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.

Boredom by 1000 cuts continues

The “controversy” over my recent appearance on ABC TV continues along its parochial way. Today’s Australian newspaper reports:

The ABC has buckled to concerns of bias made by a federal parliamentarian.

 

But the gripes have come from a Labor member, Melbourne Ports’ Michael Danby, not the Government that pushed for the appointment of a bias watchdog at the ABC.

 

ABC managing director Mark Scott will meet Mr Danby after the MP’s complaints about an intemperate email from current affairs reporter Emma Alberici and the inclusion of Israel critic Anthony Lowenstein on the new ABC TV panel discussion show, Difference of Opinion.

 

Mr Danby complained about Mr Lowenstein’s inclusion as a Jewish representative in a discussion on “Australian and Islam: a collision course?”, which aired on April 2.

 

Mr Danby said Jeff McMullen, the program’s host, had written “an extensive and quite polite letter” in response to Mr Danby’s concerns that Mr Lowenstein did not represent Jewish Australians.

 

Mr Scott has also sent a conciliatory email to Mr Danby.

 

“He said he was looking into the issue of representation on the program and he’s agreed to meet with me and we’ll talk about this at some time when it’s convenient,” Mr Danby said.

 

Sandy Culkoff, an ABC Corporate spokeswoman, told The Weekend Australian: “Anthony Loewenstein was not included on the panel as a representative of the Australian Jewish community. He is a journalist and author who holds positions at Macquarie University relevant to the topics being discussed on this episode.”

 

Mr Danby’s ire at the ABC was first provoked in March during a story by Alberici on ABC radio’s AM about a petition, calling for more open debate on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, signed by a group called Independent Australian Jewish Voices, which included barrister Robert Richter QC and publisher Louise Adler.

 

After suggesting to the reporter that he and other members deserved air time to offer a counter view, Mr Danby received an email from Alberici.

 

It said: “The fact that you want to complain about a group of people who signed a petition calling for a more wholesome debate about the issues facing Israel is not what we would necessarily count as news. What it is you are complaining about exactly is unclear.”

 

Mr Danby filed a complaint to ABC radio’s editor of network news Gordon Lavery, who replied that Mr Danby’s views did not warrant further coverage.

 

Ultimately, ABC director of corporate strategy and governance Murray Green apologised to Mr Danby. The matter is under investigation by ABC director of editorial policies Paul Chadwick.

 

Ms Culkoff said: “The ABC takes complaints about its programs very seriously and it is being assessed against the ABC’s editorial guidelines.”

 

It would be nice if the Murdoch organ actually discovered how to spell my name.

 

Otherwise, this story is now really beyond parody. Take a bullying and clueless Labor MP with little else to spend taxpayer’s dollars on than slamming a legitimate point of view, and you’ve got the making of a parochial wet dream.

 

Danby and his Zionist ilk can’t stand the fact that their tired and aggressive ideology is increasingly loathed the world over, so what do they do? Hassle any media outlets that give space to a humane Judaism, rather than militancy. As I’ve said many times before, their tactics only increase anti-Semitism, not decrease it.

 

In a democracy, Michael and friends, alternative views can exist harmoniously with your failed ideas. It’s called a free press. Perhaps you should go North Korea and learn about it.

 

Being in New York, and meeting the wealth of alternative, challenging and dissenting Jewish perspectives, watching the goings-on back in Australia is decidedly depressing. On the other hand, I feel great support here for the message I’m putting forward. I don’t feel so alone.

 

15 comments ↪
  • al loomis

    i just wish you were 'anti-zionist'. your position seems to be: 'the zionists took a little more than they should, as soon as they give back that little, we can all play together nicely,"

    i presume you know the history of the post-war invasion of palestine as well as anyone. refusal to acknowledge this history makes you as culpable as any irgun terrorist. but the blatant zionists know what closet zionists do not: their title to the land of palestine rests on force. any negotiation that admits of an arab right to any land will lead to an assertion of arab rights to jewish land, because most jews live on land taken from arabs by violence.

    the zionists must go fighting, and apologists can go on pretending violence will end as soon as the invaders give back their latest thefts. it's a living, but not an honest one.

