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.

Australia’s Prime Minister is a pale shadow of nothingness

Dissident writer and academic Scott Burchill on the dead heart at the centre of the ruling Labor party in Australia (and the Prime Ministership of Julia Gillard):

Caved in to miners within hours of becoming PM – not prepared to stand up to corporate power in the West, or defend the population’s resources equity

Gushed to Obama – an “honour and privilege” just to speak to him, though we are allies in a (futile) war we are losing
Sucked up to Israel – expressed no concerns about the Dubai passport & identity theft or the flotilla massacre while deputy PM, and will not stand up to Israel lobby as PM
Backed the Afghan war unconditionally – without asking Obama any questions about McChrystal’s dismissal, how long we need to have troops in occupation, what the exit strategy, etc,
Opposed same sex marriage – apparently the state decides which consenting adults can marry, not the adults, though her choice not to marry is hers alone
Copied Howard’s Pacific solution on asylum seekers – substituting East Timor for Nauru, then abandoning it a few days later because the Timorese hadn’t been properly consulted and opposed the idea when they eventually were
Endorsed a government imposed internet filter – then abandoned it a day later because the population opposes it and thinks they should decide what they can and cannot access, not the government
Lost the Government’s two most competent ministers – Tanner can’t stand her and what she did to Rudd, Faulkner opposes the Afghanistan commitment he was charged with implementing

It’s not disappointing because only the naive believed she actually stood for something – principles or good policy, for example. If she did, she would have bailed on Rudd months ago. Concerns that someone from the left had risen to power were always risible – she is hated by her colleagues on the left more than she is by those on the right. She was only on the left of the party for the purposes of factional horse-trading and pre-selection.

What’s more difficult to understand is that like Rudd, she will be rightly criticised for not standing for, or believing in, anything. Sadly, she is actually getting credit for “clearing the decks” before an early election, as if policies are dispensable as long as it is possible to hold on to power. This tells us more about modern Labor than anything. If she is re-elected, what will she do? Manage for the sake or managing? Every other idea and principle has been, or is being, trashed.
2 comments ↪
  • As time passes, it becomes more and more difficult to find any differences between the ALP and the Coalition. There is no possibility of debate on the major issues confronting the country because those who are supposed to be politicians elected "by the people for the people" are so imbued with self-interest and furthering their holds on power that nothing else matters.

    Those of us who consider ourselves to be of the left in politics wonder who we can have dialogues with instead of talking to ourselves. There are no left groups one can support because they are all sectarian and splintered and are unable to muster people who could be a challenge to parliamentarians or they are unwilling to provide parliamentary challenges.

    So we are left with Gillard and Abbott – some choice – the Greens have not shown themselves worthy of support in general – where were they when they were needed over issues such as the same-sex partnership and so-called "equality" issues made into law by a dictatorial ALP on 1 July 2009?

    Where have they been on many other major issues which are now taking centre stage because of the ALP and Coalition's stance on all major issues?

    Every one of the points Burchill makes in the above posting makes one despair at the outcome of the next election.

    As they say in Yiddish – OI VEY!!!

    Mannie De Saxe – at 83, been there, done that, and waiting for something new! To quote the French saying – translated – the more things change, the more they stay the same!!

  • Marilyn

    Agreed old mate.   God they are a loathsome pair aren't they?