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.

Making friends in all the wrong places

2007 was the year of Facebook, according to one media commentator. Newspapers now have little choice but to adapt to the online world. The days of print may never end, but they’re certainly in serious decline. But more fundamental questions remain. How does the American consumer actually view the products they’re consuming?

The Pew Research Center has tracked perceptions of the press among U.S. adults for more than two decades, asking the same questions over time. Some trends speak volumes:

• In 1985, when asked whether news organizations “get the facts straight” or are “often inaccurate,” 55 percent chose the former option and 34 percent the latter. This past July, when Pew asked this question, the responses were almost exactly reversed: 39 percent said news media get facts straight and 53 percent said they often don’t.

• In 1985, when asked whether news organizations were “moral” or “immoral” in their practices, 54 percent indicated the former, 13 percent the latter, and 33 percent said neither or that they weren’t sure. This past July, 46 percent said news media were moral while nearly a third, 32 percent, said immoral.

• In 1985, when asked whether news organizations “are pretty independent” or are “often influenced by powerful people and organizations,” 37 percent chose the former option and 53 percent the latter. That wasn’t good for the press then. It’s even worse now: In July, 69 percent said news media are often influenced by powerful actors and institutions.

• Finally, in 1985, when asked whether news organizations “protect democracy” or “hurt democracy,” 54 percent chose the former option and 23 percent the latter. In July, only 44 percent said news media protect democracy, while more than a third, 36 percent, said news media hurt democracy.

Sadly, most journalists are woeful at self-reflection and remain defensive when challenged on the failings of the industry. Personally speaking, most reporters I’ve known over the years prefer to be players, close to establishment power and happy to ignore a healthy distance between themselves and the power elite.

We all suffer as a result.

one comment ↪
  • db

    Meanwhile, Greggy Sheridan has a hard-on for the fascist Lieberman.
    'Lieberman, a Russian immigrant to Israel, leads a right-wing, predominantly Russian party. In some ways, he is more open to compromise than many Israelis. He would be willing to cede Israeli land to a Palestinian state.

    What makes Lieberman controversial, and unacceptable to many, is his view that as well as territory, Israel should give away people, too, in particular its Muslim Arab citizens. He doesn't want to expel them exactly, just redraw some borders so that some Arab towns and villages move into a new Palestinian state nextdoor, thus making Israel a more Jewish state.

    The idea of excluding people on the basis of their ethnicity or religion is anathema to every liberal principle (and it is hard to imagine a single Israeli Arab willingly moving from rich Israel to poor and violent Palestine).

    Yet it conforms to the reality of the Middle East. Hamas extremists are trying to kill, convert or drive into exile the tiny Christian minority in the Gaza Strip.

    The Jewish minorities have been driven out of virtually every Arab state. And even the ultimate logic of objecting to every Jewish settlement in the West Bank can be seen as endorsing the notion that Israel should bequeath to the Palestinians a state which contains not a single Jew.

    To get a better idea of Lieberman's thinking, last week I met him for a lengthy discussion in his tiny, incredibly cramped office in the Knesset building in Jerusalem.

    Lieberman comes across as smart as hell, direct and charming in a rough, Russian way.'

    etc.

    '…perhaps the most convincing [part of the Lieberman credo] is his casting of the conflicts involving Israel in a much wider historical and ideological context: "What is happening is really the worldwide clash of civilisations. It is really nothing to do with Israel. It's just bad luck where we are located. We would prefer to have neighbours like New Zealand.