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.

Reflections on China

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

There are small signs that Chinese nationalism is being tempered by more thoughtful analysis of the motherland, writes Antony Loewenstein.

The Olympic torch relay has arrived in China. Unsurprisingly, the route in North Korea was protest-free.

Away from the Western media, however, the ethnic Uighur population are calling on the world to boycott the route through East Turkestan, alleging human rights abuses. Darfur campaigner Mia Farrow arrived in Hong Kong to highlight Beijing’s complicity with the Sudanese regime. American Jewish leaders are urging Jews to boycott the Games.

Nobody should expect the remaining leg of the torch to be trouble-free. Any number of minorities will attempt to disrupt the route, especially in Tibet itself, despite the undoubtedly excessive Chinese police presence.

The result of global outrage over Tibet and China’s human rights abuses continues to generate intense nationalism at home. The regime remains unsure how to manage the conflicting challenges. On the one hand it wants to show the world that its citizens love the motherland and don’t take kindly to Western lecturing. On the other hand, foreign investment is central to the country’s rapid economic rise and officials fear intense anti-Western sentiment may scare away much-needed financial support. Recent anti-French protests in China failed to generate the expected interest.

The reasons behind the nationalist surge are explained by Canberra-based, ANU Sinologist Geremie Barme who writes that, “many observers feel they have seen a sort of “export authoritarianism” masquerading as Chinese patriotism.” He continues:

“It is noteworthy that some bloggers in China are also disgusted by the self-indulgent rhetorical hysteria of their (generally) middle-class countrymen and women overseas. They say that they’d like to see them go back to China and fight for political reform, media freedom, and human rights on home turf rather than making an hubristic spectacle of themselves internationally.”

Jin Jung-kwon, a lecturer in German studies at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, says: “China seems to have no intention of making the Olympics a festival that people around the world can enjoy together.” It’s a sentiment that I’ve heard across the Western blogosphere. If the Chinese regime has to choose between cool and controlled, writes the Australian’s Rowan Callick, “they will always opt for the latter.” Especially in the year of the Olympics. It is even more remarkable, therefore, to read about a Tibetan blogger in Beijing continuing to discuss the reality on the ground in her homeland.

Away from the political controversies, Chinese officials are attempting to appease global fears over air pollution for the Beijing Games. China is home to one in three of the world’s smokers – during my visit last year I was constantly suffocating under a haze of smoke in seemingly every bar, restaurant and hotel – but last week announced a ban on indoor smoking.

Improving public behaviour – essential if the country will impress the tens of thousands of foreign visitors in August – is often taken into personal hands. Last year dozens of security guards used metal pipes to beat up builders having a cigarette break during the construction of the Olympic Stadium, breaking a ban on smoking at Olympic sites.

Unrest in Tibet continues and harassment of Tibetans in China proper is increasing. There are small signs of positive change, though. A Chinese student at Columbia University, after spending time with the Dalai Lama, wrote an essay with his reflections and concluded that engagement was preferable to conflict. He said:

“The meeting lasted for roughly 75 minutes, and I was deeply impressed by his sincerity and hospitality. His advocacy for non-violence, support for the Games and promise of non-independence are all consistent with what he has said and done in the West. As an ordinary overseas Chinese student, I think not only the future of Tibet requires formal discussions between Chinese government and His Holiness, but to abandon hatred and to promote harmony between Chinese and Tibetans also require continuous dialogue and communication between the two peoples, and this is the main purpose of my trip.”

Such statements would have been almost unimaginable barely a few months ago. If the recent strife leads to further dialogue between opposing parties, something positive will have emerged from a potentially diabolic situation.

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