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.

Mark Steyn and the conservatives – a night to remember

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey:

When a right-wing think tank like 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 and ABC board member Janet Albrechtsen and foreign policy “realist” Owen Harries to participate – proceedings are bound to follow a predictable path. Monday night’s “Big Ideas Forum” did not disappoint.

Around 500 largely old, white males (including historical revisionist Keith Windschuttle, The Australian’s Paul Kelly and monarchist tragic David Flint) packed a hall in Sydney’s CBD. Former politician Pauline Hanson was also among them to hear about the Muslim “threat”.

Albrechtsen started by asking whether “Western self-esteem is waning”. She included a story that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer had told her recently that when he gets home he does three things: drinks a whisky on the couch, turns on Fox News and downloads the latest Mark Steyn column.

Steyn’s speech was peppered with jibes at Islam, Muslims and the West itself, but strangely devoid of any sense that he actually knew Muslims to form his prejudiced views. For him, Islam is the enemy within, a religion that insidiously undermines Western “values” and must be 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 ageing audience lapped it up.

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

Steyn rambled on about the West destroying fascism and communism, “but it will be much more difficult to combat multiculturalism.” He concluded his speech by arguing that “the freedoms we’ve enjoyed since 1945 will not continue unless we fight for them.” He had no problem with the West humiliating or exploiting others for his pleasure.

Nowhere in his speech did he define “Western values”. When later asked about George 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 on ABC’s Lateline that the Iraq war was a success.

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

The Q&A session consisted of rants against Islam and multiculturalism. Sydney Muslim lawyer, Irfan Yusuf, dissented and asked Steyn whether he’d 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.

Pauline Hanson asked why many Western countries, including Australia, were changing beyond recognition. What she presumably meant was the arrival of non-white immigrants.

One audience member asked Albrechtsen what she thought of the media. She acknowledged the difficulty in speaking frankly due to her position on the ABC board, but thought the last five to ten years had seen steadily improving media, “such as Fox News.”

7 comments ↪
  • smiths

    anthony, are you alright?

    because you have already posted this article with a different name.

    fatigue maybe?

  • Smiths, care to engage with the topic?

  • CIS are truly appalling.

    Until there is a proper left-wing rival, there will near insurmountable difficulties in building an alterantive government agenda to Howard's. That should worry Labor and doesn't, but it's a problem that is much bigger than Labor.

    But the CIS edifice can crumble …. CIS's academic advisory council has not even met in 26 years! And they get legal advice on their papers – what sort of academic work need slegal advice!!

  • smiths

    i already did leftvegdrunk, the first time ant posted it,
    i went and read mark steyn opinion pieces, quoted some of his stuff and took the piss out of him,
    so, care to read what i wrote and maybe look a bit further into it?

  • Aaron Lane

    Why do you make repeated and derogatory references to the age of members of the audience? If being old (and white) automatically disqualifies you from having a valid opinion, I suggest you immediately stop promoting the work and ideologies of Robert Fisk, John Pilger, George Galloway, Fidel Castro, Phillip Adams, etc.

  • Paul Walter

    Aaron,

    I think he was more offering an explanation as to the poor quality of their thinking as related possibly to senility, (perhaps alcohol-related) and the megalomania that is sometimes a symptom of it.

    Yes, Windprattle and the like are certainly a sorry lot. As Phillip Adams once said ( referring to the NSW ALP Right); "not worth feeding" -the original definition of "waste of space"- as compared to that group of dynamic, genuine independent thinkers like Fisk, etc that you also cited.

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