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.

Writing on the wall

Banksy, The Guardian, March 24:

…Australia is probably still the only country in the world to have elevated a graffiti writer to the status of national public hero. Arthur Stace was an alcoholic from the slums of Sydney who found God while listening to a Baptist preacher in a hostel in the 1940s and took to writing the word “eternity” on the ground in chalk. He rendered it in meticulous copperplate script more than half a million times across Sydney over the next three decades, becoming an urban legend before his death in 1967 at the age of 83. He has since been honoured by a plaque, a range of council-approved merchandise and was the centrepiece of celebrations when the word “eternity” in his trademark hand was lit up in 100ft-high letters on Sydney harbour bridge to mark the new millennium.

Then came the Commonwealth games and a redoubling of the city’s efforts to rid itself of the evil graffiti menace.

11 comments ↪
  • Chris

    Why do you consider graffiti writing to be evil? Is the graffiti advocating murdering Jews in Sydney? Or is it just the run of the mill 'tagging' that is so common in America in which gangs mark their turf?

    Or is it political in nature, calling for the violent overthrow of the legitimate Australian government?

    A people great enough to have had 'Walzing Matilda' as an anthem is great enough to elevate inspiration no matter what it's humble beginings.

  • edward squire

    1. Most governments usually oppose graffiti because it is sometimes an effective mean of expressing of dissent – usually merely annoying or rude in the final analysis. Governments don't like dissent, ipso facto, they don't like graffiti. They especially don't like it when foreign media show up in case something embarrassing is reported on. (The usual nonsense about it being visual pollution is undermined by the fact that one of the main propogators of visual pollution in the form of various kinds of infrastructure are governments themselves.)

    2. Australians only wish the national anthem were 'Walzing Matilda' – a melancholy song about class struggle. The anthem is in fact the dreadful and amusing 'Advance Australia Fair'.

  • Chris

    Which is why I said had, not has. My understanding was that, at one time, 'Waltzing Matilda', which is a wonderful song and sound, was the national anthem, official or otherwise. I recall when there was a vote or something like that to make another song that anthem.

    As for the graffiti, I was unaware that the political strife in Austrailia had found its way to the walls of buildings and such.

  • Michael

    Chris,

    "Waltzing Matilda" has never been the Australian national anthem (more's the pity). It was originally "God Save The Queen" until a referendum was held by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser (during which his Government bitterly oposed "Waltzing Matilda" as the future anthem) in (about) 1976-1977, after which it was changed to "Advance Australia Fair".

    Which reinforces your point – we are in fact NOT great enough to have "Waltzing Matilda" as the anthem, and therefore not great enough to elevate inspiration despite its beginnings as you say.

    We aren't even great enough to vote out a lying rodent of a Prime Minister – yet.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    We shouldn't be honouring schizophrenic religious nuts like Arthur Stace.

  • edward squire

    Progressive_Atheist Mar 25th, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    We shouldn’t be honouring schizophrenic religious nuts like Arthur Stace.

    Well, it depends what about him we're honouring. I don't think anyone really cares about his End Of Days motivation … something that was relatively harmless anyway (certainly compared to the same beliefs held by similar crazies in and around Jerusalem and the non-existent Temple – people who do have a real and detrimental impact on others lives). I think people are more interested in his utterly hopeless and ultimately pointless persistence; effectively, the fact that he was, well, a bit of a loser (like Kelly, like the ANZACs at Gallipoli, like Simpson in particular). A quintessential Australian "hero".

  • Chris

    I assume you're referring to the muslims who are planning to execute a man because he converted? Those crazies? Or the ones who sentenced a woman to be stoned to death for adultery? Those?

    Is that what you consider people who do have a real and detrimental impact on others lives?

  • Michael

    What about the crazies who are currently trying to bring about even more war in the Middle East in order to hasten the "Rapture"?

    They're Christians, and a lot scarier because they have lots of atomic bombs and their President (Bush) is a bit like Arthur Stace…

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 26th, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    I assume you’re referring to the muslims who are planning to execute a man because he converted? Those crazies?

    No, I'm talking about the End of Days crazies who are either (a) looking to get the Messiah to return or (b) looking for the Messiah to turn up for the first time in their life-times. Talk about egotists!

  • Chris

    I fail to see the detrimental impact on others lives as opposed to what appears to be mainstream muslaim activity.

  • Addamo

    What about the crazies who are currently trying to bring about even more war in the Middle East in order to hasten the “Rapture”?

    The same crazies who think that hurrying the restoration of Israel will bring the big down to earth sooner.

    In his scathing attack on the Cush administration, Former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips says in book, "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century", that the evangelicasl are not even worried about the insanne debt in the US or global warming becasue the rapture will come before any of these disasters begin to affect them personally.

    These people are affecting the lives of countless more peopel than muslim activity.