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.

Jews who make excuses for not really speaking out

Following the revealing article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald on Jewish dissent, these letters appear today:

It saddens me that Peter Slezak wants to be a “non-Jewish Jew”, apparently glorying in some weird self-imposed excommunication (”Promised land needs home truth”, June 8). If he was an activist in the Australian Jewish community he would know that dissent and debate in that community are as Jewish as chicken soup. Hannah Arendt was a proud Jew. She took her role seriously in sparking stormy debate and saw no contradiction in doing so as a Jew, but also as a citizen of the world.

He would also know there are many steadfast friends of Israel who, like me, want its government to stop supporting extremist settlers in the West Bank, using young Israelis in the army to protect those settlers and to enable the establishment of a Palestinian state by withdrawing the army from the West Bank.

He would also know there are many Israelis and Jewish Australians (also Zionists) who are as deeply perturbed by the short-sighted and block-headed attitude of the Netanyahu government as they are by the determination of those on the “anti-peace flotilla” to precipitate a violent confrontation.

Irving Wallach Bronte

Peter Slezak’s article and the accompanying image distort the truth. Israel was, and is, the David to the Goliath of those Arab nations that are committed to its annihilation.

I have some sympathy with much of what he says. But it all falls down by failing to represent the truth that Israel has ”lurched” to a far-right position only because it is the right that promises strong action against the rocket attacks on civilians and the infiltration across its borders of suicide bombers. Without this aggression, Israel would not be blockading Gaza.

It is also untruthful to represent the famous Jews he cites as ”heretics”. None espoused alternative religious formulas against Judaism. They were secular Jews who – like so many others – did not practise their religion yet remained identified as Jews, having been nurtured in the culture of their parents.

The sophistry of much of Slezak’s article can only perpetuate the deplorable cycle of violence in the Middle East.

Ron Spielman Paddington

Lee Rhiannon (Letters, June 8 ) says she does ”not support Islamic militancy”. But when she stands happily surrounded by Islamic flags and an angry mob shouting ”Allahu Akbar”, what other conclusion can anyone draw?

Daniel Lewis Rushcutters Bay

2 comments ↪
  • ej

    Ah yes, the spectrum of Jewish opinion. And what a parlous situation it is.

    'dissent and debate in that community are as Jewish as chicken soup' (commonly known as the Mendes defense) gives us this wretched display.

    A Zio-lite (two state solution round the corner), the fully fledged Zio (if it weren't for Hamas), and mad-dog Lewis (Islam is all you need to know).

    Like Sheehan, Lewis must have been at another rally. Islamic flags?

    The insight into the nature of healthy debate in the Jewish community offered by 'Repressed Jew' (there isn't any) is missing.

    The three letter writers write to dissent from Slezak but end up confirming him in spades.

  • Andrew

    Ron Spielman might be a tad presumptuous claiming "David" status for Israel. Let's see, Israel has decisively defeated the combined Arab nations on two occasions, they have a large, state of the art army unparalleled in the region, nuclear bombs and automatic support from the US for whatever they do. Their primary adversaries the Palestinians are trying vainly to cling on to about 20% of their ancestral lands. They have no army, no navy, no air force, but often sling stones at Israeli soldiers. Hmmm, who do you really think makes a better David, Ron?