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.

Teaching the good guys

Back in mid February, Murdoch’s Australian engaged in some modern-day McCarthyism by “outing” an academic who allegedly supported terrorism. The paper’s ongoing struggle continued last Saturday:

A Radical Muslim thinker who inspired al-Qa’ida is being served up as subject matter for high school students in NSW.

Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian militant hanged in 1966 but still a powerful influence on violent Islamists, and the Pakistani fundamentalist Sayyid Maududi are the only two modern Muslim thinkers on a revised syllabus for studies of religion.

Experts this week condemned the prominence of political Islam in the new syllabus, and especially the inclusion of Qutb.

“I am surprised and dismayed that the NSW religion syllabus narrows modern Islamic thinkers to its totalitarians,” said Daniel Pipes, whose US-based Middle East Forum agitates against Islamic extremism.

“Islam has a rich intellectual tradition. To pick these two writers is like representing modern German culture with Marx and Hitler.”

Is the paper seriously suggesting that only so-called moderate Muslims should be studied? Is the paper seriously suggesting that Western war criminals such as Henry Kissinger shouldn’t be taught in school because they were involved in the deaths of millions? Clearly there is one rule for Muslims and one rule for benign Westerners. Why is the paper asking Daniel Pipes, of all people, for his opinion? This “expert” would criticise the teaching of the Koran. The tendency to condemn any educational program that doesn’t subscribe to a “moderate” interpretation of world history – and conviently ignoring Western crimes against any number of nations – is both laughable and racist. But then, the Australian is a serious paper, we’re told, dedicated to “serious, sober and intelligent assessment.” No polemics there.

6 comments ↪
  • captain

    This “expert” would criticise the teaching of the Koran.

    Sorry Ant, where was it exactly that he criticised the teaching of the Koran? Or is the truth of your assertion irrelevant?

  • Chris C

    Antony,

    I actually disagree that the article is saying this.

    Certainly the headline is inflammatory, but I actually think that Pipes is (atypically) being quite fair towards Islam, suggesting that the syllabus is unfairly representing Islamic thinking through Qutb and Maududi.

    In general, I think the article is suggesting (rightly IMHO) that the syllabus should have been broader than two predominantly political Islamists.

    If the syllabus is indeed for religious studies, it is arguable that both of these activists should not even be considered.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    If you're going to teach Qutb in high schools, you may as well teach Osama Bin Laden. But if you're going to teach Islamic extremism, you should also teach Zionist extremism, such as Leo Strauss, or Christian extremism, such as Pat Robertson.

    I don't really understand why Islamic moderates have been omitted.

    But why would an Australian newspaper contact a well-known US Zionist for a comment on a local matter? Sounds like a Zionist conspiracy to me.

  • Agisthos

    If they are going to be teaching students about Sayyid Qutb, I sure hope they make them watch the 3 part documentary 'The Power Of Nightmares'

  • orang

    "why would an Australian newspaper contact a well-known US Zionist for a comment on a local matter?"

    Because they think we're all a bunch of dumb Ockers, as in dumb americans, who are fed a zionist to masquerade as a "Middle East Expert" whenever they need an "expert" to bolster their angle on a piece of news.

    Because it's The Australian" and it's pro-zionist , and it's islamohating. Pipes, along with IloveMark@Steyn.com are their "special" contributors.

  • edward squire

    Islamic politics in the Middle East (esp. Egypt) in the second half of the 20thC makes no sense without Qurazy Qutb. It would be a distortion of history to ignore him and his brand of modernist activism. But to focus on people like him exclusively would also be a distortion. What ever happened to the boring 'middle way to truth'?