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.

Decisions, decisions

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22 comments ↪
  • JohD

    My understanding is that Bush did not veto stem cell research; he just vetoed using public funds for stem cell research.

    How do people here reconcile the fact that 'Islamofacists' long ago issued a 'Fatwa' declaring that stem cell research is in accord with, and justified by Islamic principles?

  • boredinHK

    There are different types of stem cells and I think this is an important distinction.

    The stem cell research in this debate concerns those stem cells which are derived from embryos harvested from women who have undergone fertility treatments.

    Typically initial treatment stimulates many ova to develop, they are harvested surgically, fertilised in glass tubes and some are reimplanted.The remainder are stored in liquid nitrogen.

    This leads to the higher frequency of twins or triplets in these treatment cases as many fertilised embryos are put into the recipient's uterus. This increases the chances of a successful pregnancy.

    Once the mother to be is pregnant the other embryos are stored. They are a rich source of pluripotential stem cells (can develop into any tissue ) and as such very attractive to mediacal researchers.

    We all have stem cells – in our bone marrow for example but they are less malleable to manipulation.As I understand it there isn't any restriction on this research, the restriction is against the use of public funds on stem cells from frozen/fertilised ova or embryos.

    A fatwa allowing reseach on other types of stem cells would be reasonable and one of cells harvested from embryos indictes a decison that an embryo isn't a sentient being (I guess ). Bush's decision is a reflection of his reliance on the christain vote and particluarly those right to lifers who believe lfe should be protected from the time of fertilisation.

  • Addamo_01

    The thing is JohD, that Snow said Bush cinsidered stem cell research to be murder. Prety amazing how he reconciles that with the idea that the massacre going on in Lebanon is just growing pains for democracy.

  • captain

    Addamboo, as you have demonstrated many times, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I find it hard to believe you are a scientist with such faciles views. People should hear your views and then appreciate the opposite is true.

    Bush does not consider stem cell research murder. You are plainly an idiot. He approved several lines of cells already for research. What he is against is the killing of embryos to obtain stem cells. At present stem cells can be harvested from a variety of sources including cord blood. Embyros are ideal for a variety of biological reasons but clearly it is morally complex.

  • Addamo_01

    Bush does not consider stem cell research murder.

    You moron Captain. When are you going to learn to read? I said that WH press secratary, Tony Snow, made a statement that Bush does not condone murder when asked why he vetoed this bill.

    Embyros are ideal for a variety of biological reasons but clearly it is morally complex.

    Onyl when you have the Chrisitan right to answer to. The same people who regard life as sacrosant but are fuly in favour of killing.

    Remeber that as Governor of Texas, but gave no thought to sending 130 prisoners to be excecuted. Given that msot of these embryos will forever remain frozen, it's quoite pathetic to suggest that victins of parkinsons shoudl be forced to suffer into the future, when most of those embryos will never be born.

    You are such a self contrdicting idiot Captain. Thanks for the entertainment.

  • captain

    Snow never said that either. You have got it wrong. It is the 'harvesting' of stem cells from embryos that he considers murder.

    And it is not just a matter for Christians. Jews too and I am sure many others would be cautious about this approach. I have mixed views about it.

    The Governor of Texas did not send people to be executed, the Texas judiciary did. He did not stop it. The people who were sent were convicted murderers. This has nothing to do with stem cells and everything to do with your anti Bush agenda.

  • Addamo_01

    Wring again Cpatain,

    The people who were sent were convicted murderers.

    How did you get through high school?

    They were convited of murder. I guues the nuance is lost on you.

    I know you love Bush to bits, but the guy is on the record as mocking one of those on death row as she made a plea for clemency. This man has no more regard for human life than he does for the frogs he used to blow up as a kid.

    Also, your quote is wrong. Here is what Snow said:

    The simple answer is he thinks murder’s wrong. And he has said.

    he also said:

    The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research it’s inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He’s one of them.

    .

    This is not about an anti Bush agenda, but the rediculous contradictions in this man's corrupt stances on moral issues.

  • captain

    mocking murderers is really bad. But you think you should be kind to murderers. I understand you better now.

