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.

We know who he is

The current media frenzy around John Howard and his patient deputy Peter Costello is tiring. Throughout this saga, political journalists have been content playing the insider’s game, gaining interviews with the key players and parading their “insights”. Take today’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Peter Hartcher. A full page in the paper and yet virtually not a word about the values, ideas or policies Costello as Prime Minister may express. Would the voting public not be interested in what Costello actually stands for? He has remained virtually silent on numerous government decisions since 1996, including asylum seekers, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, just to say a few. The timing of a potential leadership tussle is interesting, to a point, but simply becoming the conduit through which this drab political game is played suggests that these kind of journalists are simply content to be involved, get a quote and feel close to the action.

When Hartcher says John Howard is “looking every bit a statesman” after his recent foreign policy adventures, would he like to convince readers that issues such as Guantanamo Bay have simply disappeared? Channeling government propaganda has never looked so tawdry.

7 comments ↪
  • michael

    Yeah Hartcher is pathetic, but in one sense he is pretty pragmatic as a political journo.Why report on the supposed policy differences between Costello and Howard when we know that neither of them have a significant influence on policy?Hartcher knows where the power really lies and his sycophantic support for the US FTA certainly made his position on it clear.If you want to know about policies, check the business pages for the attitudes of CEOs – especially of companies that donate big time to US and Australian political parties. That way, you automatically get the policy positions of all leaders and wannabes of both major parties.On a similar note, I think that if the US pharamaceutical companies haven't trashed the Aus PBS by the end of the year their best window of opportunity will have closed. The impending Michael Moore doco on Big Pharma and the scandals over SSRIs and anti-inflammatories has put a bit of spine into the US and (especially) UK press and the drug companies will soon be too much on the nose for any pollie to be seen to be doing their bidding.Of course you wouldn't know a thing about that if you were relying on the suckhole Australian media for the news (or the Aus medical professional bodies who have managed to almost ignore the restrictions and warnings on SSRI use overseas and are still encouraging prescription as usual).

  • michael

    "Lately, perhaps too late, we have come to recognise that the threat to the state — or what should be regarded as Public Enemy No 1 — comes not from right-wing radicalism but rather, from the impotence of politics, which leaves citizens exposed and unprotected from the dictates of the economy." – Gunter Grass in an article in today's Guardian.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Sadly, this is what passes for serious political commentatory. Hence the need for other voices, ie. bloggers, to engage. As Tim Dunlop says, bloggers are the new public intellectuals. I can't wait (??!!) for a blogger to get a regular column in the mainstream media. And let me guess, it sure as hell won't be somebody with anything too interesting to say. After all, the papers still need room for Gerard Henderson, Paul Kelly etc…I'm currently writing a longer piece on these matters for Online Opinion. Watch this space…

  • michael

    "I can't wait (??!!) for a blogger to get a regular column in the mainstream media."Aargh!! Tell me its a joke, Antony!Not funny to me right now as an activist organisation I work with currently seems flat out trying to debollock itself by applying for government grants for reformist work.With any luck, the blogs will kill the mainstream media. Or, more realistically, a hybrid of blogging and mainstream reporting something along the lines of what Christopher Allbritton and Dahr Jamail do.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Yes, I'm kidding re a blogger in the mainstream! Can you imagine who they'd select? I've got some ideas…Allbritton and Jamail? That's a great combo. There are others…

  • michael

    Just noticed that Dave Edwards has excelled himself in his most recent analysis of the liberal media.He's a bit of a one trick pony, with almost all of his articles simply using new examples as illustrations for the same tired old thesis that we all know so well. But still, its good to know that someone is refusing to let the bastards forget that they're bastards.Some interesting new blogs at MediaLens too. Worth a look.

  • Comrade JR

    It's a real shame with Peter Hartcher, he was always very good when he wrote on US politics for the Financial Review. But people like him and Louise cant-remember-her name at the Herald typify the "Paul Kelly" style of journalism, which involves advising senior politicans on what they should do. One of the few print journos in Australia worth reading at the moment is Laura Tingle at the Fin. Rather than offering sycophantic "advice", she deconstructs politicians' agendas in her Friday column. She is one of the few senior journalists to express any kind of anger about the attacks being waged against Australia's most defenceless citizens – welfare recipients – in today's budget.