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.

China’s strength as a one-party state a danger to world

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

China announced last week that foreign journalists who wanted to travel freely around the country could do so from 1 January, 2007 until the end of the 2008 Olympics, a response to critics who complained of oppressive restrictions in the communist country.

Such moves are to be welcomed but a leading Chinese dissident, living in exile in the US, told a packed audience in Sydney yesterday that China’s strength as a one-party state is a danger to the Pacific and the world. He revealed through two translators some startling information that deserves a wide hearing in Australia (though his visit has received no media coverage.)

Xu Wenli is described as a “godfather of dissent” and a leading light of the Chinese pro-democracy movement. He has spent 16 years in jail for various thought crimes and was forced into exile in 2002. He currently lives in Rhode Island and is a Senior Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute of International Studies.

Organised by Sydney PEN, Xu’s audience was predominantly Chinese with only a handful of Westerners. His speech, “The authoritarianism of China makes the Pacific an UnPacific place”, outlined the ways in which timidity has descended over the Chinese people, with relatively few brave souls determined to push for a “multi-party liberal democracy.” While he acknowledged the country’s strong economy and rise in living standards, he believed, thanks to a strong-willed father, that “people must sometimes sacrifice youth for liberty”. This was his explanation for spending so many years in jail.

He revealed that last year over 85,000 protests occurred throughout China. Some were violent, with police cars being burned or police stations torched. The level of dissatisfaction within the Chinese population was growing, though such reactions are rarely expressed in the Western media.

Former World Bank president James Wolfensohn recently spoke told an audience at the University of NSW that Chinese President Hu Jintao was a fine leader who was steadily taking his country into the 21st century. Xu responded that Hu Jintao was actually an authoritarian leader, poorly educated and prone to violent suppression of dissent. He reminded the audience that his 1989 crackdown on Tibetans in Lhasa was the prelude to the Tiananmen Square massacre.

I asked if the internet might be the tool to finally crack the Chinese government’s iron grip on power. He said that he was encouraged with the number of visitors to his group’s website, the China Democracy Movement – around 850,000 hits per month with most coming from within China – and his belief that, “information will eventually reach the Chinese people”, despite the best efforts of the government to censor “subversive” material.

But Xu saved his strongest comments for Australia’s uranium sales to China and the North Korean nuclear issue. He claimed that China was determined to build nuclear weapons and would use Australia’s resources for this purpose. A Chinese general recently said that China wanted nuclear conflict with the West. Xu clearly believed that the Howard government should think very carefully before selling uranium to the Communist state. “I wish Australian politicians took a longer view on this issue”, he said.

Xu said that he didn’t believe North Korea had recently tested a nuclear weapon, principally because the “rogue state’s” technology was so out-of-date. He did fear, however, that northern China could become a dumping ground for the North’s nuclear waste if development continued.

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