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: a look at the repression of online journalism around the world

Democracy Now! is the world’s finest independent news service, based in New York and known for its fearless investigations of the major issues of the day (and many ignored by the corporate media.)

I was interviewed live on their TV/radio program in the studio this morning about my book, The Blogging Revolution:

JUAN GONZALEZ: A new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists says more internet journalists are jailed today than journalists in any other medium. At least fifty-six online journalists are jailed worldwide, according to CPJ’s census, a tally that surpasses the number of print journalists for the first time. The number of imprisoned online journalists has steadily increased since CPJ recorded the first jailed internet writer in its 1997 census.

AMY GOODMAN: Our next guest traveled to Iran, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and China in 2007 to look at bloggers around the world. He is Antony Loewenstein. He wrote The Blogging Revolution.

Welcome. Talk about blogging in these countries, why people are ending up in jail.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: The bottom line is that many, many people in these countries, of course, can’t rely on state-run media, which is propaganda. Bloggers and blogging is a way of trying to express different views. So in every country I went to, except for Cuba, where the internet is very underdeveloped, you have situations, people blogging about sex, about drugs, about gender issues, about politics. The majority of people in these countries don’t blog politically. They blog about their personal lives, about their boyfriends, their girlfriends. But there is increasingly, as that report states, many, many regimes who are fearful of the fact that you have independent voices, simply put.

In China, for example, I think it said there were thirty-five people who were imprisoned, many of those people—some of those people, I should add, with the assistance of Western multinationals like Yahoo!, who have actually given information to the regime to assist these people being put in jail. Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cisco, other security firms, internet firms, have sadly and shamefully been involved in these kind of complicity acts. And [inaudible] one of the things I discuss in the book is to actually have more transparency about how those guys actually operate in those kind of countries.

A place like Iran, say, the most part, the population is very, very young. So what you find is that despite like Ahmadinejad cracking down on dissent, which has undoubtedly happened in the last three years, you still find a very, very vibrant online community, far more vibrant than you get in most of the Western media. So there is, despite the crackdowns and despite the imprisonment, discussion about politics between reformists and liberals and, for that matter, conservatives. And one of the things that comes out, I think, very clearly is that many people in these countries resent how the Western media reports them, New York Times, those sort of papers.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Even in Iran, you noted that there’s an American company there, Secure Computing, that was providing a filter—

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: I did.

JUAN GONZALEZ: —for Iran to be able to filter out information on the internet?

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: The company denies it’s involved, so—but my understanding is that they actually are involved. This is what you find in country after country, that although Western multinationals often talk about human rights and democracy, we’ve seen in the last five years these companies actually operating to make a buck. China is, for example, the biggest internet market in the world, 250 million users, six million users going online every month. America’s got about 230 million people, roughly, online. So, surprise, surprise, they want to make a buck. And what you find increasingly is that companies like that are also moving into other nations.

And one of the things I discuss in the book is, we too much in the West think about these issues happening over there somewhere, China, Iran, somewhere, rather than happening here. And I think what we need to look at more closely is how these companies might operate when they behave in the West and, for that matter, are they exporting their oppression elsewhere, as well?

AMY GOODMAN: What about Saudi Arabia?

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Saudi Arabia made Iran seem liberal in comparison. The online community in Saudi Arabia is not massive, but certainly growing. I spent some time with some prominent bloggers there who are relatively liberal in a Saudi sense. And one of the challenges they have, that censorship actually in Saudi is quite minimal, believe it or not. There are websites that are blocked by the kingdom, but most of them actually are relatively available. What you find there is a great discussion between so-called liberal reformers who actually want to try and make the possibility of a liberal, more open Islam a possibility. And there’s often a great deal of competition online between more hardliners than conservatives who believe in a more fundamentalist interpretation of Islam and more individuals who believe in a more liberal, open, relatively democratic Islam.

AMY GOODMAN: Egypt?

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Egypt, again, arguably the most vibrant online community in the Middle East. There’s been a great deal of actually change there because of the internet, not least because of torture. Torture videos are increasingly now published on blogs. The government has been forced to respond. Torture still goes on, of course, but it’s becoming a lot less. And one of the things that strikes me is that a lot of social networking sites, Facebook, YouTube, actually are increasingly being used to organize dissent against the US-backed regime.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Antony Loewenstein, I want to thank you for being with us and writing this book.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: I know you head back to Australia tomorrow. The Blogging Revolution is the name of his book. He’ll be speaking at Blue Stockings in New York tonight.

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