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.

Killing legally

Executions around the world are nearing record levels, and the United States is among the four countries which account for 97 per cent of the total, a report by Amnesty has found.

Nearly 4000 people were killed during 2004, including around 3400 in China. Kate Allen, Amnesty International’s UK director, said yesterday, “the death penalty is cruel and unnecessary, does not deter crime, and runs the risk of killing the wrongly convicted. It is time to consign the death penalty to the dustbin of history.”

MOST EXECUTIONS

Total in 2004

1 China 3,400*

2 Iran 159*

3 Vietnam 64*

4 United States 59*

5 Saudi Arabia 33*

6 Pakistan 15*

7 Kuwait 9*

8 Bangladesh 7*

9= Egypt 6*

= Singapore 6*

= Yemen 6*

*Minimum

George W. Bush preaches spreading democracy around the world and yet runs a country that only recently ruled it unconstitutional to execute child offenders. Bhutan, Greece, Samoa, Senegal and Turkey all abolished the death penalty in 2004 and yet America remains classed with Saudi Arabia and Iran in terms of human rights breaches.

How can America talk about freeing oppressed people in the Middle East (both highly questionable and politically unlikely) while abuses continue on the home-front?

Foreign affairs commentator Chalmers Johnson articulates the ways in which the US can regain lost credibility: “…the most important change we could make in American policy would be to dismantle our imperial presidency and restore a balance among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government.”

9 comments ↪
  • Gerry

    Excuse me, but why single America out in this post and yet not a word of condemnation for China, Iran or Vietnam?Your crimes are only crimes if you use the D word? Or are we so fixated on the evils America is doing that we go blind to even greater ones? Is this some form of politically-induced myopia?Or are we using that old middle eastern maxim which goes "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" ???I don't get it. But then, I'm not an intellectual, just your average brain-dead blogger with attitude. Best someone remove my feeding tube – I'm obviously suffering…Ignore me, I usually go away…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    By all means criticise Iran, Saudi etc. If it's not clear that I do, I do right now. Their human rights abuses are shocking and should be condemned in the strongest sense.HOWEVER, when a country like the US preaches human rights, and tolerance etc yet is committing their own abuses, it makes Bush's rhetoric seem just a little hollow. At best.

  • Gerry

    Antony, that's the second time you've overlooked the opportunity to slam (communist) China and (communist) Vietnam specifically. Is that a blind spot I see? Can't bring yourself to condemn them because they are communist states? China's total is HUGE, by comparison to America's, and Vietnam's is also huge (20 times as big as America's if we adjust of polulation size). Her your prime motivation seems to be to merely that of hypocrisy rather than the relative size of the number of deaths. I'm starting to wonder about your ability to deliver unbiased commentary.The word "party hack" is starting to impinge itself on my mind. I wonder why… Help me out here, Antony…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Party hack? Sorry what? I ain't onside with anybody, frankly. And what's this about unbiased commentary? My aim here is to present information rarely examined in the mainstream media. Bias or not, it's different. Besides, what do you think a blog is supposed to be? Fact and opinion.Hypocrisy is a key motivating force, yes. How dare the US preach about human rights when a) many of its allies are woeful human rights abusers b) many domestic issues are at play, leading to endemic imprisonment and executions and c) America is now sending "terror" suspects to countries such as Egypt, Saudi etc. And Bush talks about human rights?I'm very keen to campaign against human rights abuses in China, Vietnam and will continue to say so. But they aren't preaching about human rights to anybody. The US is. Me a communist? Puuuulease.

  • Gerry

    You said "I'm very keen to campaign against human rights abuses in China, Vietnam" – Care to direct my at stuff you've written about the human rights abuses in China and Vietnam, in paricular the executions, Antony? I've just spent over an hour wading through the tedious results of a Google search on exactly that type of search-string and I could not find your name associated with anything remotely close to this subject. I come back to my point: You seem to be more interested in singlimg America out on the basis of their hypcocrisy, whereas the numbers suggest that if the size of the crime (number executed) mattered, focus would have gone onto China or Vietnam as being far and away the worst offenders.So I can only read your post to mean "I'm not interested in how many poeple actually were executed by China or Vietnam because I've got America dead to rights on the vastly bigger crime of hypocrisy" and this is a bit absurd to me.What is it someone once said? "Lies, damn lies, and statistics"? Is this perhaps a case where the major meaning of a set numbers was ignored in order to hijack them for a lesser purpose, Antony?In closing, I look forward to your upcoming piece on human rights abuses in China and Vietnam – in particular, executions.

  • Ron

    Gerry, mate, I don't know what happened to you around the time the pope died but if don't chill out a bit, you're gonna burst a bubble somewhere.The whole point of Antony's post is that the US preaches one thing and practices another – nothing more, nothing less.In your Googling, try and find just one entry where China and Vietnam have been upholders and defenders of human rights.Perhaps you should re-read some of your US-critical posts from the last few weeks. 🙂

  • Gerry

    Oh dear, Ron… America kills 59 and that's a heinous crime because they pretend to be interested in Human Rights. But when China kills 3,400, because they openly ignore Human Rights debates, their crime is deemed less noteworthy, eh?I can see how that's getting one's priorities right, Ron. Hold Antony's hand while I try to explain to both of you that hypocrisy is a lesser crime than killing 3,341 people (3400 minus 59 for the arithmetically challenged).Let me underscore it this way: I'd rather be in a room with a hyocrite who justifies killing 59 people, most of whom had trial somewhat resembling "fair", than be in a room with someone who justifies killing 3400 people, few if any of which received any kind of a trial, fair or otherwise. Are we getting this yet, guys?

  • Superfred79

    Typically in the US, most of those executed were murderers, serial rapists and the like. What about their victims "human rights"? I'm sorry, i just don't have a whole lotta sympathy for a child rapist murdering person. and should you CHOOSE to commit these crimes, you forfeit your own life. course that's just my opinion

  • steve

    Yeah, what superfred said! Also, how is democracy mutually exclusive with executions? Wasn't Socrates executed in a democracy? Democracy means People Rule, not whatever lefty fad you want to peddle at the moment.Cheers,