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.

London’s Frontline Club discussion about “After Zionism” and the one-state solution

This week I appeared at London’s famous Frontline Club talking about my new book with Ahmed Moor, After Zionism. It was a sell-out with a refreshingly young audience (photos here). The other speakers were Palestinian Ghada Karmi and Israeli Dimi Reider. It was a 90 minute event that signalled the growing mainstream acceptance of only recently taboo subjects, such as the one-state solution, boycotts against Israel and Zionism itself.

Here’s the report written by the Frontline club after the event:

By Nigel Wilson

The drowsiness of the summer evening stopped at the door of the Frontline Club as a buzzing sell-out crowd packed the Paddington auditorium. They had come to see an esteemed panel debate the merits and struggles involved in seeking a one-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Chaired by former BBC Middle East Correspondent Tim Llewellyn, the debate opened with a panel-wide wave of support for the single state solution. Academic and Middle East commentator Ghada Karmi argued that the reality on the ground is that of one-state whose people are subjected to unequal treatment, comparing the current status quo to that of Apartheid era South Africa.

“Anybody who looks at the map and at reality realises it’s completely impossible so we must stop talking about this two-state solution. What we need to concentrate on is how to turn a reality that is one-state, an unequal state for its citizens, in to one where its citizens enjoy equality.”

Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein sprinkled a touch of humour to make a serious point, stressing the need for the Jewish community to adapt to modern reality.

“The Jewish community establishment is so constipated, knowingly constipated about this question. And until there is a laxative used, forcefully… until there is an understanding that the Jewish community in the US, the UK and Australia has allowed the situation to continue. The establishment needs to realise that by backing blindly what they’ve done for 60 years, they have contributed a view that Judaism and Zionism are the same thing. And they’re not.”

Dismissing the long held idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East, journalist Ahmed Moor argued.

 “While the idea of Jewish statehood could be somehow workable on the moon, to the extent that it’s got to occur in Palestine and to the exclusion of Palestinians or whomever, well that’s unworkable. There’s no good argument for that.”

The panel discussed the most recent Arab revolutions, citing strict Israeli security measures as crucial to stifling dissent. However journalist Dimi Reider stated that.

“The Palestinian Spring has been happening for 60 years, especially in the past 20 years. They’ve been struggling continuously…if anything the Palestinian struggle was an inspiration for many of the people that later came out on the streets of the Middle East.”

Critiquing the Western media’s coverage of the Palestinian struggle, Reider suggested that audience fatigue has set in and the conflict now only omits “background noise” in the media. Tim Llewellyn stressed the power of the Israel lobby in the West and argued that this has led to a tame approach from press outlets.

“If you read the best newspapers in the West, we don’t attack the problem in Palestine the way we attack the problem in the Arab world. We should be exposing this.”

Questions from the audience moved the debate on to a discussion of artistic and economic boycotts, raising the issue of “Right of Return” for Palestinian refugees and the contribution of the PA to the on-going hostility. Questions that no doubt continued long in to the hot summer night. 

 



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one comment ↪
  • John Salisbury

    Fantastic work Antony