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 dismiss Wikileaks at our intellectual peril

Last night here in Sydney I helped launch – MC really alongside author Andrew Fowler and journalist Kerry O’Brien – a wonderful new book on Wikileaks and Julian Assange, The Most Dangerous Man in the World. Go buy immediately!

What was clear during the discussion was the significance of Wikileaks challenging the media class in general, forcing them to question (well, the good ones, anyway) how they relate to those in positions of power. Skepticism should be order of the day but alas often is not.

In a new interview with Assange published in India’s The Hindu, the Wikileaks founder discusses the world that exists away from the embedded media mindset:

There is a basic structure to geopolitics, which is not often mentioned. One way to think about it is that every country that is not very isolated has to sign up to one provider of intelligence or another. And there are a number of providers in the market. The U.S. is the market leader. And then you have really Russia and China and the U.K. providing a little bit. If you don’t sign up to one of these, then you can’t see what’s happening around you in your borders — because you don’t have geo-spatial intelligence. Information about individuals who may be coming into your territory or conspiring, you do not have; and that’s something that military groups and intelligence groups in various countries want to have. It increases their relative power within their own nations.

That doesn’t mean the nation needs it but rather that, for Indian intelligence, they can, for example, tremendously increase their influence within India by being signed up to all that intelligence product that the United States produces. Similarly, the Indian military can increase its power by having all these relationships with the U.S. military. And those relationships are not just pushed by the U.S. military or by the U.S. intelligence services. Nowadays, most of the economic activity involving intelligence and military in the United States occurs in private companies.

So there’s a blurring out in the United States between what is part of government and what is part of private industry. And these private industry groups, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and so on, and many thousands of smaller companies, lobby and push the U.S. State Department, Congress, and other countries directly to sign up as part of this system — so they can get more power and influence within the United States and have a greater ability to suck money out of the U.S. tax base and out of the tax bases of other countries.

one comment ↪
  • John Candido

    The advent of Wikileaks will lead to a better world, because it seeks to disseminate the unvarnished truth from governments, bureaucracies, and corporations, and the empowerment of the public and special interest groups. Wikileaks is an epiphany, and all of the people behind it are public heroes. It is an epoch-making NGO that has forever transformed our understanding of rigorous journalism, as well as the public's right to accurate and timely information from governments and corporations. It will transform, empower, and educate the public's understanding of war, truth in government, secrecy, diplomacy, intelligence, corporations, and transnational business. The upshot of this will be a marked change in relationships between journalists, governments, bureaucracies, diplomats, corporations, and members of the public on a host of issues. Wikileaks will lead to a more just and moral world.