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.

I’ll have fear with my fries, thanks

UK ranter Melanie Phillips claims Western society is under threat:

“It is a story in which institutions across British society – the judiciary, security circles, the Church of England, the universities, the media – have all been complicit in creating a climate of moral inversion, intellectual confusion and deeply prejudiced irrationality which has allowed clerical fascism progressively to colonise what has become a moral and cultural vacuum.”

A Hebrew University lecturer claims left-wing British academics are obsessed with Jews and Israel. A US feminist and rabid Zionist argues that “we must defeat Jihad“. One could be forgiven for believing our very survival is under threat.

Pack a large lunch and water bottle. The hysterics, bigots and dog-whistlers are playing in a large pit of quick-sand. They’ll be ignored soon enough. After all, who exactly is defining these “Western values”?

24 comments ↪
  • Nell Fenwick

    Lucky we have you to keep us informed.

  • Addamo

    This is the same moonbat who calims that Europe's crackdown on Sharia law is eveidence that Sharia law is taking over Europe.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    One of the great problems that progressives have is that the language of discourse has been hijacked. "Palestinianization" of the Left means that those who are trying to be objective about the Israel-Palestine conflict are redefined as being pro-Palestinian, and therefore anti-Semitic.

    Which brings me to that other great codeword – "anti-Semitism". It is a word that was coined by Zionists, and used to confuse Jewish religion, culture and politics. It allows Zionists to smear their opponents as racists, under the guise that Jewishness is a racial or national quality, while at the same time smearing them as being against the Jewish religion. Since the word has no objective meaning, it should be dropped from discourse.

    If you think someone is being anti-Jewish, say so. If you think someone is being anti-Israel, say so. If you think someone is being anti-Zionist, say so. But don't use the term "anti-Semite". It is just as meaningless as "pro-Semite", and no one uses that term because they realize immediately just how meaningless it is.

    "Jihad" is another abused word. How come when a Pelstinian fights for Palestine it is jihad, but when a Jew fights for Israel it is security? "Security" is another abused word.

    We must use words consistently if we are ever going to have meaningful dialogue.

  • Jim Riley

    I agree many words are used incorrectly.

    For example, "Suicide bomber" is completely wrong; it should of course be, "Homicide bomber".

    The brainwashed cretins who perform these acts in fact don't believe they are carrying out an act of suicide at all (which I think is a big no-no for anyone who is a "true follower of Islam") but are merely fighting a legitimate jihad (and scoring 72 virgins along the way for good measure).

    Naturally the Green-Left, Pilger and Aunty ABC all conveniently overlook this.

  • Glenn Condell

    Ranter is right; Phillips is one of the most extreme of a pretty out there clique. There is a sharp piece on Antiwar by Martin Kelly which skewers lots of the neocon rats presently deserting the good ship Disaster; it cites Phillips as one of the remaining fanatics still clinging to the wreckage:

    'Melanie Phillips, Her Majesty's Gonzocon, kept faith with her principles and denounced Fukuyama, writing,

    "Fukuyama thus joins the swelling band of fair-weather fainthearts who originally supported the defense of the West but have turned tail and run for their reputations now the going has turned tough. …

    "A period of silence from this particular thinker would surely be preferable."

    The desire that their critics be silent is a universal trait of all totalitarians. Phillips lost her true vocation when she became a journalist. She'd have made a wonderful commissar.'

  • NicM

    Jim – "Suicide Bomber" is a valid descriptive term used to differentiate from a conventional bomber who leaves the bomb and and makes their getaway. "Bomber" implies homicide so the term you propose is tautology.

    If "suicide bomber" is a loaded term I'd suggest it has negative connotations. But you are right that Palestinians don't use that term. They would say "martyr". When the ABC et al use "martyr" I'll accept your point.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    If someone attacks Ashkenazi Jews, they cannot be accused of being "anti-Semitic". Ashkenazis are not Semites. They are Pseudo-Semites.

  • Edward Squire

    Progressive_Atheist Mar 15th, 2006 at 11:40 am

    …don’t use the term “anti-Semite”. It is just as meaningless as “pro-Semite”, and no one uses that term because they realize immediately just how meaningless it is.

    Progressive_Atheist Mar 15th, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    Ashkenazis are not Semites. They are Pseudo-Semites.

    The first and second statements appear to be contradictory. If, as you say in the first statement, the term is fairly meaningless, then one cannot also say that "pseudo-semite" does mean something.

    "Semite" does have a well-defined and legitimate meaning: a person who's native language is a Semitic one. This includes Arabic, Amharic, Hebrew and Tigrinya (Ethiopian) speakers. As such, it is properly regarded as a cultural identifier. (It was only in Europe that the term came to be associated exclusively with the Hebrew speakers of Europe, hence the dominance of the association in the Western mind and everyday language.)

  • Progressive_Atheist

    From Wikipedia: "The concept of a "Semitic" peoples is derived from Biblical accounts of the origins of the cultures known to the ancient Hebrews. Those closest to them in culture and language were generally deemed to be descended from their forefather Shem."

    In other words, the term "Semitic" is Biblical in origin.

    As you point out "Semitic" refers to language, so Ashkenazis are Semitic, since they speak Yiddish, a form of Hebrew.

