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 ideological and opinion limits on our ABC?

I appeared on ABC TV’s The Drum on Monday night. Refugees, politics, my book #LeftTurn and Obama’s “kill list” were all discussed.

The show aired and the show finished. End of story. And then this happened yesterday:

The ABC last night aired an apology to federal opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison over comments made by its economics correspondent Stephen Long on The Drum.

During a discussion on Monday’s edition of the current affairs talkshow Mr Long said he thought the opposition’s stance on Australia’s border security was “a cynical manipulation of an underlying prejudice in the Australian community and that it has very little policy merit”.

He went on to say: “I think Scott Morrison in particular as a spokesman in this area has just pushed way beyond acceptability in a way that he is willing to pander and manipulate that level of prejudice in what is essentially a racist manner.”

Mr Long is a senior reporter at the ABC, doing reporting and analysis across its radio and TV programs.

A transcript of the comments was published by columnist Andrew Bolt on his blog.

An ABC spokeswoman said Mr Morrison had made a formal complaint to ABC managing director Mark Scott, which was passed on to the audience and consumer affairs team as was normal practice. The decision to air an apology was taken by news management.

Mr Morrison revealed he had complained on social media network Twitter, saying: “(Andrew) Bolt makes a good point re ‘balance’ by some at ABC.”

He later tweeted: “Thanks to ABC for their quick response and I welcome their advice that an on air apology will be made on The Drum.”

A spokesman for Mr Morrison said he had nothing further to add.

The ABC said Mr Long’s comments were “clearly inappropriate”.

“While it is appropriate for ABC journalists to provide comment and analysis backed by demonstrable evidence, the remarks in question went beyond that, and were an expression of opinion,” the broadcaster said.

“These opinions were not supported by evidence and were inappropriately expressed.

“News management is discussing the matter directly with the reporter concerned.”

For the record, I think this ABC decision is a serious over-reaction. The episode has also been scrubbed from the ABC archive. The Drum is a panel show where people express opinions. Clearly there are some views which are beyond the pale. If a politician or political party plays the race-card and tries to demonise minorities or Muslims, which the Liberal Party has perfected for years, commentators and journalists should be able to call them out. Loudly. Is there a serious doubt factually that this has happened on a number of occasions?

One can’t but think in this case that an apology was so quickly offered to Scott Morrison, unlike so many other complainants to the ABC, because he’s connected and powerful and overly sensitive about being challenged on the ramifications of his ideas. To think that journalists are above offering views and supposedly objective (an issue discussed in today’s Crikey) ignores the inherent, establishment-friendly position given by the vast majority of reporters. And that’s called “balance”.

2 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    And the ABC are still protecting Sarah Ferguson for her ACA style non-smuggler report where she set up innocent people with a spiv and liar even though the ABC are being sued over defaming and destroying one young Hazara man.

  • Penelope Bowyer-Pont

    I completely agree, Antony. Such a joke that they apologised and removed it from the archives. I (of course) was watching that episode of the drum, and saw the apology that followed and was very disturbed. Massive overreaction and seems to me to be a dangerous precedent to set.