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.

What the West fears is true independence in the Arab world

The following article by Kate Ausburn appears in Green Left Weekly:

Popular uprisings in the Arab world have challenged a political landscape dominated by undemocratic regimes and fronted by dictators, a panel of academics and journalists said at a Sydney University forum on February 15.

Speakers discussed the regional and international ramifications of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt as part of the forum on people’s power and change in the Arab world.

During the uprising in Egypt the secular nature of the protests was noted and praised in much of the international coverage. Less acknowledged, but similarly noteworthy, was the role women played in the demonstrations.

Women are “not new in [Egypt’s] political arena”, but the treatment of women taking part in demonstrations is certainly improving, said Dr Lucia Sorbera from the University of Sydney.

Dr Sorbera specifically pointed to last year’s International Women’s Day demonstrations in Cairo where many women were “beaten and harassed”. However, “today they feel safe, free to be there and they claim the right to feel safe in the public arena”.

“A lot of young women will tell you, for the first time they feel they are not objectified as sexual objects in this space, this is the first time in a very long time that women have been in the streets without any danger of harassment,” she said.

Tahrir Square in Cairo has become “synonymous with freedom, emancipation and liberty”, said Farid Farid from the University of Western Sydney.

Farid spoke about the response of the people of Egypt to living under the Mubarak dictatorship: “After 30 years of repression you develop a sense of humour, a sense of mockery — it’s the only form of resistance.”

This repression was supported by foreign governments who assisted in sustaining regimes like Muburak’s — now widely considered to be corrupt, said Farid.

“Agitation for democracy has always been tangled with the politics of empires.

“Remember the last leader to meet with Mubarak was Netanyahu, but before that it was Kevin Rudd — in terms of Australian politics and trade relations, they are heavily entangled.

“Let’s not discount Australia’s role.”

University of Sydney academic Tara Povey said: “This intimate relationship between Hosni Mubarak and the US has meant an active policy of demobilising and repressing movements for change in the Arab world.”

Independent journalist and author Antony Loewenstein similarly noted the financial complicity of foreign governments: “The US sends to Egypt $1.2 billion annually.”

Loewenstein also pointed out the role of multinationals in assisting regimes, particularly with media and communications censorship.

“The reality is that much of the infrastructure that these regimes are using to censor the internet is coming from the West,” he said.

“In Iran for example, it emerged very soon after the uprising in June 2009 that Nokia sold Tehran — six months before the uprising — a very sophisticated monitoring system to be able to determine phone calls, internet, text messages.

“In Egypt, Vodafone, who many of us use, were involved with the Egyptian regime in censoring mobile phone messages and setting up propaganda for the regime when the phone system came back on.”

Speaking on the Western media’s representation of the uprisings in the Arab world, and pointing to a number of areas given undue legitimacy outside of Egypt, Loewenstein pointed out: “One of the other things that comes up is the fear of political Islam.

“The idea that we shouldn’t engage with Hamas, Hezbollah, the Brotherhood etc … They represent a lot of people, and may not be a majority, say the Brotherhood, how much support it has in Egypt is unsure, 10%, 20%, whatever, that’s still 20%.

“It’s vital to understand the idea that political Islam is not by definition a threat. Not all political Islam is Bin Laden in a cave in Afghanistan.

Acknowledging laughter from the audience, he continued: “People laugh when I say that, but if you look at much of the American mainstream coverage in the last three weeks, that is exactly how it is framed.”

Loewenstein said too that the weight given by much Western media to the future of peace treaty negotiations with Israel, which he said was redundant, as “there actually is no peace process”.

“One of the things that also comes has been a mantra of many in the Western press over the last three weeks is what’s Cairo going to do with the peace treaty with Israel … as if that’s the main concern on the streets of Cairo,” he said.

“A peace process is a term that has been used and abused by many in the press, the political elite, to give the impression of negotiations, when in fact all that is happening is the colonisation of Palestinian land in the West Bank. The siege on Gaza continues.”

Loewenstein concluded: “What the West and Israel fear is not Islam, but independence.”

The forum offered an insight into the social forces and strategic political relationships at play in the Arab world as people continue to rise up against dictatorial regimes throughout the region.

They are calling for democracy and radically changing the face of the Middle East and North African social and political sphere.

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