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.

Assange as a curious and important British house guest

This is a fascinating tale reported in the UK Independent:

For the past fortnight, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been at the centre of a global firestorm. Wanted by Interpol, by the Swedish police, even, briefly, by Scotland Yard, he has been called a terrorist and a revolutionary. Several leading American politicians and commentators have called for him to be killed, while Russia and China have also been loud in their condemnation. Yesterday, Assange appeared at City of Westminster magistrates’ court to fight extradition to Sweden on sex charges that he says are politically motivated. He was granted bail – subject to an appeal by Swedish prosecutors that could see him spend a further 48 hours in custody – on condition that he provides a security of £200,000 to the court, with a further £40,000 guaranteed in two sureties of £20,000 each – and that he spends between now and 11 January as the house guest of Captain Vaughan Smith, a former Grenadier Guard and founder of the journalists’ Frontline Club.

He will be under curfew every day from 10pm to 2am and from 10am to 2pm and will be required to report daily to the police from 6pm to 8pm. He must spend every night at Cpt Smith’s home and will be electronically tagged.

Mr Assange has for several months been staying as a guest of Cpt Smith and other members at the Frontline Club in London, which he founded seven years ago to stand for independence and transparency, and he has also stayed at Cpt Smith’s home in Suffolk. Below is Cpt Smith’s account of the past weeks…

Having watched Julian Assange give himself up last week to the British justice system, I took the decision that I would do whatever else it took to ensure that he is not denied his basic rights as a result of the anger of the powerful forces he has enraged.

This decision – which will result in one of the most unusual Christmases I have ever experienced – began to take shape last Monday night, as we gathered round a computer in my home, talking via Skype to Mark Stephens, Julian’s solicitor, in London.

This is how I remember the scene…

It is late in the evening. The screen periodically goes to sleep and Sue, a friend, keeps tapping the keyboard to keep it awake, relighting their faces.

Julian is completely still except his foot, which he rocks from side to side. I remember being told that he always did this when he was concentrating.

I feel that I am intruding, but Julian smiles at me. He does that: brings you in and makes you feel you are important to him when most of us would feel too preoccupied to do such a thing.

Julian is in front of a computer all the time. Immersed and uninterruptable; you feel you could arrive in a clown suit and he wouldn’t notice you.

But often you can gently greet him while he is typing furiously and he will immediately stop what he is doing and report developments for half an hour, well beyond the time you feel he should get back to his work.

The call is finished, and Julian is standing by the fireplace. Miles away. We start discussing the call. A couple of other friends and supporters are there too. Julian is still quiet but he is listening to us. The conversation dries up because the call to Mark has brought it all home.

There seemed to be other options, but they are all of straw. Julian dismisses each as it is suggested. He doesn’t want to look as if he has something to hide. The British police have said they want him and he is going in.

Sue and the other friends start discussing his statement. I get my camera set to film it for them and start working on the logistics. I don’t work for WikiLeaks, but I get drawn in. The police have given less time than expected and he cannot be late.

Julian sits on the sofa. Then he lies down. Then he sleeps. He’s been up for 48 hours. We don’t film any statement.

one comment ↪