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.

Pulling his head out

Zionist Federal Labor MP Michael Danby believes that academia should not be a place for rigorous questions or dissent about the Middle East:

Prominent Jewish MP Michael Danby has accused two well-known academics of being one-sided over the Middle East conflict.

“I grieve for the state of Middle East studies in Australia,” Labor MP Michael Danby told parliament.

He accused Dr Andrew Vincent of Macquarie University’s School of North African and Middle East Studies of pushing a “bizarre conspiracy theory”.

And Dr Amin Saikal of the Australian National University’s Arab and Islamic Studies program, had unusual ideas about terrorism.

Mr Danby said the one-sided teaching could have bad long-term effects on Australian policy as graduates came into government.

He said public pressure had helped make the ABC’s coverage more balanced and the same pressure should be applied to universities.

Danby – a man with a history of trying to silence opposing views – disingenuously claims that “balance” in academia is sorely required. What he really wants, of course, is blindly pro-Western, pro-US and pro-Israel propaganda pumped into the classroom from dawn until dusk. Thankfully, many finer minds don’t share Danby’s ignorance of plurality. His concern for graduates is touching though his utopia, already occurring in the US, should be vigorously opposed.

The fact that Danby is Australia’s only leading Jewish parliamentarian is a damning indictment on the Jewish community itself.

14 comments ↪
  • Addamo_01

    Danby'd argument are of course baseless,

    People form their oponions abtou politics, by an large, outside the classroom. Today's youth are being highly proactive in seeking out information about world events and are not going to limit their imput to what they are fed at any University.

    That is what Danby should really be concerned about.

  • Roonaldo

    Look closely at Danby and you can see the strings of AIJAC that operate his mouth. Shameful act. Goes into the parliament and then slanders academics in a blatant attempt to suppress opinion in our universities. He should be in the Knesset not the Australian parliament.

  • There I was, thinking that Andrew Vincent actually had a few intelligent things to say about this whole situation, in fact looking forward to seeing and hearing him on the tele, and now I find out that in fact he's one of those tin foil hat conspiracy theorists types. Thanks for the enlightenment, Mr Danby.

    Did anyone catch that lovely funny fellow Mark Steyn (Stein) on ABC 702am yesterday? The presenter Richard Glover laughed along with him as if they were old pals. Steyn launched into what I gather were his favourite topics with considerable enthusiasm. The Iraq war really isn't going so badly, for example. I've realised that there really are a lot of laughs to be had by atttacking weak, embattled minorities. Like Muslims. As the ABC is big on balance these days, I look forward to hearing a Muslim humorist kicking the crap out of Jewish people on the radio soon – in a funny way of course.

  • viva peace

    What a disappointing throwback to Stalin-era antisemitism!! Everyone is entitled to ask questions and dissent on middle eastern politics except, er, er, er JEWS!

  • Suze

    heard Doctor Rubenstein on the radio today vigorously lobbying against aljazeeras english language broadcast service which is mooted. One of his complaints was that they had failed to adequately investigate Hezballahs use of human shields. I had to laugh. But the pressure being put on all kinds of academics by government is no joke. Recently they have tried to bury a paper on the US free trade agreements (from ANU I think). Its a dangerous climate we live in now in more than one respect.

  • We do hear rather a lot of bleating about human shields from the Israelis and their cheer squads. Those damn civilians do get in the way of a good aerial bombing campaign – hang on, they're human shields! I think the best, most literal example of human shields comes to us from the Israeli side. Does anyone remember that delightful strapping of Palestinians to the windshield of IDF vehicles in the Occupied territories – to stem the stone throwing? I don't remember too many complaints about that, funnily enough. Except from the usual clique of whiny anti-Semites of course.

  • viva peace

    Suze

    How many more than "one" respect? Two, three, elenty-four? Could you share with is what this "one' is? And why is it dangerous? Then compare that to these respects of our dangerous climate that you are tracking. 😉

  • M.Mayes

    Everyone is entitled to ask questions and dissent on middle eastern politics except, er, er, er JEWS!

    Viva you knob, I'm not sure if you've been under a rock your entire life but Israeli opinion has dominated the entire debate for most of the engagement between palistinians and israelis.

    You are absolutely right, dissent and questioning should be allowed, tell that to Danby and AIJAC who insist that nobody should listen to these questions and dissent because its just downright anti-semitic, which ofcourse is the morons way to dodge a question.

    If its so anti-semitic viva, and your so against anti-semitism, how about you tackle the anti-semitic arguement and prove it wrong rather than whinging about it being anti-semitic.

    None the less, in regards to Danby, he is a public servant and as such I think you should all follow AIJAC's lead and exercise your freedom of speech, send good ol' danby an email or 3, get your friends who care to do the same and let him know how disgraceful he is as a politician for a democratic society.

  • Roonaldo

    Suze – the FTA is a topic of interest to me. Do you have a reference to that paper at ANU or was it Prof Weiss at Sydney Uni?

  • Suze

    Roonaldo – It was on ABC news on July 29th- Link here

  • Suze

    No shelter for the Arab citizens of Israel.

  • Addamo_01

    Viva,

    You have have often asked for an example of University academics beign censored with regards to Israel. Well, here is an extreme an example as you are ever likely to come across.

    This is the kind fo news no doubt that Danby dreams about. Wha's sfightens Danby is not that the subject is being discussed at all. Already, peopel are openly debating whether Zionism is on par with islamofascism.

    I guess this makes me anti-Semitic for mentioning it right?

    Douglas Giles is a recent casualty. He used to teach a class on world religions at Roosevelt University, Chicago, founded in memory of FDR and his liberal-inclined wife, Eleanor. Last year, Giles was ordered by his head of department, art historian Susan Weininger, not to allow students to ask questions about Palestine and Israel; in fact, nothing was to be mentioned in class, textbooks and examinations that could possibly open Judaism to criticism

    Leaving aside his boss’s doubtful qualifications to set limits on a class of comparative religion – her speciality is early 20th-century Midwestern artists such as Tunis Ponsen (nor have I) – the point to grasp is that Professor Giles did not make inflammatory statements himself: he merely refused to limit debate among the young minds in front of him.

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1…

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Viva,

    You have have often asked for an example of University academics beign censored with regards to Israel…

    Really? I don;t recall ever asking for something like that. But as I have allegedly done so "often" perhaps you can post one of those requests to refresh my memory.

  • M.Mayes

    Really? I don;t recall ever asking for something like that. But as I have allegedly done so “often” perhaps you can post one of those requests to refresh my memory.

    Viva,

    right after you finally post an example of how me and addamo are holocaust deniers and anti-semites.