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.

The blogging revolution that’s changing the world

The following feature, by Pam Walker, appeared in the Hub newspaper on October 13:

Few would now deny the growing power of the internet and its appeal to younger readers who are turning their backs on mainstream media in favour of online content, especially blogs.

Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist and author of My Israel Question, has just launched his latest book The Blogging Revolution, a revealing account of bloggers around the globe who write under repressive regimes.

Loewenstein decided to check out how these bloggers fared, gathering his material at private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, the homes of Cuban dissidents and newspaper offices in Beijing.

Here he discovered how the internet is threatening the rule of governments and how bloggers are leading the charge for change.

“It was an amazing trip. In every country I visited, except Cuba, the online community is vibrant,” Loewenstein said. “Most countries saw the internet as economic development. It was not seen as a political threat but over the last year governments have noticed and a trend of censoring and blocking websites has emerged.”

He acknowledges his book is critical of the west.

“I wrote it because I sensed in much of the western media a tendency to grossly oversimplify things, to push an unquestioning official line and to see everything through the prism of terrorism. I thought the best thing was to go to these countries and check it out for myself.”

What he found surprised him.

“There was more debate, both online and off, than I had expected, even in places like Iran,” he said. “Iran is amazingly liberal online, and there’s a lot of criticism of Ahmadinajad. Despite censorship and control there are debates going on, some liberal, some conservative, that are more robust than what you get in the west. But yes, there are many blocked sites deemed pornographic or political.

“Saudi Arabia is arguably the most oppressive country in the world but surprisingly, the web is generally unfiltered. There are lines that can’t be crossed but a growing number of Saudi women are going online which is incredibly empowering – one woman has a blog talking about enjoying buying lingerie for her partner.”

And China, which tops the world in internet usage with 250 million people online (the US is next with 230 million) has been opening up in the last five years.

“You find people discussing corruption online. In the cities and in rural areas you find campaigns and public protests against local officials,” he said. “Bloggers have started public online protests which the regime has allowed.”

Loewenstein says the strength of blogs is it allows people to be engaged politically.

“Do blogs change elections? No. Do they have input and influence on what is discussed? Yes,” he said. “Elections are so stage managed. Both political parties have ‘embedded’ journalists so citizen journalists who can write about what they are seeing can be helpful, despite the idea that if a mainstream journo doesn’t write it, it isn’t true.”

And Loewenstein says Yahoo, Google and Microsoft have all been willing to censor their search engines, and Yahoo and Microsoft have even handed over information about users who have then been jailed.

“Look at how some of these companies have operated, how they’ve excused it, posting photos of wanted Tibetans on the yahoo.china homepage. Yahoo US said it had nothing to do with that, so where does responsibility lie?”

In the US and the EU there are now moves to implement some agreement regarding companies like Google to specify that if they operate in countries with authoritarian regimes they don’t have to abide by local laws.

So has the internet advanced the march of democracy?

“Yes and no. The problem is you can monitor what people say online so it makes Big Brother more effective but it also challenges authoritarian regimes and gives people more of a direct voice.”

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