-long taken for ride within the blind leading blind idiosyncrasy. How about start getting used to the realistic notion that none ever escaped Zionist party machine to rule on his own (as Mark Latham tried) beyond the ultimate elimination under global echelon's hegemony.

    Lurking behind the terrestrial silhouettes of the pseudo parliamentary systems galore, intermittently orbited by communist, socialist, capitalist, fascist or Zionist neocons ideology wraps for the gullible suckers devotion in vain. Going back since time immemorial, preset well in advance to deal with any alternative ideology notions (ever to rise from the grass roots of conscientious battlers).

    Perpetually filling even the vacuum cells via adhered Jewanderthal's rule motto: Should anyone be ever absent from us … He will be then against us. Thus having global echelon masters within the 'rule by the best' throughout the millenniums, firmly to place their bets each way … they always to score steadfast incubated Jew winners worldwide.

    Impersonating an exclusive tyrant entity breed of the limitless significance. Assuring thus global apartheid via fate accompli elimination regimes. Starting right from the kindergarten through compulsory schooling and cultivated universities buffers, which to yield an ample of disposable Jew puppets. Accompanied over the years with the connived referees issued clandestine dossiers as norm.

    No wonder the imbeciles lot to be nurtured with carte blanche whilst incorruptible realm of the genuine battlers to endure solely devious wrath. Still so many of ill informed minds failed even to realise what hit them indeed. Without expecting in the wildest dream to face such a nightmare of the utterly insidious act to be unleashed on us.

  • Leo Braun

    Iqbal Khaldun: "If anything, Howard's Prime Ministership is a monument to reductionism and the defeat of creativity. Namely, the reductionism that is favoured by those whose power is limited only by its lack of real popularity. It is a defeat of creativity because, on the back of successive Labor Governments, Howard has convinced the electorate that its best hope for a secure society is to look at immediate, material concerns with limited or no regard for the moral or social consequences".

    Perpetrated as the matter of fact throughout the millenniums, courtesy of devious charlatans ingenuity knack. Who knew only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes, then never ever to admit any wrong. Synonymous with the racist ashke-Nazis who have known better than any others on earth how the falsehood and calumny can be exploited. Isn't their very existence, was founded on one great lie? Namely that Jews are a religious interbreed, when in reality they are a unique race!

    Emancipated within the parallel universes where bloody apartheid was designated for the Jew lesser brethren bundled together with the gullible Goyim and Shiksas. Courtesy of Jewanderthal's ingenuity knack — it's so amazing and in fact they being nothing short of astounding. As now again the shocking act of a terrorism being exploited by a little man, who has rewritten his past, to make himself look bigger and better (than he really is).

    Once again, fear and outrage is being used, to transform quickly civil society into the police state, by the little man with a big voice. Once again a glib opportunist (lying rodent) of a dubious character, is promising us the safety (at the cost of our civil liberty) if zionazi powers at the Capital Hill being greatly expanded. Once again, such a small impotent man to be rocketed into the position of ever increasing power (against any chance of the random probability).

    Once again (considering the merit of a creature), such could never occurred without a help of those very powerful, behind the scenes. Once again the enemy is an insidious, all pervasive evil which had no country but the host nations. Whose ideology is tied direct to religion. Once again an enemy list grows to include those, arbitrarily deemed to be sympathetic for the Semitic underdog. Once again the enemy so insidious within, has quickly become anyone who dares to question the little man, in charge.

    Once again the New World Order asserts itself. To be called by the exact same name, as before. Once again an enemy is Semitic people. Once again a newly formed police state justifies torture as necessary. Once again a newly formed police state pursues evil agenda of the World Empire via coalition of the willing connivers propped military aggression in a self-defence.

    Now call it a huge coincidence (if you will), but the Jew grandfather of the little man in question, was actually hauled before the USA Congress during WWII, under the charges of trading with the enemy! Known then as the Nazi Third Reich and oddly enough the New World Order.

    Yet we need not to accept any diabolically plagued hegemony, if we recognise that there is choice once in a life time via solemn our public opinion. Now striving all over the world, definitely as never before. Make no mistake, it's an epic struggle. Where alternative (if we fail to speak about it right now), is not just a conquest of far away countries, it's the conquest of us. Of our minds, our humanity and our self-respect. If we to remain silent, the victory over us is assured.