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.

When discrimination is simply wrong

Google, a company that loves to collude with the Chinese regime, shows its softer side (via Think Progress):

Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, has attracted an unlikely assortment of foes, including Vice President Cheney’s daughter Mary, Brad Pitt, and Steven Spielberg. Yesterday, Google also took the unusual step of jumping in, noting that because it has a “great diversity of people and opinions” at the company, it rarely takes “a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues”:

However, while there are many objections to this proposition — further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text — it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 — we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.

5 comments ↪
  • Bluleader

    I'm curious as to the proposition 8 debate…

    If the gay activist lost a right to marry, when did they have it?

    Is it really about love or is it more a backdoor approach for same sex couples to recieve entitlement to social security benefits? They already have every benefit that every married couple in california has, all they have to do is file as a domestic partnership.

    Is Jerry Brown gay? If not why did he create such a misleading label for proposition 8. Isn't it about a definition? It's not really about gay people, right?

    Are the activist judges gay or have family members who are gay?

    Will I be arrested for hate speech or made to make a public apologies if I say that homosexuality is wrong?

  • Jeff

    What is ambiguous about "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California?" If you want ambiguous, read about the fear-based ads opposing prop 8.

    Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits” as married spouses. (Family Code § 297.5.) There are NO exceptions. Proposition 8 WILL NOT change this.

  • S. Marsh

    Something is not “discriminatory” for two different people unless the circumstances for the two people are the same and one of the persons is being treated differently. As an example: assume that Person A is heterosexual and Person B is homosexual. Person A has always had the right to marry someone of that person’s choice of the opposite sex (within certain limitations of the laws). Person B has always had the exact same right to marry someone of that person’s choice of the opposite sex. It is not discriminatory to say that Person B does not have the right to marry a person of the same sex when Person A does not have that right, either.

    The fact of the matter is that people are not simply free to marry “the person they love”. There are important guidelines in place that if removed could have grave consequences. For instance, what if the “person they love” is a child (willing or not)?

    This is not about “equality”, it is about pushing an agenda.

  • Jordan Gray

    Hello Marsh,

    “Something is not “discriminatory” for two different people unless the circumstances for the two people are the same and one of the persons is being treated differently.”

    Without meaning to be unkind, your example violates this premise immediately by explicitly specifying that persons A and B are not in the same circumstances. Person A is heterosexual, and thus his ideal marital partner is of the opposite sex. Person B is homosexual, and thus his ideal marital partner is of the same sex.

    Furthermore, your premise itself is flawed. One could argue from it that refusing to permit mixed-race marriages is not discriminatory, because anyone can marry an individual of the same race. This argument would not even fall foul of the flaw in your particular example, since it cannot be argued that either African-American person A or white Askenazim B is constitutionally unsuited to marrying someone of their own race. (Although a limited argument could be made that, in the latter case, exogenous marriage would be beneficial; genetic counselling is often recommended for Askenazi Jewish couples, since there is a significant probability of certain heritable disorders.)

    For a more tangible demonstration of the flaw in your example, it might be instructive to consider the ruinous relationships of many gay men and women who tried (and failed) to make a success out of a constitutionally incompatible relationship. Their broken homes, damaged partners and confused children are a testament to the inadvisability of partnering gay individuals with opposite-sex partners.

  • S. Marsh

    Hi. Jordan.

    Without taking your comments to be unkind, and without intending to be unkind in return, I would say that your last paragraph doesn’t really relate to my example. Whether certain relationships are “inadvisable” does not influence whether they are discriminatory or not.

    Your mixed-race scenario certainly brings sympathy to a discrimination that recently existed and is no longer the case; but examples can also be stated in which “discrimination” is not “prejudiced” (which is an implied characterization of the discussion about discrimination). Such examples could be: not allowing marriages of an adult with a child, or a human with an animal. Such restrictions, while certainly “discriminatory”, would not be considered “prejudiced” (at least to a large majority of people at this time) because there is a consideration (or perception, if you prefer) that such examples of marriage could damage society and diminish the role that traditional marriage has for good. Please do not infer that I mean to say that my two examples are equivalent to same-sex marriages, because they are not even close. However, I think it is fair to say that a similar “effect on society” consideration can be such that a restriction is not “discrimination” (with its implied “prejudice”) but rather “discrimination” with (perceived) cause.

    Regarding “confused children”, it is indeed unfortunate, but I suspect that the number of such confused children is far outnumbered by the number of confused children that are being taught (directly and indirectly) that marriage is not between a man and a woman.