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.

Watching the US empire crumble in the Arab world, live on TV

How is America viewed in the Arab world, especially Egypt? Ancient, reactionary, dictator-loving, Zionist obsessed and increasingly incapable of influencing events. This is a wonderful thing, as Washington’s main contribution to the Middle East in the last sixty years has been backing brutes and supporting Israeli occupation.

Change:

In days gone by, it was pretty much guaranteed that any demonstration in the Arab world would feature burning American flags and a blazing effigy or two of the U.S. president.

At the pro-democracy demonstrations on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere, references to the United States have been conspicuously absent, a sign of what some analysts are already calling a “post-American Middle East” of diminished U.S. influence and far greater uncertainty about America’s role.

For just as burning flags are not part of the current repertoire, neither are demonstrators carrying around models of the Statue of Liberty, as Chinese activists brought to Tiananmen Square in 1989. Middle East activists say they avoid references to the United States as a political role model for fear of alienating potential supporters, said Toujan Faisal, a veteran democracy campaigner in Jordan who has been advising young protesters in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

“I don’t think America appeals to the younger generation,” she said. “I’m cautious not to present them with the American example because there’s a negative attitude to America, a disappointment.”

No one yet knows what kind of Middle East will emerge from Cairo’s embattled streets: a newly democratic one, an increasingly radicalized one, or perhaps one in which authoritarian regimes tighten their grip. Events in Cairo are unfolding too rapidly to predict, but one possible outcome could be a more visibly anti-American drift.

Still, it is notable that even the most rabid protests against President Hosni Mubarak have focused on his reign, rather than on the American role in enabling it.

Reform of a particular sort could actually bolster U.S. interests if it allows more open commerce and development of a strong middle class in societies often split today between a connected rich and a dispossessed poor.

Yet America’s role could also be greatly diminished in an area that remains vital to its national interests, but where the perception has grown of a superpower with few friends beyond Israel and a coterie of authoritarian Arab rulers.

The Obama administration’s initial, tepid response to the crisis, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calling Mubarak’s regime “stable” and Vice President Biden declaring that he didn’t regard Mubarak as a dictator, did little to endear Washington to a region that has long yearned for political reform.

President Obama has since adopted a tougher stance, but his language has not gone far enough to convince Arabs puzzled by America’s seeming inability to embrace a revolt that they think coincides with America’s own ideals, said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.

“No one in the region is pro-American anymore. The only hope is if Obama uses this opportunity to re-orientate U.S. policy in a fundamental way,” he said. “Otherwise, I think we’re losing the Arab world.”

On a grander scale, and this is coming from an Israeli in Haaretz, Washington and its allies (including Australia) must have known this day would come, when the ability to simply bribe allies to bend to their will would come to an end. And it’s a glorious thing to watch, contemplating what a new kind of independence may mean for Arabs:

Two huge processes are happening right before our eyes. One is the Arab liberation revolution. After half a century during which tyrants have ruled the Arab world, their control is weakening. After 40 years of decaying stability, the rot is eating into the stability. The Arab masses will no longer accept what they used to accept. The Arab elites will no longer remain silent.

Processes that have been roiling beneath the surface for about a decade are suddenly bursting out in an intifada of freedom. Modernization, globalization, telecommunications and Islamization have created a critical mass that cannot be stopped. The example of democratic Iraq is awakening others, and Al Jazeera’s subversive broadcasts are fanning the flames. And so the Tunisian bastille fell, the Cairo bastille is falling and other Arab bastilles will fall.

The Arab liberation revolution will fundamentally change the Middle East. The acceleration of the West’s decline will change the world. One outcome will be a surge toward China, Russia and regional powers like Brazil, Turkey and Iran. Another will be a series of international flare-ups stemming from the West’s lost deterrence. But the overall outcome will be the collapse of North Atlantic political hegemony not in decades, but in years. When the United States and Europe bury Mubarak now, they are also burying the powers they once were. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the age of Western hegemony is fading away.

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    Tunisia is the United States' Hungary, Egypt is the United States' East Germany, and Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. 

     

    Egypt, the biggest people-power revolution since the collapse of the Soviet Empire.