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.

Australians have the right to know how our leaders “lead”

Scott Burchill, in an ongoing series dedicated to the issues surrounding Wikileaks that the media is ignoring, reminds us of the various ways Australian governments over the last decades have attempted to keep information secret that we have the right to know. Note how few journalists today are leading this kind of charge:

Asserting the Public’s Right To Know

Below are three publications which were largely based on leaks from the Australian Government. Without them, the Australian public would have been much less well informed about what their governments do in their name, especially their country’s foreign policy. All three caused much discomfort to those who rule, and in two cases attempts were made block their publication: one was successful. They provide a useful historical context for Canberra’s response to the recent disclosure of US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks.

Example 1

In November 1980, George Munster and Richard Walsh tried to publish Documents on Australian Defence and Foreign Policy 1968-1975. Almost immediately the federal governments served injunctions on the book’s publishers and distributors (and, for the first time since the Second World War, on two major newspapers which had acquired serialisation rights) preventing further distribution of the work. After a well-publicised High Court battle, all unsold copies held by the publishers had to be handed over to the government, and were later destroyed.

The reason for the furore? The documents mentioned in the title were secret documents –memoranda, assessments, briefings, cables – many of them quite embarrassing to the public servants who had prepared them and the politicians for whom they were intended. As far as the publishers were concerned, the documents were important for the light they threw on the role of the public service (in this case the Departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs) in formulating government policy, or on their methodology and competence. Never before had the inner workings of a vital area of the Australian government been exposed so thoroughly and so contemporaneously.

These two paragraphs are from the back cover of G.J Munster (ed), Secrets of State: A Detailed Assessment of the Book They Banned (Walsh & Munster, Sydney 1982). Secrets of State is largely a reprinting of Documents on Australian Defence and Foreign Policy 1968-1975 with editorial changes and some supplementary additions and commentary. It contains documents dealing with East Timor, US military bases in Australia, the Soviet Navy in the Indian Ocean, the Shah’s regime in Iran and the Vietnam War.

Example 2

Brian Toohey & Marian Wilkinson (eds), The Book of Leaks: Exposes In Defence Of the Right To Know (Angus & Robertson, North Ryde 1987) also publishes material governments have routinely withheld from public scrutiny on the grounds of ‘national security’.

In this case topics ranging from cables presaging Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor, the Nugan Hand Bank, the “loans affair” and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975 to the Hope Royal Commission into the intelligence services are covered. Again, this book cause embarrassment and discomfort for officials and former government ministers, though the public moved several steps closer to a detailed understanding of these crucial events in modern Australian history.

Example 3

In November 1988 the Australian Government successfully intervened in the courts to prevent the publication of what became Brian Toohey & William Pinwill, Oyster: The Story Of The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (William Heinemann, Port Melbourne 1989). Publication only proceeded once both ASIS and DFAT had the opportunity to vet and censor the entire manuscript.

Although the authors argue that forced redactions did not imperil the integrity of the history of Australia’s overseas spy service, the episode was another example of how sensitive governments of all ideological persuasions are to the public exposure of their secrets, and the secrets of their predecessors. The book remains an indispensable guide to how covert Australian diplomacy is practised.

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