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.

Human rights, boycotts and nationalism

My following article appears in the Amnesty International Australia’s Uncensor campaign about human rights in China:

With only 100 days until the Beijing Games, human rights activists are continuing to pressure the Chinese regime and authorities may be starting to feel the pressure, writes Antony Loewenstein.

After months of criticism of its human rights record, a conference in Beijing in late April attempted to challenge the Western perception. Luo Haocai, director of the China Society for Human Rights, said that, “China believes human rights like other rights are not ‘absolute’ and the rights enjoyed should conform to obligations fulfilled”.

After 30 years of rapid growth, he said, the Chinese people enjoyed religious freedom, political and social rights. Wang Chen, director of the Information Office at the State Council, agreed. “China is a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion and China’s human rights development still faces many problems and difficulties.” It’s a view unlikely to be shared by many in the West.

The Beijing Olympics continue to be a rallying cry for human rights activists. Advocacy group Dream for Darfur is now targeting corporate sponsors of the Games, including Coca Cola and McDonalds. BHP Billiton is accused of not speaking out on the ongoing genocide in Darfur. BHP was one of only eight companies to receive an “F” grade for its “moral failings” over Sudan.

Even the Germany Foreign Ministry, in a confidential report leaked to Spiegel, found “significant” failings over human rights, including excessive use of the death penalty, holding dissidents for no apparent reason, censoring the media and an inability to handle criticism. Torture was rampant.

None of these concerns seem to concern most Western companies, however. At a recent China International Exhibition of Police Equipment, countless multinationals displayed goods specifically designed to repress Chinese citizens. The New York Times questioned whether the export of such items might have breached a law passed in Congress after the 1989 Tiananmen Square killings. Like for many internet companies, China is a booming market, seemingly difficult to resist.

There are growing signs, however, that some companies are learning from past mistakes. Yahoo, after launching a Human Rights Funds last year to provide legal and humanitarian assistance for political dissidents, appears to be at least trying to mitigate its previous collusion with the Chinese regime. Yahoo boss Jerry Yang said last week: “I think that I’m a big believer in the American values (but) as we operate around the world, we don’t walk around having a very heavy-handed American point of view.”

Google’s recent announcement of an expanded Chinese workforce is cause for concern, however as was Yahoo’s recent involvement in a “One World, One Web” conference in Beijing.

The Chinese people themselves remain defiant and hurt by the international criticism of their government’s human rights record (though there is some dissent online). Chinese students in the US are battling what they see as biased media coverage and in China itself citizens recently said they trusted state media more than Western outlets to accurately report the Olympic torch relay.

CNN remains in the firing line and Chinese hackers are operating with tacit government support to disable foreign websites.

With 100 days until the beginning of the Beijing Games, now is the time to increase pressure on the weak spots of the Chinese regime (though a recent report suggests the US government is currently trying to scuttle a human rights lawsuit against a senior Chinese leader fearing a chill in trade relations).

Perhaps China watcher John Pomfret, writing in the Washington Post, gets it right. He argues that although the current protests in China are against the foreign media and Tibet, it wouldn’t take much to switch anger towards the Communist Party. In other words, Chinese nationalism is a constantly evolving entity.

Many Chinese are critical of their government; they simply have nowhere to vent their frustrations. This doesn’t mean they want to embrace Western-style capitalism.

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