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.

Bleating of the oppressed Murdoch multinational

Life is tough for an organisation that constantly speaks about high morals and noble wars and yet finds itself under the spotlight as a corporation that bullies opponents and conducts illegal acts in the name of “journalism”. Hilariously, Murdoch’s Australian today says the glorious empire remains glorious and dedicated to holding politicians to account. Apart from the ones who give them better business opportunities, of course.

Overland editor Jeff Sparrow writes in Counterpunch on the ways in which a billionaire frames his company as a voice of the people (and yet is believed by increasingly few):

It’s been fascinating to watch from Australia as the News of the World scandal engulfs Britain.

Rupert Murdoch himself was, of course, originally one of ours, and those antipodean origins are often cited to explain his self-perception as an outsider in international media, a crass colonial pitting himself against the stuffy clubmen who once controlled London’s newspapers.

The flagship titles of the Murdoch Empire have traditionally expressed this brash populism, boldly declaring Jack just as good as his PC masters, if not a damn sight better. The late Paul Foot described how Murdoch’s Sun built its remarkable circulation around the image of a ‘cheeky chappy’, a fellow who liked a pint and a punt and a well-endowed woman, and wouldn’t be told there was anything wrong with any of them.

That last point was crucial. The Sun didn’t simply know what its readers wanted but also upheld their values (even, or perhaps especially, their prejudices) against censorious feminists and snooty academics and stuffy bureaucrats and out-of-touch judges and other condescending know-it-alls, displacing class resentment into a cultural antagonism directed against the Left.

Now, there’s a long history of conservative idealisation of the Tory workman, a fellow hailed as patriotic, royalist to the bone and genetically immune to political radicalism (unless, of course, he goes on strike, whereupon he’s knocked to the curb as lazy and pampered).

Murdoch’s populism distinguished itself not so much by the way it encouraged its readers to kick down (against immigrants, homosexuals, black people and so on) but by how it encouraged them to kick up. It drew upon the New Class concept developed by conservative intellectuals (Irving Kristol, Daniel Bell, Christopher Lasch, etc) in response to the sixties: a theory that posited the emergence of a white collar elite, identifiable by cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, liberalism and all the other notions that patriotic sons of the soil were said to despise. This New Class was supposed to have ensconced itself throughout society’s top echelons, particularly within the media and universities, a position from which it thereafter busied itself belittling and mocking the traditional pursuits of ordinary folk.

By expressing his outrage against, say, housing specially allocated to immigrants or the light sentences received by muggers, the cheeky chappy of a Murdoch tabloid cocked a snoot against the smug moralisers on his TV or in the upmarket papers, even as he aligned himself with the traditional priorities of the Conservatives.

You can see an updated and Americanised version playing out every night on Fox News, where the Aryan anchors perennially incite Joe Sixpack against the forces who would patronise him, from Hollywood liberals flapping their gums about gay marriage to pusillanimous Frenchmen who treacherously refuse to go to war.

By uncoupling the tropes of class from economics (indeed, from reaility), the schema facilitates a populist demagoguery sufficiently elastic so as to embrace almost anything. John Kerry might have actually been wounded in a conflict that George Bush assiduously dodged but Fox could still paint him as a pacifist elitist who sneered at patriots like W, largely on the basis that, though Bush didn’t fight, he looked like someone who would have.

The ‘Dirty Digger’ himself might have lacked the right accent, but even when he was first challenging the newspaper establishment, he was scarcely proletarian. Murdoch inherited his first paper, the Adelaide News, from his father, Sir Keith; he did his schooling at Geelong Grammar, a quintessential finishing college for the rich and entitled that also educated a young Prince Charles.

The journalist David Marr tells of attending a lecture in which Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s son, denounced the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for drawing attention to his shenanigans in the mobile phone business: the particular program in question was, he said, a ‘disgracful and biased attack’ by ‘our media elite’. So powerful has the peculiar vocabulary of New Class anti-elitism become that a man born into the most powerful media dynasty the world has ever seen can still present himself, without any trace of irony whatsoever, as an outsider being done down by society’s rulers.

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