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.

The Left challenge

George Monbiot in the Guardian:

Progressives, [WWF’s Tom Crompton] shows, have been suckers for a myth of human cognition he labels the enlightenment model. This holds that people make rational decisions by assessing facts. All that has to be done to persuade people is to lay out the data: they will then use it to decide which options best support their interests and desires.

A host of psychological experiments demonstrate that it doesn’t work like this. Instead of performing a rational cost-benefit analysis, we accept information that confirms our identity and values, and reject information that conflicts with them. We mould our thinking around our social identity, protecting it from serious challenge. Confronting people with inconvenient facts is likely only to harden their resistance to change.

3 comments ↪
  • gordon

    Things may not be so bad as Geo. Monbiot fears. Writing admittedly just over 3 years ago, Jordan and Stilwell said (about Australia): "Other survey evidence indicates that public concern about inequality has increased over time. Comparing the responses from the 2003 AuSSA to earlier surveys of attitudes to income inequality shows that opposition to substantial income inequality in Australia seems to have become more widespread " (my emphasis). It's worth reading the whole thing here:
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=
    The US econoblog "Economist's View" had an interesting post recently on the equivalent situation in the US. They quote research that also indicates that Americans would like less inequality, but interestingly that they don't want the Govt. to do anything about it. There is a summary of several possible explanations for this apparent paradox, including

    Anti-statism

    Preference for equality of opportunity over outcome

    Racism

    Ideology of self-reliance

    Inability to visualise alternatives

    I have used my own words for some of the possibilities. The post is here:
    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/
    One might hazard that the real paradox is not that people don't want less inequality (they actually don't want it), but how little they're prepared to do about it.

  • Mallee

    Monbiot has been presented with the 'inconvenient facts' about the official US Government (19 Arabs did it) conspiracy theory nonsense and it is clear that he is correct when he says;

    "Confronting people with inconvenient facts is likely to harden their resistance to change."

    Monbiot does not even look like passing the '9/11 credibiltiy test', he is a waste of space, he has 'hardened' his resistance against change; such as, justice being achieved for the 9/11 victims, for example.

    Then he apparently, does not want the hate-filled warmongers  (and their journo and shock jock 'whoremongers') who used 9/11 to sucker public acceptance to invade sovereign countries, brought to justice either. If he did he would use all the resources available, such as the 9/11 mass murders for the cause.

    Complete 'waste of space', as with many other alleged hypocritical 'left wing gatekeepers' and their politician brothers and sisters, especially; the opportunistic hypocrtitcal 'Greens' in Australian Federal politics. Whllst Brown and the Greens notionally gained kudos as being seen to be opposed to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars he, like Monbiot, used a a peice of saliva soaked paper in a ball to puff out his case through a straw when he could have used a cannon at point blank range, if he bothered to do his parliamentary duty as a paid representative, using due diligence to examine the 9/11 mass murder government/s  lies.

    We await with interest whether he is prepared to load the cannon with some simple 9/11 facts, if he debates the Afghanistan lies for war and conquest.

    Ditto: for Wilkie, Windsor, Katter, Oakshort (or wahtever) and other alleged 'independents'.

    Those members would do well to go to http://ae911truth.org for a start and down load the Richard Gage video; 'Blueprint for 911 truth'. That is what they are being paid for!!

    Now let us see all those 'left wing gatekeepers' , such as Monbiot, fill some of their wasted space with some 'inconvenient facts', for a change.

  • gordon

    The US blog "Economist's View" has revisited the issue (as it applies in the US) in another post. An extract:

     

    "…Americans think very much alike on wealth distribution. Amazingly alike. High-income or low, Republican or Democrat, young or old, male or female, Bush voters or Kerry voters, Americans are united in what they believe is the ideal distribution of wealth. And they are just as united about what they imagine to be the distribution of wealth in America.

    The problem is that neither the ideals we broadly share, nor our estimated distributions of wealth today, bear much relationship to reality.

    When it comes to wealth and taxes, the vast majority of Americans are modern Know-Nothings. The disconnect between belief and reality is being exploited by those who laugh all the way to the bank with their tax savings and the burdens they have subtly shifted off themselves and onto the rest of us".

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/