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.

Ratzinger

Germany’s Joseph Ratzinger is the new Pope and will take the name Benedict XVI. Conservative American journalist and Catholic, Andrew Sullivan, explains the significance of the decision:

“Ratzinger’s immersion in political culture wars has become even deeper. I also cover his radical innovations on the role of women, gays and conscience. A woman should follow the “roles inscribed in her biology”; gays are inherently disposed to “intrinsic moral evil”; conscience as the modern world understands it is illusory. Yes, we have a new Pope. Just like the old one, but without any of his redeeming features.”

Personally, I salute the choice of Ratzinger, if for no other reason than the church’s inherent bigotry and misogyny will finally be clear for all to see. Prediction number one: attendances in churches in the Western world will continue to dive due to Ratzinger’s divisive nature. Prediction number two: the new Pope will be completely incapable and unwilling to engage on any of the fundamental issues facing the world in the 21st century. Prediction number three: being a former Nazi will do wonders for the church’s image.

All in all, a grand day for the secularists.

UPDATE: US Rabbi Michael Lerner explains why Ratzinger is “a disaster for the world and for the Jews.”

22 comments ↪
  • Anonymous

    THe only inherent bigotry I see here is in this post…apparently you don't only have a problem with Jews, but Catholics as well. Of course, the Nazi thing has only got the barking left up in arms:"Local Jews dismiss Pope's Nazi link"

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I have no 'issue' with Jews or Catholics, don't even go there. My issue is with agents of either religion using and abusing their position. If you're comfortable with the Pope expressing hatred of gay people, those who have sex outside of marriage, keeping woman in the home etc, then perhaps you should be living in 1950s Sydney.

  • Anonymous

    Mate, you have an incredible problem with Jews, read your own site! Jews control the media, Jews control politics, Jews control the U.S. government and it's deputy sherriff John Howard, Jews control academia — I swear, sometimes it all reads like Protocols of the Elders of Zion fan fiction!

  • Anonymous

    p.s. It's very interesting that you continue to reveal yourself as a predictable academic Occidentalist who only believes in criticisizng Judaism/Christianity, since I never hear a discouraging word about the depradations of Islam on this site. Since you like to play in the Middle East sandbox (so to speak) so much, it's pretty funny that you talk about the Vatican and women…the silence on what is done to women in Islam is deafening.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I have no problem with Jews. Don't even dare suggest that I'm anti-Semitic. It's defamatory and wrong, and you know it. The opening up of debate is key and if you can't handle it, go read Daniel Pipes.As for the issues within Islam, there are many, to be sure. Clearly until I've done so, you won't be satisfied. So whatever. I'll discuss them when and if.

  • Marcel

    The Pope doesn't hate gay people. You hate the Pope. The correct thinking Catholic hates sin in all its manisfestations, but not the sinner. Yet you hate the Pope because of what he stands for.So you Mr. Lowenstein are a Popophobe, because of your visceral reaction to his abstinent and spiritual lifestyle. Hating someone for their lifestyle, dear me, that's not very tolerant. You should have lived in 1920s Melbourne, your little shop could have had a sign at the door saying "Irish Need Not Apply For Work".

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The pope doesn't hate gay people? Sorry what? Saying that gay people will go to hell and other far more extreme things isn't showing a severe dislike for gay people? Ooooook then.I am not anti-Catholic at all, actually. What I am against is the preaching of bigotry. As for the situation in Africa, where the church frequently teaches the evils of birth control and condoms, in places with little education, this is bigotry and a death sentence. If people can't see this, they're simply ignorant of the numerous reports by human rights groups on the ground there. AIDS is killing people and the church suggests that wearing a condom is evil? What's the greater evil? Having sex out of marriage or wearing a condom when people do and will have sex, and saving lives? Mmmmm, hard to know, isn't it?

  • Anonymous

    No one does more for AIDS patients in Africa (and many other parts of the world) than the Church.Sex, gay or straight, outside marriage is considered a sin under Catholic doctrine. Artificial means of birth control, including condoms, which can (not 100%) prevent the transmission of AIDS, are also verboten, so to speak.If people are already sinning by having extra-marital sex, why do you think their scruples are would be sohigh that they would do so but not take precautions? There's a hole in your argument big enough to fly a 747 through. Or maybe you…just can't handle it!

  • Ambrose

    Sex, gay or straight, outside marriage is considered a sin under Catholic doctrine.I'm sure Tony Abbott wished that he had known that!

