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.

Jew urges Australia to stick head in the sand

Yet another response in today’s Melbourne Age after former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’s comments about engaging Hamas and other highly sensible suggestions. This one Jew ain’t happy at all:

Former prime minster Malcolm Fraser’s call for the Australian Government to engage with Hamas (Comment, 11/8) is as misguided as it is misleading. Even more disturbing than his naive political exhortations is Fraser’s sinister claim that the reason the Government has not adopted his personal approach is for ”fear of criticism from the Jewish lobby”. This raises the ancient canard of pointing the finger at a minority group and suggesting it exercises undue power through illegitimate means.

Fraser knows that Jews make up less than 1 per cent of the Australian population. He also knows that it is an articulate and engaged community that is committed to democratic processes. At the end of the day, no force in the world can prevent a Government from doing what it sees as being in the best interests of this country.

Perhaps the reality is simpler. Australia, in keeping with most Western democracies, is simply carrying out good policy in refusing to engage with an extremist fundamentalist group. One can only be gratified that there is bipartisan support in the Australian Parliament for promoting moderation rather than extremism.

Johnny Baker, Caulfield North

4 comments ↪
  • ej

    Ah yes, more canards from the ghetto that is Caulfield, into which news of the real world never infiltrates.

    There is indeed bipartisan support in the Australian Parliament, but for extremism in the form of the racist and brutal state of Israel.

    an articulate and engaged community committed to democratic processes? right. And yet we have the fifth column Member for Melbourne Ports whose gatekeeping role for a foreign power closes down disclosure in Parliament of Israel's crimes. We have the odious process of Parliamentarians being finesssed to prostitute themselves at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. We have the contemptible process of Israel naming trees or forests planted on stolen land after Australian 'statesmen' for having given over the sovereignty of Australia to serve Israel's interests. We have Australia's voting record at the UN as a slavish abdication of national interest to the US-Israel axis. We have Parliamentarians quaking in their shoes over being the recipients of the endless lobbying pressure from the hysterical hacks of the organised lobby in Australia. Ditto newspaper editors.  We have the recent unsavoury tales between the legs slavish fully paid up trip of senior Parliamentarians and media hacks to be told the correct line under cover of 'cultural exchange'. Thus does Julia Gillard deliver our 'democratic processes' to a venal regime and its mindless devotees in Australia.

    Time to move out of the womb Johnny and grow up.

  • ej

    Oops. 'tails between the legs .

  • ej

    Oops. 'tails between the legs '.

    How is one expected to stay sober, sane and articulate in the face  of the Great Lie.

    By coincidence yesterday I saw Pilger's 2002 documentary Palestinie is Still the Issue.

    Hard to remain seated in the face of the (American born) Israeli government spokesperson's magnificently crafted deceit. Johhny Bakers seems to be serving an apprenticeship for this role.

    The showing of this documentary on British television led to the usual hysterical attempt to censor the airwaves, to which Pilger responded.  As here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2002/sep/23/telev

    One of Pilger's paragraphs is salutary and of ongoing relevance:

    « For years, journalists have complained about Zionist hate mail and the pressure of the "regular call from the Israeli embassy" to current affairs editors. This can take a subtle form: pressure is applied to correspondents in Jerusalem, who then shape their reports accordingly in the interests of what they tell themselves is "balance", but is, in effect, censorship by omission. The system gets the Israelis off their backs and "makes life bearable". »

    Ah yes. this is Johhny Baker's democracy at work.

  • Marilyn

    What do jews in Australia have to do with the brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel and why is it any of their business if the world chooses to talk to Hamas?

    At least Hamas was elected in a free and fair election, they can and do hold the peace when Israel won't and all they want is food, water and common decency for their people.

    The Johnny Bakers of this world need a good kick in the fundamentals.

    Do you suppose they are part of the hasbara shills campaign run by Israel or like Michael Brull do they live in jewish areas only.

    It's amazing how such a tiny group of people can be so noisy and why don't they just stop screaming in our faces.

    They would be astonished at the numbers of ordinary anglo supporters the Palestinians have all over the world who used to support Israel but don't now and haven't since Sabra and Shatila.