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.

Compromising agenda?

The launch of al-Jazeera English is big news in the media world. It has already caused Tony Blair to admit the obvious over Iraq and will certainly continue to provide perspectives on world events that we rarely see in the Western media. However, this information is clearly worrying:

While in Ivory Coast on a reporting trip earlier this month, I met Gabi Menezes, Al Jazeera English’s Abidjan-based West Africa correspondent. She was rightly excited about the launch of the latest news network for the English-speaking world. Ms. Menezes’ description of Al Jazeera English’s plans for Africa intrigued me, considering the relative paucity of western television bureaux on the continent. The network had also posted correspondents in Johannesburg, Cairo, Nairobi and Harare. The idea of a Zimbabwean bureau struck me as a bit odd since the animosity of President Robert Mugabe’s regime towards local and foreign journalists is well-documented. Yet Zimbabwean Farai Sevenzo, a highly-credible journalist formerly with the BBC’s Africa service, is the correspondent. Considering its would-be rival, the BBC, is banned from the country, Al Jazeera English’s September 19th press release touting its Africa coverage gushed about its decision to set up shop in Harare. “In pursuing a news agenda that is all-inclusive, it is the only global news channel to be granted a license to operate a bureau in Zimbabwe,” the network said. “That will give Al Jazeera International unique access to this part of Southern Africa.” (NB: The network changed its name from Al Jazeera International to Al Jazeera English.)

Forget for a moment that “this part of Southern Africa” is now covered out of South Africa by most credible news organizations because most, if not all, of their Harare-based correspondents have left or been forced to leave the country by Mugabe’s regime. Let’s also suggest that Mugabe may be more popular amongst his citizenry than the western media has reported; indeed, perhaps millions upon millions of Zimbabweans remain grateful to the aging but brilliant orator for his role in the struggle to liberate the country from white rule. Still, even all that nuance can’t eradicate the reality that Zimbabwe is an economic mess. The World Bank, which isn’t particularly known for its cynicism towards aid or oil-inflated African growth rates, recently pointed out the country experienced negative growth of 2.4 percent in 2004. Four-digit inflation, at 1,070 percent in October 2006, can hardly help consumers who are already suffering from all kinds of shortages. That doesn’t account for the repressive measures used by the government against its real and perceived opponents.

All of that begs a single question: Precisely what are the terms of Al Jazeera English’s license to operate a bureau in Zimbabwe? If Mr. Sevenzo is allowed to produce stories that examine the faults of the Mugabe regime, which he has already done, then no one should dare question Al Jazeera English’s decision to establish a bureau in Harare. That shouldn’t preclude the network reporting on the positive aspects of life under Mugabe, assuming they exist. However, if the network’s stories gloss over Zimbabwe’s difficulties because the bureau wants to avoid offending the regime, then everybody will lose. Viewers won’t be granted an accurate picture of the country because the network is pulling its punches. Zimbabweans not in favor of Mugabe will likely consider Al Jazeera English to be one of his major apologists. Al Jazeera English will have sacrificed accuracy in favour of access, damaging its credibility amongst many Africans. 

one comment ↪
  • Ethiopian

    Selam

    I have been watching AJE since its first launch and liked very much they way it covers.What do the westerns know about us other than as a failed states which they are ofcourse have to share the blame.Western median have said more than enough and demonized as and we want new prespective from the untpouched side.

    No sooner than I say I am Ethiopian then I am `starving` in the eyes of the west.The Westerns are in mess just becuase of 2 or3% blended in their uniformity but never mentioned that 80 nation & nationalities live in Ethiopia with muslti religion and typical language for each yet avergae citizens live in peace side by side.We want a media which reveals this untouched side and Al jazeera already started.

    Aljazeera would win the heart of many Africans for the simple reason that Qatar, this tiny country is not part of he political game and it is third world which is more sympathetic.If there is a compromise we know how the Wets media compromised and Africans are news hunters .Mugabe forced the west media out of the country as all they were reporting was soething in rythm with the west policies.

    Aljazeera Good luck