    The term "anti-Semitic" does not refer to being against Semitic languages, but is a term used by Zionists in a racial or religious sense, to imply that the "anti-Semite" is against Jews as a nationality or Judaism as a religion.

  • Chris

    It is a term coined by a German social scientist. The terms meaning has changed little over the 130 some odd years of its existance. "Antisemitic" is that which expresses a degree of antisemitism. Antisemitism is hatred of Jews. There is no such thing as semitism, at least not when the term 'antisemitism" was invented.

  • Addamo

    I disagree that the term antisemitism has changed little, for it is now often used to encompass critisism of Israel.

  • Chris

    What you suppose it is used for has nothing to do with the standard definition. You can go on many websites and see your statement aped. StormFront, Vanguard, Zundelsite, all have articles with similar views.

  • Addamo

    If the term is 130 years old, then it pre-dates the creation of modern Israel, thus it stands to reason that it has been changed to include criticism of Israel.

  • Chris

    It does not stand to reason.

  • Addamo

    So how can the definition of anti-Semitism pre-date Israel by roughly 90 years and stil linclude criticism of Israel as part of it's definition if it has not changed significantly?

  • Chris

    It does not include it. You stated it did. Many on sites such as vanguard states it does. Neither of you are correct.

  • Addamo

    So that's a relief. Therefore, Abe Foxman and David Knoll are full of shit every time they accuse an Israeli critic of anti-Semitism.

    You are the first person to show consistency in this regard Chris. I take my hat off to you.

  • edward squire

    I don't think the definition has in fact changed at all – even for Zionists. But I do think the interpretation of what constitutes "evidence" of it has been changed by some people for political purposes.

    Example.

    Saying, "All Jews should die", is an indicator of anti-Semitism. Saying, "All Jews are evil money-grubbers", is anti-Semitic.

    But is saying, "Judaism is an incoherent bunch of polished up pagan myths and only the ignorance and the brainwashed believe otherwise", anti-Semitic? Perhaps it is depending on the thinking behind it. There is much ambiguity about it. Maybe the person is simply an atheist or a Buddhist and it indicates nothing more than that – after all, if it is true that Judaism is a much of plagiarised pagan myths then one could hardly call the statement of that mere fact as anti-Semitic. Then again, if one intended to use that stated fact specifically to offend Jewish people specifically, one might fairly say that this statement is indeed an indicator of anti-Semitism. To automaticallyjump to the conclusion that a criticism of Judaism is evidence of anti-Semitism is utterly illegitimate – so illegitimate and so obviously faulty, one must conclude that the such accusers are either mentally disturbed (viz. paranoid) or liars (know full well there are no grounds for claims of anti-Semitism).

    The same goes for criticism of Israel too. Both anti-Semites such as Stormfront and those who are opposed to anti-Semitism (such as the people positing here) criticise Israel, sometimes even appealing to the same facts. It is moronic however to say that all of these critics are anti-Semitic however. How does one tell the difference? Easy. Anti-Semites also make anti-Semitic statements!

    The paranoid will never accept this. For them, criticism of Israeli oppression combined with a lack of only anti-Semitic statements is evidence that the anti-Semitism is covert. It's insane of course, because it turns every single person who is most concerned about human rights into a covert anti-Semite by definition – they are bound to both criticise Israel's human rights abuses and abhor anti-Semitism. Indeed, one sees how the paranoia builds on itself, because by that definition, there's a hell of a lot of covert anti-Semites; indeed, virtually the whole world is covertly anti-Semitic. And if the whole world is covertly anti-Semitic, that tends to "justify" the belief in a serious, dire and secret threat to the existence of Israel, and that in turn tends to "justify" an "any means necessary" approach to everything.

    There is no new anti-Semitism – there are only new interpretations of what is anti-Semitic.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Historically, anti-Semitism arose in Christian Europe because Christians perceived Jews as having killed their Saviour. The same perception is still seen in Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.

    If Jews were clever about fighting anti-Semitism, they would attack it at its religious roots, in the gospel story of the crucifixion.

    Perhaps the best angle to approach this would be to embrace the mythical Jesus theory, that Jesus never existed historically, and that therefore the Jews can't possibly be responsible for something that never happened.

  • Chris

    I don't know that proving christianity to be nothing but smoke and mirrors would abate antisemitism.

    In fact, exposing christianity would probably increase the number of antisemitic incidents.

    Accusing a critic of Israel of antisemitism is not a statement that criticism of Israel is antisemitic. I'm sure there are many antisemities who criticize Israel. Are they immune from the charge of antisemitism just because they are criticizing Israel?

  • Addamo

    "Are they immune from the charge of antisemitism just because they are criticizing Israel?"

    Immunity implies that there is evidence of that those who criticise israel harbor a hatred towards Jews. If there is none, then there is no anti-Semitism right?

  • Chris

    My statement regarding immunity implies nothing of which you speak. Your conclusion does not rest on my statement.

  • edward squire

    Addamo Mar 17th, 2006 at 1:43 am

    If there is none, then there is no anti-Semitism right?

    I'll answer for Captain Courageous: yes, that's right.

  • Chris

    Another wrong answer because the facts were not presented. How humorous.