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.

Savouring what the Egyptian people achieved

Today’s Guardian editorial highlights the necessary move away from America and its corrupted policies in the Middle East. What truly sane and democratic nation wouldn’t want to break free from that?

Thirty years of dictatorship disappeared in 30 seconds. This was the time it took for Vice-President Omar Suleiman to announce that Hosni Mubarak had resigned as president of Egypt and that the armed forces council was taking over as head of state. After 18 continuous days of protest in which the occupants of Tahrir Square resisted everything the dying regime dared to throw at them – armed mobs, occasional gunfire, waves of arrest, the shutting down of the internet and the mobile phone network, a media crackdown – the voice of the Egyptian people had finally made itself heard.

Whatever follows, this is a moment of historic significance. It re-establishes Egypt as the leader of the Arab world and Egyptians at its moral core. This revolution – the only word that fits – was carried out by ordinary people demanding, with extraordinary tenacity, basic political rights: free elections, real political parties, a police force that upholds rather than undermines the rule of law. Try as some may to paint them as the lackeys of Islamism, they did this on their own and, to a large extent, peacefully. This was a fight in which Muslims and Christians stood side by side. No sectarian flags were visible in Tahrir Square, just the national one. Together they showed that if they could conquer their own fear – one that was wholly rational – they could go on to bring down the most entrenched and venal of dictators. Mr Mubarak’s fate will not be lost on every other dictator in the Arab world and beyond.

Their achievement was not without sacrifice. More than 300 died fighting for this moment. Nor does the jubilation on the streets of every town and city in Egypt furnish, in itself, the guarantee of a democratic future. Many important questions were left unanswered last night. The biggest centred on what role the army would play in the transition to whatever beckons. Before the crisis, the upper echelons of the army were far from being the potential balancing force between an unyielding president and an angry street. Senior generals who enriched themselves under the former president became part of what one academic has called a military-Mubarak complex. Almost everyone left in power in post-Mubarak Egypt last night, from Vice-President Suleiman down to provincial governors, are career military men. The symbol and head of the regime has gone, but the component parts which supported it still remain. If the experience of Tunisia is anything to go by, the mass demonstrations of the last two weeks may not be the last.

Many will almost certainly demand that Mr Suleiman himself follow his patron’s lead. Even after the revolution started, the former intelligence chief might have played a positive role. But his contradictory statements and actions since then have hardly encouraged the notion that he could be the agent for change. He said that Egypt was not ready for democracy, instructed Egyptians to stop watching foreign satellite channels, and vowed to lift the hated emergency law only when “conditions permitted”. He did, to his credit, talk to representatives of the organisation he once tried hard to crush, the Muslim Brotherhood, but then issued a statement which was so far off the mark that it was denounced by those who had taken part in the meeting. He surely has no further role to play as mediator.

The implications of these events for the US are very far-reaching. Washington has struggled to speak with one voice as it went from preaching stability to declaring that the political demands of the Egyptians were universal and touched America’s core beliefs. Post-revolutionary Egypt may not tear up its treaty with Israel. But it could be less easily swayed to do its neighbour’s bidding in Gaza. Politically, Egypt may become more like Turkey. For Egyptians did not merely re-establish their independence from Mr Mubarak. They also demonstrated their independence from the US and its allies.

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    While most of the world celebrates the freedom from tyranny achieved by Egypt's people-power revolution, there are 4 groups who are shedding tears:

    1. Hosni Mubarak, his family, henchmen, cronies and the many recipients of his nepotism

    2. The tyrannical dictators/monarchs who rule the rest of the Arab world

    3. Israel and its apologists

    4. The US government and military empire in the Middle East, and its embedded corporate media