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 is not a one-sided story

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

Westerners must look at China in all its diversity, including voices of reason, writes Antony Loewenstein

During last week’s Global Voices Citizen Media Summit in Budapest, Hungary, where I presented a paper on the role of the internet in repressive regimes, there was much discussion about web issues in this Chinese Olympic year. The main conclusion was that the West fundamentally misunderstands the realities of the issue.

Take Isaac Mao, a leading blog pioneer in China. He didn’t deny the reality of major governmental filtering of sensitive material but questioned the response of Western elites to it. “We don’t have professional media in China”, Mao said. Propaganda is the name of the game, but the web is changing the rules.

CNN was accused of showing bias against the Chinese people during the Tibetan protests earlier in the year. A website,, was established to counter these perceived inaccuracies. Mao said that CNN, after the ferocious attacks, altered its coverage to better reflect the sensibilities of the Chinese people. Nobody knows if CNN was deliberately smearing China – Hong Kong academic Rebecca MacKinnon said that it might just have been the work of lowly interns at the station – but many speakers, including Mao, said that the West’s obsession with freedom of speech was often distorting our understanding of the situation.

Mao told the 200 activists, dissidents, human rights campaigners, bloggers and journalists from dozens of countries around the world, such as Kenya, Singapore, Iran, Yemen and Pakistan, that in many parts of the world the rule of law and ending corruption were far more important values.

John Kennedy, the leading translator of Chinese blog posts for Global Voices, said that it was important for Westerners to understand that the Chinese blogosphere wasn’t homogenous and displayed far more opinions than many thought. How much do we really know about general Chinese attitudes to Tibetan self-determination? Is the perception of Chinese netizens being thin-skinned really accurate and different to Westerners being attacked by another society and reacting accordingly?

While leading US-based dissident Xiao Qiang argued that the internet this year had played a key role in pushing ideologies and opinions to the extreme, Kennedy reminded us that many Chinese bloggers sided with the protesting Burmese monks in 2007. In other words, it all depends on who is pushing the authoritarianism.

Former CNN journalist Rebecca MacKinnon talked about a study conducted by Dave Lyons on his Mutant Palm blog. It shows how, compared to coverage of the 2004 Athens Games, “practically none of the sites that exist in China, written in English, are linked to or from the major English Olympics sites outside China. China may be coming out to the world this Olympics, but apparently their webpages haven’t.” We ignore Chinese voices at our peril.

Of course, with just over one month until the start of the Beijing Games, China continues to harass dissidents while imposing onerous visa restrictions on visitors. Most China experts at the Budapest conference told me that Beijing would now be expecting fairly negative global press coverage over the coming two months, considering the PR disasters in 2008.

We have to find new ways to better communicate with Chinese netizens and not ask, as MacKinnon said, “who is more brainwashed?” The emergence of websites with “alternative” versions of reality – the Chinese view and the Western-approved version – is a worrying development for a medium that should unite, rather than divide, people.

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