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.

News Goo on Palestine and Wikileaks and our media’s cluelessness

Why does the mainstream media report as it does? Corporate pressure? Reporter laziness? Set narrative?

A few months ago a few of us here in Sydney discussed the idea of a Democracy Now! show in Australia, a progressive and critical look at the world, views so often ignored by the MSM.

Sydney University’s Jake Lynch took the lead and today the first edition of News Goo is released by New Matilda. It’s (hopefully) the first of many episodes. More original reporting will happen, slicker presentation etc but the idea is to challenge even the so-called liberal media and presenters (like the invaluable Medialens does in the UK) on their prejudices and blindness:

The program’s name comes from a rap by Polarity1, which contains the lines, “the more we watch, the less we know”. This is something we’ve all felt from time to time, sitting in front of a TV screen — but is it true? If so, how come? And how could it be different?

In the launch edition of News Goo, Jake interviews Julian Burnside QC, and the journalist, author and film-maker John Pilger, about the investigative journalism of Wikileaks. They ask why Australia’s media have been so slow to follow up on important leads from the Wikileaks disclosures, like the unmasking of Senator Mark Arbib as a US “protected source”.

It’s presented with the dry wit that NM readers have come to know from Jake’s regular columns. Features include the “elephant in the room” — complete with picture and sound effects — as the spotlight falls on obvious angles left persistently unreported. And Welsh crooner Tom Jones is on hand to remind us of the most neglected question in journalism: “Why, why why, Delilah?”

The program also takes a closer look at the ABC’s relaunched 7.30, with Leigh Sales and Chris Uhlmann, and its investigation of Australia’s rusting fleet of naval vessels. Interviewed in the studio, Dr Hannah Middleton of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, says it continues a pattern in ABC reporting, of nitpicking over the details of “defence” spending, while ignoring the case for reducing military budgets overall.

And Jake is joined by the author and journalist, Antony Loewenstein, to discuss Channel Ten’s 6PM with George Negus. A “pre-emptive buckle” prevents journalists from spelling out the facts about Israel and Palestine, Loewenstein says — which is why so many programs end up, like 6PM, rehashing the same set of clichéd angles and treatments — despite its claims to be “new and different”.

News Goo is produced by a team of experienced professionals, giving freely of their time and expertise. Like the rest of New Matilda’s coverage, it depends on YOUR SUPPORT! If you would like to see further episodes of News Goo in the future, please make your donation here.

Jake Lynch left his TV career to become Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Sydney Peace Foundation, which staged the Wikileaks event in Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 16 March.

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