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.

We should thank Cairo for repressing people?

Democracy for Arabs? Not in the Murdoch world. Here’s a senior Australian editor, Alan Howe – the man has formwriting today on Egypt in Melbourne’s Herald Sun. It’s all about Israel, screw freedom or rights. The Zionist state has corrupted our souls:

Sayyid Qutb. Remember that name. You’ll hear it often in coming months and years. Indeed, he may end up being the most influential person of the 21st century.

He’s been dead 46 years. But Karl Marx was the person who most influenced the 20th century he did not live to see.

Marx’s writings inspired the communism and socialism that spread throughout large parts of the world after the Russian Revolution. The internal contradictions of communism eventually caused its collapse, as surely as China has turned away from it and the command economy.

Qutb’s influence is more menacing than Marx. The radicals of the Muslim Brotherhood that are these days inspired by his manifesto, In The Shade of The Koran, will be central to the riots and violent chaos in Cairo.

It has always been the ultimate aim of the likes of Qutb and the Koran-quoting assassins he inspires to die advancing the cause of Islam. It goes without saying that an Egypt led by Islamic theocrats would attack Israel, unleashing god knows what.

The world understands Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak corruptly keeps government and that some of his people are illegally repressed. But that draconian rule has kept Egypt stable and its Islamic core under control. After losing wars with Israel, it decided to join the modern world in accepting that country’s right to exist, even if Egyptian Muslims still see it as an enemy.

5 comments ↪
  • some people just don't get it. A brilliant young Arab friend of mine currently in Washington was saying it is even worse there. They just can't process it. The good thing is, we both felt, was that it for once, it doesn't matter how stupid our media and governments are about it… because, for once, we are not in charge!

    "The Arabs are alive, and they are hungry."- Ahmed Moor, Jan 25 (not the dude in dc, just an awesome journo)

  • Daniel

    Well good luck to them but so far it seems no-one has any idea who or what would replace the Mubarak regime. ElBaradei – really? What does he stand for, what are his policies?

    I think most western leaders support the idea of moving towards an open democracy, but realize the dangers of rushing into a revolution with only a vague idea of the outcome.

    Wikipedia quote on Iran's revolution – sound familiar?

    "The revolution was unusual for the surprise it created throughout the world:[10] it lacked many of the customary causes of revolution (defeat at war, a financial crisis, peasant rebellion, or disgruntled military);[11] produced profound change at great speed;[12] was massively popular;[13] overthrew a regime heavily protected by a lavishly financed army and security services;[14][15] and replaced a modernising monarchy with a theocracy based on Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (or velayat-e faqih).

    …and ts outcome:

    "Grumbling once done about the tyranny and corruption of the Shah and his court is now directed against "the Mullahs."[232] Fear of SAVAK has been replaced by fear of Revolutionary Guards, and other religious revolutionary enforcers.[233] Violations of human rights by the theocratic regime is said by some to be worse than during the monarchy,[234] and in any case extremely grave.[235] Reports of torture, imprisonment of dissidents, and the murder of prominent critics have been made by human rights groups. Censorship is handled by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, without whose official permission, "no books or magazines are published, no audiotapes are distributed, no movies are shown and no cultural organization is established."[236]

     

     

     

  • Aaron

    If you haven't already, now is a good time to watch the 3 part documentary from the mid-2000s called "The Power of Nightmares". It goes into the history of both the neocon and militant islamist movements, and spells out how what has been termed "islamism" is largely a spent force. It's available to watch online just do a search for the title, each of the part is about an hour long.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    "SAYYID Qutb. Remember that name."

    Who? 

    Alan Howe, How? wHo? WHO? 

     

    Ferdinand Marcos. Remember that name.

    János Kádár. Remember that name.

    Wojciech Jaruzelski. Remember that name.

    Erich Honecker. Remember that name.

    Todor Zhivkov. Remember that name.

    Gustáv Husák. Remember that name.

    Nicolae Ceauşescu. Remember that name.

    Suharto. Remember that name.

    Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Remember that name.

    Hosni Mubarak. Remember that name.

    • Xavier John

      I thought it was a good piece, well researched and thoughtful – and probably right. There are some smartypants comments here, but the thrust of Howe's comments remain unchallenged. This Qutb fellow may well have the influence – or more – of Marx. Howe's appears to be the first to point it out. Good on him.