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.

When a media mogul has more power than government

Oh my. Democracy is so threatened that some have become fearful of a former Australian media man who trades smears for a living:

Senior parliamentarians declined to give evidence in court against a News of the World journalist for fear of upsetting News International, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats said today.

Simon Hughes, whose phone was hacked by an investigator on behalf of the NoW, told the Commons that other MPs declined to join him in the witness box in 2006 out of fear.

“I have absolutely no doubt that some people were not willing to give evidence because they were afraid,” Hughes said. “They were afraid of going into the public domain to take on people working either directly or indirectly for one of our land’s major newspapers.”

It is understood that his remarks apply to at least one former cabinet minister. The evidence from Hughes in 2006 helped convict Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator employed by the NoW, and its former royal editor Clive Goodman.

The warning from Hughes was echoed by Tom Watson, a Labour member of the Commons culture select committee, who said that MPs were scared of senior News International figures such as its chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

Speaking in a Commons debate, in which MPs agreed to refer the phone-hacking scandal to the powerful standards and privileges committee, Watson said: “The truth is that, in this House we are all, in our own way, scared of the Rebekah Brookses of this world.

“It is almost laughable that we sit here in parliament, the central institution of our sacred democracy – among us are some of the most powerful people in the land – yet we are scared of the power that Rebekah Brooks wields without a jot of responsibility or accountability.

“The barons of the media, with their red-topped assassins, are the biggest beasts in the modern jungle. They have no predators; they are untouchable. They laugh at the law; they sneer at parliament. They have the power to hurt us, and they do, with gusto and precision, with joy and criminality. Prime ministers quail before them, and that is how they like it. That, indeed, has become how they insist upon it, and we are powerless in the face of them. We are afraid. If we oppose this motion, it is to our shame.”

And the big man didn’t escape criticism (something almost unimaginable in Australia, such is the cowardly behaviour of parliamentarians):

Rupert Murdoch found himself under fire for the first time in the phone-hacking scandal today when his judgment was called into question during a parliamentary debate.

As Conservative MPs raised concerns about News International, Murdoch was criticised for promoting Rebekah Brooks after she admitted illegal payments were made to police by the News of the World.

Labour MPs used parliamentary privilege in the commons debate to criticise the chairman and CEO of News Corporation, which owns the newspaper publisher, and his senior executives, who are battling claims that the NoW endorsed the illegal hacking of mobile phones.

Tom Watson, a Labour member of the Commons culture select committee, placed Murdoch in the line of fire by accusing him of appointing Brooks as chief executive of News International knowing that she had admitted that illegal payments had been made to police.

The former minister cited evidence by Brooks to the culture committee in 2003 in which she admitted that the News of the World had paid police officers in the past for stories. This was condemned by the committee and by the Met as illegal.

“When Murdoch appointed Brooks he did so in that knowledge,” Watson said of the ruling from the Commons committee. Les Hinton, then chair of News International, later told the committee that Brooks subsequently told him she had “not authorised payments to policemen”; he said her evidence was meant to suggest “there had been payments in the past”.

no comments – be the first ↪