  • Antony it's interesting that Danby et al, can only see you as a Jew, rather than a person who is also a "journalist and an author".

    Anti-semitism anyone?

  • viva peace

    Oh come on. How stupid does Culkoff think we are? Does anybody seriously think Lowenstein would be invited anywhere if he did not keep going on about being a Jew?

  • viva peace

    al loomis

    After 1948, there was no such place as "Palestine." 'Palestine' was a construction of British imperialism. When the Jews kicked the imperialists out, 'Palestine' was no more. The part illegally stolen by Jordan was renamed from Samaria and Judea to 'the West Bank.'

    Please try to keep up.

  • Pingback: New York lift-off at Antony Loewenstein()

  • There's a surprise….viva is with Danby…..Antony isn't a journlist or writer or board member of MU's CMENAS, he only has one identity- a Jewish one.

    Maybe Danby and viva are 'the new anti-semitism'.

  • Ajay

    Well Antony, I am sure its tempting to stay a while over there where there is some depth to the debate.

    Don't abandon the land downunder, we are slow learners here and bloody insular. But we need someone to keep raking over the issues that need to be faced.

    Scott Ritter of course had it right – We should be Flying the Stars & Stripes to affirm our colonial status or maybe we should Hoist the Stra of David also and be done with it – Of course we have a US Viceroy in Canberra, just to make sure it all gets done right, on behalf of Tel Aviv.

  • Andre

    After 1948, there was no such place as “Palestine.” ‘Palestine’ was a construction of British imperialism.

    Israel was also construction of British imperialism and it was supposed to reside inside Palestine.

  • When I worked at the ABC in the 70s and 80s it was entirely professional and ethical. You could rely on it to tell it straight. We were proud of our honesty. That is what made the ABC what it was. While individuals had the normal spread of political views these did not, and we were professionally proud that they did not, impinge on program content. We didn't need watch-dogs. Our impartiality was who we were as professionals, and why we worked there. We pursued a craft, not a political agenda and this was true of everyone I knew, including the most senior journalists.

    Somehow the myth of a possible systemic left-wing bias spooked management and the result has been a systemic and systematic right-wing bias synthetically installed so that now we have right-wing shows like "Insiders" (which presents people like Ackermann, Bolt and Milne as if they were valid, moderate conservative voices and not screeching irrational, hard-right apologists), the acceptably "soft-right" Trigger Trioli and a host of other self-consciously "conservative" voices artificially inserted into rational debate for the sake of "balance".

    So it is now no surprise that management goes to water at any hint from a politician like Danby that the ABC might have aired a non-conservative opinion.

  • Andre

    Fascinating take Graham.

    The same phenomena has taken place in the US and Britain. In fact, both George Galloway and Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan stated that they are given wider birth when they appear of Sky Television than on the BBC, where the hosts walk on egg shells to avoid any left leaning commentary.

    The myth of the media being liberal and left wing is a complete hoax of course. After all, the watch dogs are by and large, right wing and the owners of the media outlets are all large corporations who's business interests are served by conservative policies.

    It's little wonder therefore, why the Internet has left the MSM behind.

  • Andre

    Viva,

    You make for a poor student of history.

    There were no Israelis before 1948, because there was no Israel. Very shoddy for a Zionist indeed.

  • viva peace

    Andre

    You are not a very fast learner are you? Israel was created by Israelis. And the world accepted it like any other legitimate nation state in 1949, through the UN.

  • viva peace

    Ah, Andre, if you knew your UN history you would realize that Israelis are citizens of the UN member nation state of Israel.

  • Andre

    Ah, Andre, if you knew your UN history you would realize that Israelis are citizens of the UN member nation state of Israel.

    Except that there was no state of Israel before 1948. Wake up Viva. time does not travel in two directions.

  • viva peace

    Andre

    Has anybody claimed otherwise?