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.

Murdoch hates the web but wants your money, anyway

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is now a an online-only newspaper, surviving and seemingly thriving in a new age. But its ability to report deeply on various issues has been reduced due to a lack of senior staff. Non-professional journalists have been asked to provide stories.

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch is about to enter a brave a new world, charging people for wonderful content that details the wonders of Western liberation campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“Adios. Give me a call when you’re free again,” posted Jeannine Steward on Times Online yesterday, shortly after Rupert Murdoch’s News International announced that from June it would be charging £2 a week for access to the websites of The Times and The Sunday Times.

The introduction of this internet paywall, first announced by Mr Murdoch last August as he suffered the humiliation of posting a huge annual loss for his global media empire, is a step into the unknown for the most famous newspaper mogul of them all.

Since then, his henchmen have been working overtime in an effort to solve a conundrum that has been vexing traditional media companies for several years: how do you challenge the apparently ingrained concept that online news comes for free?

Yesterday morning Rebekah Brooks, the News International chief executive, released a statement saying that from 1 June it would charge £1 a day, or £2 for a week’s subscription to both The Times’s website and a Sunday Times site that has yet to launch. “This is just the start,” she promised. “These new sites, and the apps that will enhance the experience, reflect the identity of our titles and deliver a terrific experience for readers.”

Predictably, most of those users who have become accustomed to accessing Times Online for nothing were unimpressed. “Boo,” posted Katey Daley. “I won’t pay cause I simply can’t be bothered getting out my credit card and typing in all the details.”

Others could understand News International’s position, a predicament that became more stark with the release of figures last week showing that losses at News International increased to £87.7m in the year to June, from £50.2m in the previous 12 months. “Where else in the internet would you be able to read brilliant articles by A A Gill, Michael Winner, Jeremy Clarkson, Sarah Vine, Matthew Parris, William Rees-Mogg, Dominic Lawson?” posted Peter Hurst, showing an apparent willingness to cough up for his favourites.

Times Online has a unique monthly audience slightly in excess of 20 million. But during a Q&A with readers yesterday, James Harding, editor of The Times, described such users as mere “window shoppers”. He said: “Clearly, we are going to lose a lot of passing traffic. We have, like a few other national newspapers, tens of millions of unique users a month. But they are not regular readers. They are more like window shoppers.”

News International’s move, being watched closely by other newspaper businesses, represents a challenge to the culture of the internet. Michael Wolff, biographer of Mr Murdoch and founder of the news aggregation site Newser.com, said the media mogul’s gamble – which offers free online access to subscribers to the two newspapers – was designed to preserve sales of the print products.

“He does not care about the online business. It’s like the old days when we gave away toasters with subscriptions,” he said. “They are saying ‘Buy my newspaper and you can have online for free. If you don’t, I’m going to make the cost of online reading really quite onerous’. Rupert wants be the guy that saved newspapers. He hates the internet.”

one comment ↪
  • Bernard Rooney

    Gawd almighty – as a hard core Chomskyite I couldn't be more delighted but it's hard to believe he's actually going ahead with his "carefully planned suicide".

    The most amazing thing is he really seems to believe the rubbish produced by his evil propaganda network is actually worth paying for.

    If Murdoch is losing his mind as fast as he's losing money, there might be an opportunity for predatory vultures to swoop in and pick up News Ltd cheap. There's gotta be quite a bit of value in all that cable, satellite and online presence. Just get rid of Murdoch himself, paper, and 95% of the "journalists".