    Addumboo are you really that stupid? Where in Snow's comment does it say that Bush considers stem cell research murder? He is referring to embryo stem cell research not all stem cell research.

    So killing embryos is morally equivalent to you to sending a murderer to the gallows? A more complete idiot I am yet to meet.

  • Addamo_01

    Yes I forgot Captain that you are one of those lemmings that believes governemnts always tell the truth, that we are the good guys, that corruption and megligence in government is a myth, and that the law and oder system in the US is infalible.

    Forge that only 20% of convictions in teh US are based on DNA evidence. In the US, it is estimated that on average, 11% of those convicted of murder, are inncent. So Bush effectively allowed 14 people to be excecuted.

    He is referring to embryo stem cell research not all stem cell research.

    Do you believe an embryo to be a living being? Because under the law, it isn't.

    So killing embryos is morally equivalent to you to sending a murderer to the gallows?

    So that even with an undertainty of 11%, you are in favor of the deth penalty. Why am I nto surprised? I bet you'd be one ofthose people who'd even buy a ticket to watch.

    A more complete idiot I am yet to meet.

    That's what happens when you sare stuck in your padded cell Captain.

  • captain

    No addumbbo, every person in jail says they are innocent. so it must be true. Nothing like statistics to get in the way of a good story.

    You have evaded your core assertion that Bush equates stem cell research with murder. You have demonstrated that this is a false assertion by your lack of evidence.

    Why is it so hard to say you are wrong?

  • M.Mayes

    it is morally complex.

    Its a moral complex only for some (those with religious objection) and in a democratic society that should not have any sway to begin with, if as someone with religious objections in the future comes down with a disease that is now curable because of stem cell research well then they can morally object to having the cure and live with the disease in all good conscience… this does not mean that other people should suffer.

    its like "save the life of something that isnt capable of feeling (or anything for that matter, it is simply the potential for life, not life) at the expense of thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands? diabetes is growing more and more every day) of lifes that could be saved"

    I suggest reading the Lockheart review captain, its quite enlightening.

    You have evaded your core assertion that Bush equates stem cell research with murder.

    pretty annoying when its someone evading your points isnt it captain… believe me i sympathise… however your point it pety, again you are splitting hairs, stem cell research is extremely limited because the other methods of extraction produce so little yeild, whereas an embryo (which again is merely the potential for life) that mind you would not have become a child one day because it was created/conceived purely for the research (they arent taking babies off random women who would have otherwise had the kid), an embryo can produce hundreds of times more cells than that of extraction from adults. essentially stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research are the same thing so again lets not split hairs.

  • captain

    It is always splitting hairs when I am right.

    In a democratic society all views may be considered, even religiously inspired ones. As distasteful as this is to you. Scientists have not always proven trustworthy as the guardians of society's best interest. Just like the military must be responsible to the people's representatives, so must our scientists.

    I don't evade your points M.Mayes, but sometimes the rhetoric of Jew hating is so irrational, I wouldn't know where to start.

  • M.Mayes

    It is always splitting hairs when I'm right

    yes, and theres a good reason for it too, the only arguements you pose are hair splitting ones n technicalities of words and whatnot.

    I don’t evade your points M.Mayes, but sometimes the rhetoric of Jew hating is so irrational, I wouldn’t know where to start.

    I charge you captain to find 1 comment i have made that would suggest i was a jew hater and let me know when you find it.

    You know what makes you so incredibly hopeless at debating captain, your inability to acknowledge the other point of view and then argue against it.

    Rather than making Jew hating comments i think you will find that i frequently Acknowledge when people are right (ie. comical ali had some good points in a previous thread), acknowledge the parts of others arguements which are correct and well stated and then point out the flaws in their arguement, ofcourse you wouldnt have much experience with this from me because all of your posts (with the exception of the odd one recently) are both bluntly stupid and narrowminded rhetoric.

