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.

Playing politics with Palestine? Perish the thought

Israel’s trusted friend in the Australian media, Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian, today publishes a piece that is so banal as to be comical. Guess what people, BDS supporters and Palestinian backers are daring to “play politics” with human rights in the Middle East. And what exactly does the Zionist lobby and Zionist propagandists in our parliaments do?

Militant unionists and political groups prosecuting the anti-Israel boycott campaign are using official union facilities and resources to encourage anti-business protests and to sell the pro-Palestinian message.

Senior Victorian union figures have admitted growing support from some affiliates and some fringe political groups for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

It has emerged that along with key union backing, Victorian Trades Hall Council resources have been used for fundraising for the BDS campaign and to aid protesters arrested while backing the Palestinian cause.

VTHC secretary Brian Boyd would not comment on the BDS campaign yesterday.

The Baillieu government called for Labor to distance itself from the BDS campaign being waged from within sections of its industrial wing.

A Labor spokesman said yesterday the BDS campaign had “no role in a respectful and harmonious multicultural Victoria”.

“Playing politics with this issue puts at risk the diversity that all Victorians value and cherish,” the spokesman said.

But Maritime Union of Australia Victorian secretary Kevin Bracken, a former Trades Hall president, said the campaign was justified as it was a way of defending the Palestinian people.

“We support them because it’s a non-violent way of ending the oppression of the Palestinian people, the persecution by Israel,” he told The Australian.

Mr Bracken was photographed at a recent BDS protest outside the Max Brenner coffee shop in Melbourne, where the protesters accused the company of links with the Israeli defence forces. A large banner at the protest declared “Israel is a terrorist state”.

Victorian Industrial Relations Minister Richard Dalla-Riva said Labor leader Daniel Andrews had not done enough to stamp out Labor links to the BDS campaign.

“The involvement of the Labor-affiliated MUA and the Victorian Trades Hall Council in September 11 conspiracy theories, and the discriminatory, anti-Israel BDS campaign would disgust decent Victorians who belong to those unions or to the Labor Party,” he said.

“Last August, the Victorian government called on the Opposition Leader to take action against involvement and support for BDS extremism in the MUA, Victoria’s peak union body and his own parliamentary caucus. Mr Andrews did nothing, ignored the problem and the BDS campaign has continued with ongoing support from within the Victorian labour movement.”

Last month charges were dismissed against 16 BDS protesters after a rally outside the Max Brenner store in Melbourne’s QV Centre. The magistrate ruled that the protest did not threaten public order or breach the peace.

The Baillieu government is considering changing the law to make it harder to disrupt businesses when protesting.

Mr Boyd wrote on his website of the potential implications of the protest and the magistrate’s decision. He did not write that he supported the BDS but said the court decision could have significant implications for protesters.

2 comments ↪
  • examinator

    Antony,
    I agree with the implications for protests .
    My view of the BDS campaign is they are leaving themselves open to losing support they are being out thought by the business'. Trust me on this businesses are all about profit not politics unless there a profit in it . I.e. the US military manufacturing complex NEEDS to sell weapons and by providing jobs they are buying votes.
    Much like the miners and timber millers. To combat that one must present a response that gives those voters a workable alternative .
    The BDS currently is attacking the wrong target or doing it so broadly it is creating collateral damage and the emotional out for the regime in question.
    I'd advise them to stop throwing malteaser at them and fire smart missiles … for ideas of what I mean take a look at Yes men's site. Some of their campaigns have really made an impact. If only to force the industries to spend $millions more on defence……these impact bottom lines and share holders dividends.
    I'm not about to canvass the options specifically here as it would simply pre arm the corporates.
    PS the corporate don't give a stuff about the moral minority….until they start the mass citizen to think or change views and buying options…. get smarter not more vocal/ violent emphasising the differences between them and the public. Look at it the other way around… The corporates do but only so far..

  • Kevin Herbert

    Examinator:

    exactly how is the BDS being 'out-thought by business"?

    It's a big claim, with no evidence.