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.

Small minds unite

When the Sydney-based, right-wing think-tank, The Centre for Independent Studies, hosts an event titled, “It’s Not ‘Them’, It’s Us: The Need to Regain Confidence in Western Culture” – and invites conservative columnist Mark Steyn, Murdoch commentator Janet Albrechtsen and foreign policy “realist” Owen Harries to participate – proceedings are bound to follow a predictable line. Last night’s “Big Ideas Forum” did not disappoint.

Over 500 people packed a large hall in the city centre. The crowd largely consisted of old, white males (including historical revisionist Keith Windshuttle, the Australian’s Paul Kelly and monarchist tragic David Flint.) It was also appropriate that former politician and bigot Pauline Hanson came to hear about the Muslim “threat”.

Albrechtsen introduced the night by asking whether “Western self-esteem is waning.” “The West”, she stated, “has a self-correcting mechanism” and openness is one of its strengths. “Capitalism works”, she said. She boasted of a story that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer recently told her. When Downer gets home “after a long day on the political hustings”, he does three things; drinks a whisky on the couch, turns on Fox News and downloads the latest Mark Steyn column. This “insight” was warmly received by the crowd.

Steyn’s speech was peppered with jibes at Islam, Muslims and the West itself, but strangely devoid of any sense that he had actually spent time with any Muslims to form his prejudiced views. For him, Islam is the enemy within, a religion that is insidiously undermining Western “values” and must be challenged and stopped. Islam is the “ideology du jour”, he joked. Multiculturalism is “based on lies” and is a “suicide pact.” As he progressed, his so-called insights became more ludicrous but the aging audience lapped it up.

He lovingly recalled English imperialism and its attitude towards the natives. They at least realised that some cultures were superior to others, Steyn said. “Islam hates other cultures”, he offered, without a whiff of evidence for such a preposterous claim. Perhaps he should have added that some Jews hate Arabs, but of course, Jews are now the favoured people of the Right.

Steyn rambled on about the West destroying fascism and communism, “but it will be much more difficult to combat multiculturalism.” He then concluded his speech with this: “The Western blessings since 1945 must be maintained. The freedom’s we’ve enjoyed since then will not continue unless we fight for them.” His profound hatred of anything or anybody non-Western was revealed, and yet he wore this badge proudly. He had no problem with the West humiliating or exploiting other cultures for his pleasure because, after all, we all want to maintain our cosy lives since 1945.

Nowhere in his speech did he define “Western values”. In fact, when later asked about George W. Bush and his mission to “democratise” the Middle East, Steyn said he preferred the term “liberation”. This is a man, of course, who recently stated that the Iraq war had been a success.

Owen Harries was far more considered in his comments. He rightly claimed that, “most conservatives are overly alarmist about the West.” He said that the US and Europe were becoming “less Western” due to growing Latino and Muslim populations and there is little pressure for assimilation.

The tone of the evening argued that such developments are a threat, when surely they should be seen as an opportunity to naturally develop and evolve our communities. Paranoia should not be the default position of the Western mind-set (despite the existence of occasional terrorism.) After all, the “war on terror” is a fraud.

The Q&A session consisted primarily of old men railing against Islam, the West, immigrants, multiculturalism and the “elites.” One question, from Sydney lawyer, commentator and Muslim Irfan Yusuf, asked Steyn how much he actually knew about Islam and whether he’d simply updated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, such was his belief in a Muslim conspiracy to take over the West and destroy it from within.

The crowd were unimpressed with the question and Steyn displayed his usual wit to avoid answering it. He did say, however, that he’d been told moderate Muslims do exist but they all seem to be weak and ineffective.

Even Pauline Hanson asked Steyn to explain why many Western countries, including Australia, were changing beyond recognition. What she meant, of course, was the arrival of immigrants from non-white backgrounds.

One audience member asked Albrechtsen what she thought of the media landscape. She started by acknowledging the difficulty in speaking frankly due to her position on the ABC board, but said she thought the last 5-10 years had seen a steadily improving media, “such as Fox News.”

The evening proved that many Western conservatives have a strong desire to replace one “evil” – communism – with a 21st century version. Enter Islam. Steyn and his fellow travellers speak eloquently about Western civilisation on the verge of collapse, but the kind of world they imagine is not one that I either recognise or want. Thankfully, his “vision” is likely to die with the Bush administration. Likewise the elderly types at last night’s event probably still fondly remember the White Australia policy. They’ll be dead soon enough.

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