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.

Murdoch logic; backers of war should receive a peace prize

Noam Chomsky has won the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize over his legendary support for human rights and challenging power it all its forms. That makes him an enemy of a Murdoch empire that spends its entire time wanting to be intimate with government and business. The poor dears can’t understand why a man who opposes war is so feted. Why can’t war-mongers be given equal public billing?

Today’s editorial in the Australian is a classic example of a genre known as war lovers unite in fury/envy/bitterness/comedy:

Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky is the perfect choice for this year’s Sydney Peace Prize. Not only is he in step with previous winners such as journalist John Pilger and Palestinian activist Hanan Ashwari, but the intelligentsia who gave David Hicks a standing ovation at the Sydney Writers’ Festival will no doubt rise to the occasion again. Chomsky is an especially interesting choice for a peace prize in the 10th anniversary year of the World Trade Centre attacks — as an apologist for Osama Bin Laden.

The Sydney Peace Foundation has shown its true values and vision in honouring a man foundation director Stuart Rees describes as “inspiring” and whom he expects will attract thousands of admirers who will want to express their gratitude. Perhaps in some sort of Mexican wave of self-loathing.

Others share Professor Rees’s enthusiasm. In 2007, Osama Bin Laden praised the US academic for his “sober words of advice prior to the (Iraq) war” and said he was “among the most capable of those from your side”. Not to be outdone, Chomsky recently denounced the killing of bin Laden by US forces as the “political assassination” of an “unarmed victim”. Perhaps it’s hardly surprising that Chomsky also believes that the “crimes” of George W. Bush “vastly exceed bin Laden’s”, that he lamented the West’s treating Muammar Gadaffi’s Libya as a “punching bag” and erroneously described Ronald Reagan’s great legacy as that of a “scared bully”.

Sydneysiders might also like to honour Chomsky for his wit and wisdom in defining education as “imposed ignorance”, a concept he helped turn in to reality with his theories about “universal grammar”, which contributed to the erosion of English teaching in US and Australian schools from the 1960s onwards.

Unlike one of Chomsky’s acerbic US critics who recently branded him “a two-nickel crank”, we look forward to his Sydney speech, where he will be among friends collecting his $50,000 gong. But we hope he leaves the Hezbollah military cap he wore in Lebanon at home. If the Sydney Peace Foundation wants to turn its back on its usual puerility, it should consider awarding next year’s prize to The Australian’s Greg Sheridan, whose cogent case against continuing the war in Afghanistan made Chomsky’s rantings look pedestrian.

6 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    Oh dear, Sheridan in praise of Sheridan, the man has supported slaughtering Afghans for the past decade, loved murdering Iraqis in the hundreds of thousands and doesn't even notice pests like Palestinians.

    Sheridan for the peace prize, what a hoot.

  • Andrew

    It was all drearily predictable stuff (did they let Andrew Bolt write the column?) but the Greg Sheridan reference at the end was truly the laugh out loud moment!

  • weaver

    Wow, they even attack his linguistics. How very Lysenkoist of them.

  • WBR

    I'm with Chomsky. What proof is there that Osama was involved in 9/11? How is Holocaust denial anti-Semitic? Just because Hezbollah advocates and wages violent Jihad on infidels, why shouldn't we side with it?!

  • Billy Walker

    Not just their 'editorial', The Oz is full and foaming with indignation and outrage in several hit pieces slagging off poor old Chomskers.

    However, it is becoming quite a mainstream notion that Murdoch's bugles (especially The Oz) are now a laughing stock. It must be quite embarrassing to work for them.

    If you want a giggle checkout the Australian/ Deutsche Bank 'Business Leader's Forums', they're akin to aTea Party hate rally.

    'Sheridan for the Peace Prize' is genuinely side splitting though. Someone their really does have a subversive sense of humour

  • MikeH

    Sheridan could present his article "If only Mubarak resembled Suharto" as evidence of his promotion of peace. Suharto achieved relative peace in Indonesia by murdering an estimated 500,000 of his political opponents.