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.

Finally, some questions

So who is Peter Costello? For much of our media, his politics appear irrelevant – they’re too involved in the power play between him and Howard. Finally, a journalist has asked the key question: what does Costello stand for?

The Age’s Gay Alcorn actually understands the role of a journalist, unlike many of her colleagues. Ask questions, conduct research, make reasoned predictions:

“The one thing usually given as a key example of where Costello diverges from Howard is in his support for a republic. But while Howard’s monarchism was deeply felt, Costello’s republicanism seemed thin and politically calculated. When then prime minister Paul Keating in 1993 pushed for a debate on becoming a republic, Costello argued in the party that the Liberals should oppose it – purely on political grounds. When Howard convened a constitutional convention for 1998, Costello was mute. Here’s how Carney’s biography describes his eventual decision: “As the convention approached . . . Peter concluded that it was futile not to hook into the growing republican sympathies in the community and try to find a way for republicanism to mesh into his own brand of political and constitutional conservatism.” The impression left is of a man of no conviction.”

Alcorn pulls no punches in her analysis of Australia’s potential future Prime Minister (God help us!):

“Has it always been just about power, Peter? To be a brutal parliamentary performer specialising in the thudding puns that pass for political humour in Australia might rev up the troops, but those of us watching the spectacle are sceptical. Perhaps your unpopularity among voters is not only because of your job as treasurer, but also because, after all these years, few people know what you stand for. When Kroger handed you Higgins, what did you want to do with it beyond using it as a vehicle for self-advancement? The numbers must be counted and, in your world, all else may be irrelevant. But Peter Costello, who the hell are you?”

9 comments ↪
  • Binnsy

    The front page of the Sydney Murdoch rag stabbed Costello for not supporting his rugby league team… wtf? Can't they find anything better to pick at him about, like, oh gee, I dunno, what he does for a LIVING??

  • Guy

    I don't think it is all about power for Costello – if it was he would have challenged (or at least more visibly schemed) long before now.That said, I think there is surprisingly little that we do know about exactly where Costello would lead the Liberal Party. Surely not towards an Australian republic, despite any public sympathies he has had with ARM in the past. There must be almost more monarchists than lawyers even in the federal Liberal camp!I will say this: I don't think Costello "fits in" as a leader of the Liberals. Someone like Downer or even Nick Minchin seems to represent (to me) exactly what the current party is all about.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Costello would hardly be very different to Howard. To suggest otherwise, in my view, is wishful thinking. Besides, the issue is with the two-party structure, not who leads the parties themselves. Structural reform is needed, not least in the area of campaign finance and 'donations'. Ah, the smell of corruption…

  • syed-m

    All these red herrings have effectively sidelined matters that ought to be scrutinised. Like the institutional deficiencies in the Department of Immigration that lead to the removal of Australian citizens from the country. Or the greater context behind the hostage situation in Iraq (eg why would people do such things? Perhaps they think it is the only way people will notice what's going on in Iraq?). See this interesting Media Watch report: <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1357627.htm.http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s135… />Of course, you could also say something similar about the latest Budget. Most of the analysis has been on things like tax cuts for the rich and whether Costello used the budget to advertise his leadership credentials. But what about tax breaks and subsidies for big business and key industries? Ridiculous Defence budgets? And so many other things?

  • Binnsy

    Discussion Questions (not trying to sound like a textbook at all)1. What do we all think of the Opposition's outspoken..well… opposition of the tax cuts of the new budget? 2. Would a Labor government's budget be any better or worse perhaps?Oh god I even numbered them… [shakes head to self]

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The ALP's opposition is playing politics, HOWEVER, the govt's 'tax cuts' speaks for itself. essentially, if you're rich, you deserve more money, and if you're not, well, try and find a better paying job. so similiar to tax policy implemented by bush, it's scary.As for an ALP budget, well, MAY be a little fairer to low income earners, but let's forget where their bread is buttered (the ALP, that is.) big end of town….

  • Fabian

    I seem to recall that Costello wanted to march during National Sorry Day and was told not to by Howard – am I right? Was that just a position of convenience as well, as far as Costello was concerned?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    He did indeed want to march. Good on Pete. Since then, bugger all. What a surprise. A position of convenience? God knows. Maybe yes, maybe no. Even if he does believe in reconciliation, saying 'sorry' etc, he's been mighty silent about it. Daming, frankly…

  • syed-m

    Ok, didn't know that. Talk about an abject lack of moral courage!Re ALP Budgets: I hate to sound like an habitual complainer, but I doubt it'd be very different. Almost all the coverage has been on tax cuts. But even the Government's proposed tax cuts for the rich are only a small portion of the Budget. Yes, not insubstantial. But what about…Defence spending: would ALP spending habits be any different? Not with Beazley at the helm.Subsidies for big business and politically important sectors of industry: doubt there'd be much difference here either. Look what Kimbo and his mates did during their 1980s incumbancy!Of course it's good for business if the media reports on the Budget in a manner that focuses on personality politics (eg does Beazley's response to the Budget show he has ticker? Is Costello's grin more bearable than Howard's smerk?). That way the business community can get on with business.