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.

Blogger forced to reveal his identity

I was interviewed before on ABC Radio’s World Today program:

PETER CAVE: To some people the appeal of the internet is getting information out in the public domain without revealing where it’s come from.

But that could change after a court in the United Kingdom ruled that bloggers have no right to anonymity.

A policeman who blogged about his life on the force has lost his attempt to stop The Times newspaper from outing him.

He’s since been disciplined and the blog’s been taken down but observers say the case’s implications are far more widespread than that.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The Night Jack blog in the United Kingdom gave a behind-the-scenes look at frontline policing as an unnamed officer chronicled his working life in an unnamed town.

The site sometimes got up to a half a million hits a week from people wanting to read anecdotes about local criminals and descriptions of the officer’s struggle with the police bureaucracy.

In April the blogger even won the Orwell Prize for political writing. But it’s all stopped.

The Times newspaper has exposed the blogger as Detective Constable Richard Horton.

He’s received a written warning from the police force and the blog has been taken offline.

Detective Constable Horton tried to stop the newspaper outing him. He sought an injunction in the High Court but the Judge ruled that his right to privacy was outweighed by the public interest in revealing who was behind the blog.

Such issues haven’t really been tested in Australia but media and technology lawyer Peter Leonard from Gilbert and Tobin says he expects courts here would deliver a similar verdict

PETER LEONARD: I think people sometimes assume that a right to anonymity is an absolute right of privacy but they’re actually two quite different things. A right to anonymity means that you can publish something without saying who you are. But that doesn’t carry with it a right of privacy that’s enforceable against court process and against a subpoena by a law enforcement agency.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Detective Constable Horton’s lawyers argued that his name should remain secret because the account of his daily work was in the public interest.

In that way his blog was part of a growing trend in the UK, but lawyer Peter Leonard says that’s not really being reflected in Australia.

PETER LEONARD: Certainly the Federal Government has said that it’s encouraging whistleblower activity in appropriate areas and there are moves to change the law. However I think that in Australia it is still very much the exception for anyone working in the public service to be publishing comment on their activity, whether anonymous or not.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Political blogger and journalist Antony Loewenstein says Australia hasn’t yet developed a culture where bloggers give the inside story or get the big scoops. But he reckons that’s where it’s going.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: I think in Australia it’s inevitable that there’s going to be an explosion in fact of anonymous blogging and anonymous writing in general because there’s at least a sizeable minority of people in society who are concerned, including myself, of the decrease in investigative journalism by the mainstream press for financial reasons and other reasons.

So therefore, it’s vital that information gets out there and gets released and gets discussed and disseminated, and if that has to be done by anonymous blogging or anonymous sources, I’ve got no issue with that. My only concern is that people are protected for spurious reasons. The problem often is that journalists in the West often give individuals anonymity for no particular reason and that to me is a concern. There needs to be a very, very convincing reason why someone is quoted without giving their name.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Antony Loewenstein says bloggers must be held accountable

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: The lawyers of Richard Horton obviously made quite a compelling case because in his instance it seems pretty likely that some information getting out there ruins his chances of publishing what he wants to publish. But at the same time the judgement of that was solely his, only his. And if you worked for a media organisation and you’ve edited et cetera, et cetera, done some kind of checks and balances, I guess that’s my only concern about this. I’m not criticising him per se, I’m just more aligned to the reality that transparency is important.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Still he has some sympathy for Detective Constable Horton

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: My fear is that the political and legal establishment will want to try and curtail people like this gentleman because they worry about the so-called lack of accountability rather than – in other words, what he’s trying to release is going to come secondary to outing someone like that. In other words, they want to protect their arses as opposed to outing the information and that to me is always dangerous.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Antony Loewenstein says, despite his concerns about transparency and accountability, in most cases he’d still rather see information make it into the public domain.

PETER CAVE: Meredith Griffiths reporting.

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