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.

Melanie Philips, unplugged

A very helpful “digested read” in the Guardian of the latest work by Melanie Philips:

This book arose from a sense of perplexity that almost everyone in the world thought I was clinically mad. Everywhere I looked there were people who believed boarding a humanitarian aid convoy in international waters and murdering nine people was a little bit naughty. So I did what I’ve always done as a columnist for the Daily Mail; go where my bigotry leads.

Conspiracy theories abound in public life. Almost all of them are based on myth. The simple fact is that global warming is a lie created by politically correct liberals who are holding the universe to ransom. The reality is that not a single glacier has melted in Israel over the last 50 years. Likewise, green activists try to claim the teeny oil-spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmental disaster. How much oil has been washed up on the beaches of Eilat? None.

The legitimacy of the war in Iraq has been similarly subverted. Hard-line Trotskyists say we were led into the war on a lie. This is not the case. After Saddam Hussein was toppled, Mossad found huge caches of nuclear weapons in bunkers throughout the country. Understandably, Mossad chose not to go public with this because, as a responsible government agency, it didn’t want to worry anyone unduly.

Not that anyone has ever thanked Israel for this act of global compassion. But this is symptomatic of the way Israel is misrepresented. It is often suggested the Palestinians have an equal right to Israeli lands. This is demonstrably false. If you follow the Old Testament family tree from Adam to Abraham, you can see God gave the country to the Jews. Indeed, it is a mark of Israel’s tolerance that it allows some so-called Palestinians to live in the Gaza slums. And how do the Palestinians repay Israel? By throwing stones. How dare the world complain if Israel responds proportionately by returning the Palestinians to the Stone Age where they belong?

These falsehoods are presented as unchallengeable truths; in fact, they are anti-Semitic leftwing ideologies based on twisted evidence. We now live in a world of moral relativism where to believe in scientific inquiry or to be gay or a Muslim is socially acceptable. How can any right thinking person go along with this new age of Reason? The Enlightenment has a lot to answer for. Surely it must be apparent to even Richard Dawkins that he couldn’t have written the God Delusion without God’s help? Though obviously not the Muslim God because he doesn’t exist.

Secularism is the curse of modern life. If everyone went to Synagogue to thank the Intelligent Designer there would be no more conflict. Instead there is a global coalition of Muslims, environmentalists and vegetarians whose sole purpose is to destroy the state of Israel. The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre – co-ordinated by Osama bin Laden and George Monbiot – was nothing less than a dry run for a ram raid on the Burger King in central Tel Aviv.

Anti-Zionists claim the neocons are in the pockets of the Jews. Nonsense. Reason naturally aligns itself with reason. That is why no reasonable person can possibly be a Muslim. Many of the central tenets of Islam run contrary to Judaism and since Judaism is correct in every respect, ergo it must be irrational to be nice to Muslims. Yet such is our topsy-turvy world it is the Jews who get demonised for trying to do everyone a favour by preventing the Palestinians from becoming a recognised terrorist state.

The anti-Semitic lies proliferate at a terrifying speed. The most pernicious is that Israel has no sense of humour. What’s not to laugh about Mossad agents flying in to Dubai and taking out an Arab? All I can say is thank God there are still some fearless media outlets, such as Fox News and the Daily Mail, who are prepared to stand up for the truth. Hey? What’s with the strait-jacket? Where are you taking me?

Digested read, digested: Black is white.

one comment ↪
  • Al

    The last paragraph says it all…