  • Darp

    if people are already sinning by having extra-marital sex, why do you think their scruples are would be sohigh that they would do so but not take precautions? There's a hole in your argument big enough to fly a 747 through.Well, at-least I can UNDERSTAND Mr Loewenstein's argument.Seriously, if Marcel White has the balls to put his name to any criticism he makes of other bloggers, YOU, Mr anonymous should grow some gonads of your own and do the same.God knows you celibates have got sweet fuck all use for your testicles anyways.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Jesus Christ indeed. Talk me through this. People shagging outside of marriage are sinners, and therefore wouldn't listen to the church's teachings? In many parts of Africa and Latin America, education levels are damn low and frankly, without being told how to deal with STDs, there ain't nada chance of this happening.The church has made a decision to dictate people who have sex outside of marriage a worse sin than birth control. Mind-boggling. Hello people, giving people advice, if they DO 'sin' is simply common-sense.As for putting names to comments, the cowards continue on their merry way.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Darp, living at home at age 20-something, I'm sure you've got a rich full sex life that those of us 'celibates' (I'm married with kids so you must have been talking about someone else) could never dream of.Ant(h)ony, you write: "The church has made a decision to dictate people who have sex outside of marriage a worse sin than birth control."Add a few more articles of speech, I may be able to respond coherently to that…

  • Anonymous

    Anthony, it's very simple:Armed robbers who commit armed robbery aren't much likely to follow the gun control statutes; those who have sex outside marriage aren't likely to follow the birth control prohibitions.Just for the record, I'm not equating the two, but drawing an analogy.

  • mark bahnisch

    Antony, I think that's a very unfair post, particularly the last sentence about Cardinal Ratzinger's alleged Nazism.I also take issue with your claim regarding the "church's inherent bigotry and misogyny". That's hyperbole and quite unfair to many liberal and progressive Catholics.I doubt that any Pope who didn't share the views of JP2 to which I objected (condemnation of homosexuality, "culture of life", no women priests etc) could have been elected. But I see no reason to leave the Church to the conservatives – I'm just as much a part of it as Pope Benedict XVI.I've said more about the issues here, if you or any of your readers are interested.

  • Sheila

    Ant(h)ony, i just love inserting letters in other peoples' names. Drives me crazy when I see a name without a few extra letters in it. Just makes me fu*kin nuts. Anyway, hope you like it, start to use it in in you correspondence. Later man.

  • mark bahnisch

    In lieu of a trackback – yet another post on Benedict XVI.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    It's Antony. Hard to remember, but please do.I am not suggesting that any and all Catholics are bigots, far from it. I'm very aware of the large liberal group in the church and brave souls they are.HOWEVER, the church hierarchy is the issue here. And what point do liberals give up and go elsewhere? And what point do we address the many Catholics, especially in Western countries, who ignore many of the fundamental teachings of the church, ie. birth control etc, and ask what kind of church exists today?It deeply concerns me that the major inroads of the church is in the developing world, where, sadly, education is not great and access to sex ed, for example, very low. what the church preaches is essential and they're failing time and time again. Tell a dying AIDs victim in Africa that the church loves him, when his priest could have talked about birth control

  • Anonymous

    From one anonymous to another:Surely one partner in a relationship should not suffer due to the acts of the other? If a husband commits adultery and the wife is faithful he will infect her. And she herself will not have "sinned". Right?

  • mark bahnisch

    This article (link courtesy of saint) by an Italian journalist said to be well informed lays out some speculations on Benedict's papacy, including the intriguing suggestion (with some supporting evidence) that the Church may revisit its prohibition on condoms.

  • Julian B

    It's a common misunderstanding, but the Catholic Church has no opposition to homosexuals. Only homosexual acts. I realize it is a fine distinction (one you'll probably be happy to go on overlooking) but I defy you to present me with one instance of a Pope or senior Church official condemning homosexuals themselves (and not acts of homosexuality). You won't find any.Also, you said:Prediction number one: attendances in churches in the Western world will continue to dive due to Ratzinger's divisive nature.The evidence strongly contradicts you. Would you consider Islam to be a liberal, progressive religion? No, it isn't, by any definition.Yet it is the fastest growing religion in all the non-Islamic nations that matter. I know it's hard to understand and empathize with, Antony, but a demanding religion, one which asks something of its adherents, is quite appealing to the greater majority of people.

  • mark bahnisch

    Antony, I thought more about your post, which on reflection I think is coloured by prejudice, and I got really angry. I've had my say here. Your flippant tone and the prejudiced and bigoted assumptions that underlie it do you no credit at all.

  • s

    I'm not even Catholic and by no means a Catholic Church sycophant. But at least try to quote the guy in context (unlike you want to be like Sullivan et al. who are simply sounding more like a shrill bigots every day). For example:"Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.""It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the church's pastors wherever it occurs… The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in work, in action and in law."—both from Ratzinger's "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons," 1986If after nearly 20 years people can't quote this right, or at least not quote it as an example of "gay hating" then I don't much favour the chances for them "changing with the times."