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.

The old scourge returns?

Anti-Semitism is a fact of life. After the recent bashing of Melbourne Orthodox Jew Menachem Vorchheimer, debate has re-surfaced regarding its prevalence in Australia. I have long argued, not unlike Norman Finkelstein, that whenever Israel faces increased international pressure or condemnation, the cry of “anti-Semitism” is heard from the Jewish community. Bashing Jews because they are Jewish is clearly anti-Semitic. Damning Israeli policies is usually not.

The Geelong Advertiser examined this issue last Saturday (page 1 is here page1.PDF and page 2 is here page2.PDF)

Advertiser A

Advertiser B

  • Ros

    "F**king Jews" and "Go the Nazis",

    Do you really think Antony that these Australian Rules football players were reacting to Israel and Lebanon.

    Jews are 1.4% of the population of the US, Muslims 0.6%.

    USA religious attacks

    2005, 68.5% anti-Jewish, 11.1% anti-Islamic

    2004, 67.8% anti-Jewish, 13% anti-Islamic

    2003, 69.2% anti-Jewish, 10.9% anti-Islamic

    2002, 65.3% anti-Jewish, 10.5% anti-Islamic

    2001, 55.7% anti-Jewish, 27.2% anti-Islamic

    1995, 82.8% anti-Jewish, 2.2% anti-Islamic

    It would seem that there is no need to complain about increasing attacks on Jew in the USA, it never stops. What is interesting about those stats, apart from the disproportionate number of Jews attacked, is the reduction in percentage with the increase in attacks on Muslims. Could conclude from that that hate criminals just run with any excuse to attack, and some have transferred their violence to Muslims.

    This is the USA though which has always been more tolerant of Jews than Europe. Occasionally Europe admits, even France, that anti-Semitism is coming back in strength.

    And yet in India.

    “India is home to several communities of Jews. There have been no anti-Semitic incidents from other Indians in the nearly 3-millenium history of Indian Jewry.”

    Why aren’t there some Indians who hate “Zionism” and Israel? Maybe it is because they don’t hate Jews.

    To believe that Jews get attacked so much because of Israel, not because they are Jews requires one to believe that an extremely anti-Semitic Europe abandoned a millenniums long meme of anti-Semitism at the end of WW2, and took up a new meme, anti-Zionism. A more logical conclusion is that the meme of anti-Semitism morphed into anti-Zionism. A good reason for assuming that the meme has merely changed its name is that now it is Zionists that supposedly control the world’s finances and media etc. (Your mate Margo for one). The reasons for hating Jews are the same as the reasons for hating “Zionists”. Both are considered murderers, thieves and conspirators. Possibly new is that now they are also stealing land. Europe has never considered that Jews should be allowed to own land. And the ME has adopted the same meme. Jordan for one has legislated to that effect.

    The fact that there are disproportionate attacks against Jews, not Zionists, says that even if the intellectual elite are sincere in their dislike of the political ideology of Zionism and the existence of a state called Israel, those who are attacking Jews are making no such distinctions. Hence what Israel does is not the point, it is any excuse to hate a Jew that drives the violent. Or nasty violent Aussie Rules footballers.

    You claim that the waves of attacks on Jews, and hence the attack on Menachem Vorchheimer is because of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, not because of that eons old disease anti-Semitism. So you can conceive therefore of this same mob of bullies, on passing a Chinese family walking down the street would attack them because of the illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet by China. That they would shout “f…cking Chinese’ and “go the Japanese”.

    If you didn’t mean to imply that he got attacked by these oafs because of Israel, rather that he was attacked for being Jewish, say so and sincerely condemn, rather than excuse the violence. Just the reality? A fact of life. I think you could understand if Menachem didn’t want to invite you around to his home. That he might suspect you of using his attack to promote your views about Israel and Australian Jews, rather than feel any compassion for him, or empathy for the fear with which he and his family must now live.

    There is no justification for attacking an Australian because he was identifiable as Jewish. Israel is the excuse, not the reason.

    It is hard to understand how you could have grown up here and never grasped the fidelity, fecundity and longevity of the anti-Semitic meme in this country for one. Or never wondered if this malevolent meme has ensured its fidelity, fecundity and longevity, in the face of human embarrassment at the Holocaust, by changing its name.


  • Bernadotte

    A meme refers only to a cognitive pattern that replicates for it's own sake.

    Israeli racism is real.

    Israel's apartheid policy, racial purity laws and ethnic cleansingpractices are real.

    There is absolutely no ethcial justification for Zionism – a eugenic, religious and racial supremacist methylation of Darwin and Deuteronomy.

    Anti-Zionism is not a meme: it is a moral obligation.

    (note: the term meme was created by the anti-theist Richard Dawkins as an explanatory metaphor to help undermine skydaddy worship and other tragic faith-based tendencies – it doesn't help to use the term in defense of a religious state – au contraire….)

  • Ros

    Dawkin says that the original mission of the meme was a negative one, but not “as an explanatory metaphor to help undermine skydaddy worship and other tragic faith-based tendencies”. Rather it was coined as representing another kind of Replicator, to reinforce his argument that the gene was only a special case in the general process that he dubbed “Universal Darwinism”.

    He also says of memes, “that gangs of mutually compatible memes – coadapted meme complexes or memeplexes – are found cohabiting in individual brains. This is not because selection has chosen them as a group, but because each separate member of the group tends to be favoured when its environment happens to be dominated by others.”

    It may be the case that you believe that Israel is a racist state, that it is so because of Zionism, and hence it is a moral obligation to oppose it (Zionism, Israel?). Not sure which particular version of anti-Zionism you adhere to, the physical destruction of Israel and the death or expulsion of its Jewish inhabitants, or that Israel ought to be voluntarily transformed into a state in which Jews and Palestinians live together as equals. However the footy players who are the example discussed in this post are, I have no doubt, commanded by a group of mutually compatible genes that revolve around anti-Semitism, not the belief that Israel should become Palestine and its actions in Lebanon serve as proof of that necessity.

    That Dawkins considers religion a virus is not what memes are about. I wouldn’t object to that view of religion, but then it is just another cultural system for me, just another natural phenomena, which leads to Dennett. Dennett’s view of memes which suggests that they “could create genuine differences in morals between cultures, perhaps even to the level of changing the basic tenets of morality”

    The arguments that occur here could suggest that even within cultures there are genuine differences.

    Anti-Zionism is your moral obligation, my morality obliges me to defend the Jews and their right to live in the nation-state of Israel.

    But anti-Zionism does not excuse the abuse of individuals for being Jewish, or explain it.

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