    In a democratic society all views may be considered, even religiously inspired ones.

    stop there for a second and try arguing (or accepting)In a democratic society all views may be considered, even religiously inspired ones. the rest of my arguement, these embryo's are not yet people, they do not even resemble people and whats most important is that they are either given to or created by science for science, in terms of moral obligations and different opinions, people with their objections therefore are not expected to contribute to the research nor are they obligated to "kill" any embryos therefore they are not breaching their morals, now people who are for stem cell research should be allowed to contribute to it if it is what they believe in (without impressing their view upon say religious groups)

  • JohD

    I think that in Islam, it is not considered that an embryo becomes 'human' until three months has elapsed. 'Human' in this sense is the moment an individual is imbued with a 'spirit'. It is a Quaranic issue and is apparently detailed in the Qura'an. Preventing this from occurring by unjustified and deliberate action is a sin. This seems to leave plenty of wriggle room to allow abortion under certain limited conditions; but prohibits 'choice'.

  • JohD

    Since Anthony can legitimately be called a 'progressive', and poster here probably fall under one or the following broad classifications; progressive or 'anti-progressive'. I would be interested to know their ideas on the following comment:

    Speaking of evolution, by the way, there is something that I have long been curious about: how exactly does Darwinian evolutionary theory account for the prevalence of human homosexuality? Surely we can all agree, without passing any moral judgment on the gay lifestyle, that homosexuality is a human variation that does not favor survival of the species. That much seems clear. And according to Darwin, those traits that do not favor perpetuation of the species will die out through the process of natural selection. Why then, after millions of years of alleged human evolution, are there still so many gay individuals among us? Does this make sense to anyone?

    The question becomes, I suppose, one of whether homosexuality is a genetic or a learned behavior. Curiously enough, those who claim that homosexuality is an acquired condition that can be 'cured' tend to come from the Christian Right camp, which also teaches that the theory of human evolution is entirely bogus, while those who believe that homosexuality is a genetic condition tend to come from the left/liberal camp, which enthusiastically embraces evolutionary theory. In other words, those who preach evolutionary theory view homosexuality in a way that contradicts Darwin's principals, while those who preach creationism view homosexuality in a way that is consistent with Darwin's principals.

  • Addamo_01

    No addumbbo, every person in jail says they are innocent. so it must be true. Nothing like statistics to get in the way of a good story.

    And nevre let the facts get int he way of your Captain.

    "You have evaded your core assertion that Bush equates stem cell research with murder. You have demonstrated that this is a false assertion by your lack of evidence."

    Not at all. Snow said thatBush does not condeone murder. Teh staement is in black and while. The statement was tied in directly to the stem cell debate. No argument.

    Why is it so hard to say you are wrong?

    I save it for when I am.

    The fact is that this is c aclear cut case of region winning over democracy. The Stem cell bill passes in the house, and Bush vetoed it.

    What was he other bill he threatened to veto? Oh yes, the one banning toture.

    See the consitency here?

  • M.Mayes

    For JohD,

    very interesting concept you have there.

    I guess my view on that is that the process of natural selection has become somewhat less domineering on human life in general, as humans we have technology (rather than evolution) to protect us from things theat may not support our survival, I myself believe in evolutionary theory but i think homosexuality is more a recreational thing for many people (and in the end they either still have children or adopt with their gay partner, or for females IVF technology means that homosexuality does not impede life).

    Also that homosexuality is not something people are born into, many gays were once straight and many gays go on to marry heterosexually and have kids, so it in my opinion does not entirely fall under something which impede's or harbours life and as such darwainian theory does not apply.

  • orang

    Unless you get to the point where a large percentage of females become strictly homosexual at an early age (ie never have heterosex and don't have children) I don't see homosexuality as being a hindrance to procreation.

  • Captain

    I don’t see homosexuality as being a hindrance to procreation.

    Pure gold. We should take everything you say seriously.

  • orang

    It's simple Captian, if you are homosexual and suck someone's dick, there's obviously no procreation. But if you then ask him to fuck your little sister – the possibility for children is there no?

  • Captain

    This seems to be your territory.

  • M.Mayes

    And your territory captain seems once again to post idiotic, personal attack style remarks, "this seems to be your territory" lets see if you can post another comment that infact engages orang's post instead of making a childish remark.