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.

The coming Pax Americana

Gorilla in the Room continues its essential role in discussing the unmentionable. They highlight a startling article in Haaretz by Efraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad and now Ariel Sharon’s national security advisor. In a candid piece aimed at an Israeli audience, Halevy analyses the desired future role of the US in the Middle East. Gorilla outlines the revelations:

“A large part of the reason Saudi Arabia is so unstable right now is the U.S. presence in Iraq, which has made the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims feel that the U.S. has gone to war against the whole Islamic world. Halevy’s (and the neocons’, and AIPAC’s) preferred solution for all of this is additional U.S. wars against other Arab and Muslim (Iran) states, a resumption of the draft (where else would we get hundreds of thousands of additional Americans to serve as cannon fodder for this?), and a “generational” presence as occupiers in the region. (Of course, this would generate additional impetus for terrorism against the U.S. itself.)”

To this I would add the following. As an Australian, I question whether the government of John Howard is signing us up for adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and who knows where else, with a vested interest in allowing America’s role in the region to increase. When Australia sends more troops to Iraq, we are asked to believe that it’s to secure the Iraqi people and provide democracy. Alternative theories are essential. Historian Clinton Fernandes argues, instead: “Today, Australian military personnel are participating in the US-led attempt to create a stable investment climate, complete with a vast military presence, in Iraq.” This involvement mirrors, Fernandes posits, a repeat of similiar behaviour in relation to Asia, especially Indonesia under General Soeharto.

It’s time to dispense the myth that the Iraq invasion was about bringing democracy to the country. American, British and Australian financial and political interests are seen to align in the Middle East region. Never believe anyone who says otherwise.

I’m currently reading a fascinating book that expands on these matters. Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation reveals the private contractors profiting from the occupation. Writer Pratap Chatterjee (managing editor of CorpWatch) painfully details how going to war makes good business sense. Hear the storm clouds gathering over Iran?

3 comments ↪
  • Anonymous

    Oh, Christ, is no one else going to jump in here? OK, fine.So Chatterjee is "corrupt and unaccountable"? Heh…well I'm sure it will be interesting to have a look at CorpWatch's IRS Form 990 to find out some more about that! (Seriously though, why is it that corporations are always corrupt to the left, but the people who try and bring them down are always purely motivated?)Let's play around with this post a bit and go back, say, fifty or sixty years from now. Lowey, I can just imagine you horrified by the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift: "American military personnel are being used to create a stable investment climate in Germany, complete with a vast military presence! It's time to dispense with this idea that it is about bringing democracy to Germany, everyone knows the Hun is incapable of that sort of political organization and it is racist and colonialist for us to impose it on them!"Of course, the US military is out of Saudi Arabia now…perhaps the reason why that country is so unstable is because it is fundamentally dysfunctional and has been using its vast oil wealth to pay for (a) an extravagant lifestyle for the ruling classes while (b) buying off the rest of the population by throwing them red (halal) meat in the form of fundamentalist Islamic kill-the-Joos-and-Darpsie-too rhetoric?

  • Anonymous

    Nice stealth-edit there, Ant…watch out, or the Super-Subediting Nanny is gonna send you to the naughty corner — that is not esseptible!

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I've been duly chastised. Naughty Ant is better for the experience…