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.

"Terrorism" defined

Tim Dunlop is a blogging friend and runs Road to Surfdom. A few days ago he took me to task for placing quotation marks around the word “terrorism”, when referring to Palestinian actions. My response follows:

Let me try and explain, briefly. Suicide bombing is terrorism, sure thing. But so are Israeli jet fighters dropping bombs on Gaza refugee camps. My point in placing terrorism in quotes was simply to suggest – and perhaps I should have explained this much better – the Israelis, Americans and indeed far too many “friends” of the US post 9/11 are classifying any behaviour they don’t like as terrorism. There is such a thing as legitimate resistance to an illegal occupation, and many Palestinians are doing just that on a daily basis.

Besides, as I’m currently reading Robert Fisk’s Pity the Nation, a fascinating insight into Lebanon at war since the 1970s, he explains the ways in which the Israelis use the word “terrorism” to describe any kind of Palestinian action they don’t like. I’d rather exercise caution.

5 comments ↪
  • Grant

    Hi Anthony,Can you advise examples of where "Israeli fighterjets have dropped bombs on Gaza refugee camps" willy-nilly – ie not specifically targetting a military target (ie terrorist leader or production facility)?A suicide bomber who targets civillians is not the equivalent of the defence force that aims to protect its civillians by targetting the terrorist organisation.Yes, Israeli bombings targetting these terrorists have inadvertently killed civillians that were bystanders but this was not their specific target. Intent is relevant.Come on Antony, you know better.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Anthony,Sure suicide bombing is terrorism if the targets are innocent civilians, but, is it terrorism if the bomber strikes a purely military target of an occupying army? Is that not a legit target?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    This is one argument that many and most blind supporters of Israel continue to push. As ever, most of these individuals have never actually seen nor spoken to the victims of Israeli violence, preferring to somehow blame them for standing close by, or simply living near, a "terrorist".Very few people thankfully accept anymore that Israeli military action is either proportionate or often justified. Is dropping bombs on refugee camps, as Israel does do, and causing civilian casualties, terrorism? Absolutely. International law says so, as does the UN. But then, Israel and its supporters would rather ignore these bodies…"Inadvertently killed civilians?" Give me a break. There is now massive amounts of literature, some of which I'll be addressing in my book, about IDF policy in the territories, the deliberate targeting of civilians and collective punishment.Both sides have committed hideous crimes, but let's never forget who is occupying whom, and why.Finally, striking a purely military target. Is this terrorism? Again, probably not. It's not pretty, to be sure, but let's face it. Israel is illegally on Palestinian land and it is the legitimate right, again in the UN charter, to resist. For any occupied people, mind you. Targeting civilians is another matter entirely.

  • Anonymous

    Spot on Antony. War on terrorism.War on drugs. War on anything you don't agree with. So tedious and stupid. I can see a war on single mother pregnancy coming on.

  • Grant

    "preferring to somehow blame them for standing close by, or simply living near, a "terrorist"."- I don't "Blame" them, however, I do blame the terrorist for hiding out in a civillina population which is against international law (you never seem to mention this)."Is dropping bombs on refugee camps, as Israel does do, and causing civilian casualties, terrorism? Absolutely. International law says so, as does the UN."You are blatantly wrong. International law follows the same principal as common law in this regard. If a robber takes 20 hostages in a bank and threatens to kill them and a police sharpshooter accidently kills 2 of the hostages in the process of "taking out" the robber is the police officer a terrorist?I conceed, however, that if the civillian risk is too high that military forces should err on the side of caution. "about IDF policy in the territories, the deliberate targeting of civilians" – as opposed the the Hamas / Islamic Jihad / Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade policy of killing civillians which apparently is not "terrorism".You have a barrow to push, Antony, but you are not always right (quite the contrary) and you are not "holier".