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.

Noam Chomsky at the Riverside Church in New York

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I first started reading Noam Chomsky at university. His political works were sometimes dense and impenetrable, but his reasoning on Israel/Palestine, written as a Jew, moved me deeply. When I finally met him in 2005 in Boston, during the research of my first book, My Israel Question, his humility and insights caused me to consider the ways in which I approached the Middle East issue. The brutal realities of the occupation, something I saw with my own eyes, took me on a certain path. This wasn’t Judaism; it was revenge.

Seeing Chomsky tonight in New York, at the massive Riverside Church near Columbia University (photos here), was quite an experience. People lined up around the block and 2000 people eventually filled the pews; a space where Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Arundhati Roy have spoken in the past. It’s haunted by history and progress.

Introduced by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, who gave a very moving tribute to one of the greatest intellectuals and activists of the modern age, I sat there almost in tears. Chomsky’s achievements are legendary, from campaigning for East Timor, Palestine, the under-class and poor. He’s humble.

His speech, over one hour long, discussed the global financial crisis, US imperialism, worker’s rights, the false idol of Obama and Haiti. It was like listening to a history lesson of the past and present. Some people find his delivery a little dull, and I understand that, but I can’t help but feel inspired by his practical solutions. Friends who know Chomsky often joke that he has an encyclopaedic knowledge and they’re right. But it’s not just his brains that convince me. It’s what he has done with it, empowering literally millions across the globe. Goodman said his work has saved lives and I believe it.

Chomsky didn’t really discuss Israel/Palestine (his recent dissection of Obama’s Cairo speech was spot-on), but it didn’t matter. Chomsky has been mocked, slandered, defamed and attacked by decades, yet his popularity and influence remains stronger than ever. He’s the threat of a good example.

Morality in public life and policy matters.

4 comments ↪
  • Mona

    –"Morality in public life and policy matters."

    Well said.

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  • I was there, Beside the fact that he sounded old and tired, the information was excellent. You can tell that what he passed on to us in attendance is just the tip of the iceberg of the knowledge he has. The information about our government's deceitful and ignorant practices was very enlightening and his intelligent criticisms of Obama were refreshing compared to the mainstream media.

    My criticism of Chomsky is that I do not believe he goes far enough. His viewpoints see government as the ultimate power but in reality, finance is. Those who control the flow of money are the most powerful and have international influence. They fiance governments, movements, uprisings and all the like. Chomsky touched on a few facts relevant to his truth – The Goverment gives in to the demands of the financial sector, and the government, especially in Obama's care, is made of many members of the financial elite.

    Because of these facts, money making is setting public policy, often behind the back of the public, with organizations such as The Bilderberg Group. Among Chomsky's other revelations, he spoke on the Democratic Defecit and James Madison's insistence that the constitution protect the minority of the wealthy from the indentured minority.

    One thing I did not get out of the event was the Hope. Why this word was included in the title, I am not sure. But that doesn't mean i've lost any bit of it.

  • Where can I get copy of text of Riverside Church speech?