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 empire lives

We live in an age of empire. While rarely acknowledged as such, the term is making a comeback (John Pilger’s latest work discusses this subject in detail). Rhetoric surrounding the Iraq war reflected the growing sense that the Iraqis needed the civilising and liberating West to be free, when in reality the occupation has brought death and destruction on a grand scale.

Australian conservatives are equally fond of romanticising the past. Not content with minimising Aboriginal deaths due to colonialism, some prefer highlighting the positive aspects of the White Australia policy. After all, surely Australians didn’t want too much cultural diversity?

A similar debate is currently occurring in the UK. The Independent columnist Johann Hari recently slammed court historians for defending and supporting the most brutal aspects of the British Empire. He was met with predictable scorn. Perhaps the most perverse came from author Lawrence James:

The rulers of India were humane men and, although hampered by inadequate administrative machinery and limited resources, they made a determined effort to feed the hungry.

For many embedded in the establishment, there is a pathological inability to acknowledge or understand the crimes of their ancestors. As Andrew Murray explains:

His [Hari’s] central theme, that those who defend the British Empire are defending some of the worst crimes against humanity, is a vital argument, which he makes well.

As the age of the US empire comes to a close and the Bush administration and its sycophantic supporters proudly stand for invasion and occupation, 21st century empire is getting a radical face-lift. High-minded rhetoric may attempt to defend the indefensible as noble and benign, but the reality remains the same.

13 comments ↪
  • viva peace

    Sorry AL, but you are about 5 years too late. Australian universities teach about little else at the moment. There are so mnay courses in History (especially), Politics, Sociology, and Law about Empire, one would think that nothing else ever happens in the world.

  • viva peace

    Oh and you really should stick to your day job, and leave history to the grwon-ups. Windschuttle's historiography is TOTALLY about empire.

  • Addamo

    When the subject beacons, on e can always count on the resident bigot to chip in. You are the last person who should be lecturing to anyone about grown ups Viva. Now off you go back to your padded cell like a good boy.

  • boredinHK

    Addamo,

    I am stillcsurious though, with all the tooing and frooing about what is right , what is good etc etc how are you able to say , as an individual, that Saddam ,Mugabe , Lee Kwan Yu, the burmese junta shouldn't have pressure applied to them ?

    It has been repaetedly stated that sanctions don't work so how are you going to influence the corrupt and despotic ?

    I can't buy into the meta conspiracy theory that the US is behind all the incompetence in the world. I agree with you that the US aggressively pursue the economic interest of it's capital but all nations do that to the extent thay can. However I think it is completely misguided to describe the US as building an empire . Extending the influence of it's capital ,OK and the chinese will eb doing the same so can we expect you to start blaming them as well ?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Let me guess. You know nothing about keith windchuttle, Niall Ferguson or any of the other people relevant to this debate; yet it does not stop you from your usual rant. What a hide you have to call me a bigot. At least I read everybody else's arguments, books, articles, etc. and not just those who confirm my own prejudices the way you do.

  • captain

    Addummmbbboo it is you who is the resident bigot. Everything that is American or Israeli is bad. Every bad act by a Muslim is only an individual acting. Every terrorist act is looked at with the question of "why"? The same arguments are never reciprocated. Instead they are met with denigration and devaluation.

    You have demonstrated time and time again that you should never let the truth get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    What a hide you have to call me a bigot?

    Simply put, you speak like one, you write like one, you use the arguments of a bigot.

    It is abmirable that you read "verybody else’s arguments" but what is clear is that you merely do this to affirm your own prejudices. After all, who else can read a Fisk article that makes no mention of Jews, Israel or Palestine, asn stil conclude that it is anothr ani-Seimitic rant?

    Captain,

    How ever do you manage to suck your thumb like that while being bound in a straight jacket? You are a man of many talents, but your mental and psysological scars are all to obvious.

  • Comical_Ali

    I aslo blame Karl rove for censoring my last post

  • Viva Peace, re your early comments about uni courses, can you substantiate that claim? I spent an hour or two speaking with an academic from a Sydney uni last week and heard quite the opposite – that is, that courses focussed on political economy and topics like empirialism are being canned.

  • Addamo

    Incidently Viva,

    You are the one who subscribes to eh belief that indigenous people got what they deserved becasue they accepted gifts from teh white man.

    How does this extrapolate? Those on welfare are therefore sub human becasue they accept government aid? Countries who accept aid from teh US are therefore deserving of any negative outcomes that befall them?

    Yes, bigot is most appropriate, if not understated.

  • captain

    psysological scars

    What is that?

  • Just returning to Antony's post.

    I see Australia's perpetual support for US policies as coming from national self interest. ie if we help the US one day it will protect us (under ANZUS) against the invading hordes (or repay us in some lesser way).

    One US repayment was its ability to hold Indonesia at bay when Australia moved into East Timor. Indonesia's current moderation over East Timor has more to do with US policy than our own "noble" efforts.

    However when push comes to shove the US may not meet its ANZUS obligations in more pressing future areas.

    Pete
    http://spyingbadthings.blogspot.com

  • viva peace

    leftvedrunk

    I cannot really comment on your discussion with this academic as I know neither him/her/you/the university. Also, I am not at all sure what you mean by "political economy." Do you mean courses on the post-physiocrat thinking of John Locke, David Ricardo, and Karl Marx? If so, you are correct. These ideas are woefully under-taught in Australian universities. Tragically, the postmodern gobbledegook of "Cultural Studies" has taken its place.

    However, your friend is telling porkies when it comes to "imperialism." Check out, for example, the History department at Sydney Uni.

    http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/departs/history/under