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 doesn’t seem to know what morality is re Wikileaks

Who is running the Australian government these days?

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday mounted a strong defence of Julian Assange’s legal rights.

The WikiLeaks founder is preparing to face court in London early Wednesday morning (AEDT).

Mr Rudd said he was prepared to intervene to have a laptop computer provided for Mr Assange in London’s Wandsworth prison to help the Australian prepare his defence and obtain bail at his appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Following suggestions by Julia Gillard and Attorney-General Robert McClelland that Mr Assange may have his Australian passport cancelled, Mr Rudd said any such decision was his as Foreign Minister. “Under law, I’m responsible for the Passports Act, therefore the decisions concerning the withdrawal or otherwise of passports rests exclusively with the foreign minister based on the advice of the relevant agencies,” Mr Rudd told The Australian in Cairo.

And a woman supposedly of the Left bows to Labor tribalism and sells out her ideological heritage. Has she not heard of freedom of speech? The shame:

A minister in the Gillard government has defended the push to charge Julian Assange for publishing secret US cables on his WikiLeaks website.

Human Services Minister Tanya Plibersek told Sky News’ Australian Agenda the leaks were very serious and threatened the workings of international diplomacy and the quality of advice public servants were willing to give.

She broke ranks with some of her factional colleagues in the Labor Left, who told The Weekend Australian the government had overreacted to the leaks and should stop treating Mr Assange like a criminal. Backbencher Laurie Ferguson said the information the 39-year-old Australian had released was crucial to democracy and to exposing the truth.

Ms Plibersek said yesterday that at the heart of the issue was the fact that the documents were classified and had been stolen.

“I don’t think that it’s a terrific thing for world security for people to go stealing classified documents and sticking them on the internet,” she said.

“I think everyone in the Left of the party, the Right of the party and the Australian public would expect that Julian Assange would face the law, as any other Australian citizen would face the law.”

Ms Plibersek said the language used by those calling for Mr Assange to be assassinated and accusing him of being a terrorist was extreme and unwarranted.

“But the Australian government has not said those things. The Australian government has said that this is based on an original criminal act, which is a theft of classified documents,” she said.

“It’s yet to be seen who has stolen those documents, and those are matters best left to the police, both in the United States and here.”

Ms Plibersek said anyone publishing anything had to apply a degree of responsibility.

“If we find that someone, say a businessman in Iran who is pro-American, is strung up by the Iranian government because these documents have been published, do you say that Julian Assange has no responsibility for that?

one comment ↪
  • Gary Lord

    Say a businessman in the USA who is pro-Iranian, is strung up by the US government because some documents have been published, who would take responsibility for that? Totally different issue, obviously…