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.

Join the army, kill some Arabs, be a good Jew

Alex Mitchell is a journalist with Sydney’s Sun Herald (he reviewed My Israel Question here.)

Last Sunday, he posed an interesting question for our values-obsessed Federal Government:

The recent invasion of Lebanon by the Israeli army placed a spotlight on participation by Australian citizens. Bondi man Asaf Namer, a 27 year-old sergeant in the Israeli army, was killed in action, and Guy Spiegelman, nephew of Chief Justice Jim Spiegelman and a captain in the Israeli reserves, acted as propagandist for the army. Amnesty International, to which Attorney-General Philip “the Death’s Head” Ruddock belongs, has accused the Israeli army of war crimes, and Hezbollah as well.

Since Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello want to define citizenship and invite everyone to swear adherence to “Australian values”, what is the situation of Australians who serve in the Israeli army? Are the values of Australia compatible with the values of Israel? Do Australians support firing rockets and shells containing, in total, more than a million anti-personnel cluster bomblets at enemy villages or imposing collective punishment on civilian populations in the name of self-defence against terrorism? And if it is OK for Australians to travel abroad to support the Israeli army, why not make it a level playing field for other Australians to join foreign armies to fight occupation and state terror? Only asking. 

After all, what do Australians really think of Aussie “values”?

  • Hana

    perfectly said

  • That's a very interesting survey on Australian attitudes – only 27% rated freedom of speech as No.1. Maybe that's a good thing – we don't have constitutionally protected FOS, so if it was seen as important by a large majority, there'd be a lot of unhappy Australians.

    And on Australians serving in the IDF -I assume that people with dual citizenship can do so without a problem. Though their actions should be scrutinised – participation in acts that constitute war crimes should receive appropriate attention.

  • Allen JAY

    The Özzie values" debate raises several questions.

    1. It was the Howard government that slipped through provisions allowing ¨dual¨ citizenship in 2000/2001, I don´t recall any debate on this issue at the time, yet it surely goes to the heart of this issue.
    If Australian citizens hold dual citizenship, should we have ¨proscibed¨ employemnt, barring such citizens from sensitive or influential positions in government? If not, why not? Given the threat they see coming from citizens who are not ¨fully integrated¨.

    2. Are there going to be ¨Good¨ dual citizens, i.e. British, American, Israeli and ¨Bad¨ dual citizens – say Malaysian, Egyptian, Iraqi – particularly if they happen to be muslim? That seems to be in part the implication of the proposed rules, even though Im sure it will not be made explicit, it certainly will allow the Immigration Department to reintroduce the infamous ¨language test¨ – which could be in any language.

    Apparently it is OK, even heroic, for Australian citizens to serve in the Israeli Army, but David Hicks is a terrorist for joining the Taliban – for better or for worse, the ruling group in Afghanistan, created and supported by America´s freind in the war on Terror, Pakistan.

    There is a real problem with ultra nationalism, whether it be in Germany or Israel or increasingly, in Australia. This anti-muslim form of ultra-nationalism can lead to no good for Australia or Israel. It is certainly destroying the US, morally and economically – once the US economy goes into deep recession, where will Israel turn to for the next Big brother? or will it become the North Korea of the middle East?

  • Ian

    Though their actions should be scrutinised – participation in acts that constitute war crimes should receive appropriate attention.

    War crimes, Michael? LOL Any war crimes these 'Aussies' could have committed pale into insignificance compared with those of the Howard gang. They have a case to answer on at least 2, possibly 3 of the Nuremberg counts, including the 'supreme crime against humanity', Waging Aggressive War.

  • Greg

    Oh Ian, bollocks. You're over-egging the pudding.

    The question of Australian citizens serving in the armed forces of other countries is an interesting one. I think of those Australians who served in the armed forces of the various Yugoslavian successor States in the early 1990s. Anyone remember "Captain Dragan"?

    Or those numbers of Australians who do their military service in Greece.