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.

Warheads

Does Israel have close to 400 nuclear warheads? Former Pentagon official and whistle-blower, Daniel Ellsberg, made the announcement at a recent news conference before the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference at the UN in New York. “That’s more than Britain, China, India and Pakistan, and probably more than France”, he said.

Israel’s arsenal should be abolished and pressure placed on them to do so by the world community. The American acceptance of Israel’s nuclear warheads proves their inherent hypocrisy when discussing the reduction of weapons worldwide. Furthermore, the Bush administration has frequently announced its intention to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons. How can countries like Iran or North Korea take America seriously when the US is flaunting the weapons themselves? Stephen Schwartz, publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said in 2003: “How can we possibly go to the international community or to these countries and say ‘How dare you develop these weapons’, when it’s exactly what we’re doing?”

Ellsberg disclosed the secret Pentagon documents in the early 1970s that proved the real agenda and situation behind the Vietnam War. “The Pentagon Papers” remains the quintessential insider’s leak. His bravery can be summarised thus:

“On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, he worked on the Top Secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.”

The Iraq war will bring its own Pentagon Papers eventually, such was the duplicity and deception leading the US and its allies to war.

A landmark 1971 decision by the US Supreme Court allowed the New York Times and Washington Post to publish articles based on the Pentagon Papers, after government stalling, and it remains a fine example of the US Supreme Court realising, as the New York Times reported at the time, that “the courts lack the power to suppress any press publication no matter how grave a threat to security it might pose.”

Justice Hugo L. Black explained the reasons behind the decision; his brave words still resonate today, in an age of government reliance on secrecy:

“Paramount among the responsibilities of a free press, is the duty to prevent any part of the Government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.”

11 comments ↪
  • Anonymous

    Great moral equivalence there…the US=Israel=North Korea=Iran. It's not the possession, but what you plan on doing with them.Why are cops allowed to carry guns and ordinary people (mostly) not? By this logic, if the Commonwealth of Australia wants criminals to get rid of their guns, it is the height of hypocrisy that they still maintain an arsenal for state and federal police and other agencies.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    It's really not that hard to follow. For one country to suggest it has the right to develop nuclear weapons and other do not, the ones without will justifiably see this as hypocrisy. See, that wasn't too hard, was it?As for Israel. The entire Middle East should be nuclear free. Simple as that. America's incompetent job at persuading Iran to not go nuclear will fail, not least because Israel has them, and Iran will say, 'why can they, and not us'? Israel can no longer get away with being the exception in the Middle East. Isn't it enough of a pariah already? Perhaps it should start playing by the rules for once…

  • the young-lib brigad

    my view on nuclear weapons is simple;Dont give them to suicide bombers. Anyone else can have as many as they want, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction will make them useless.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Where to begin on that nonsense? Anyone else can have them? Wonderful logic. You'd be happy with a new arms race? Obviously yes, as long as it's countries you think are nice and friendly….

  • the young-lib brigad

    The logic is here is absolutely obvious. If two non nuclear countries are on hostile terms the incentive for both is to get nuclear weapons in order to have an advantage over their opponent. THIS IS AN ARMS RACE. Because if one is able to develop nukes first it has gained a large advantage over its opponent. If both countries have nuclear weapons there is no incentive to get more, because there is a limit to how much you can have before you blow this planet up, and plus making nukes is expensive. Furthermore there is no incentive to increase hostilities as both countries are capable of wiping each other of the map. Like i said before, mutually assured destruction, the only thing that saved us during the cold war. With the 'suicide bomber' states, iran, syria, north korea, the stakes are different for obvious reasons. Mutually assured destruction doesnt work, because their prepared to destoy themselves either way. I know i am generalising, but the same mullahs that created this fundamental islam that causes tens of thousands of men and women to volunteer to become suicide bombers in iraq and israel are about to become in charge of their own nuclear weapons. Thats a scary proposition.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Tens of thousands volunteering to become suicide bombers? I must have missed so many. Sounds like you think suicide bombing is likely of most Muslims. Enough said…

  • the young-lib brigad

    iranian government has set up a unit to recruit suicide bombers. http://www.iranian.ws/cgi-bin/iran_news/exec/view.cgi/2/2424400 iranians volunteer for suicide bombings. The Iranian government agency responsible claims that they have enrolled 35 thousand volunteers nationwide. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_22-4-2005_pg4_23Your'e attempts at twisting my words doesn't work. I included north korea in my list of 'suicide bomber' states for a reason. We dont know the mental state of their dictator, he may wake up one day and decide to end it all with a nuclear missile barrage.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ok, you seriously believe that 35,000 people have volunteered? Of course you do, they're Muslims, they're programmed for terrorism, aren't they? It's bollocks. Saddam said similarly before the invasion. And yes, many suicide bombers are now in Iraq, some Iraqi and some foreign, but really,let's put all this in perspective.North Korea. The leader is indeed nuts. The chances of him releasing nuclear missles is beyond comprehension. It guarantees his self-destruction, not likely for a man so keen on promoting himself.You seem to believe, as for the racist Daniel Pipes, that all Muslims are suspect. Wonder how many you've actually met?

  • the young-lib brigad

    again with the "youre only saying this because you hate muslims" nonsense. I honestly dont hate anyone, i have met many muslims and have nothing against them. I have no idea how to proove it over the internet. And yes i have no idea how many actually volunteered for suicide bombings and I dont believe that 35 thousand people volunteered for it. However you have to ask, why would a Iranian government agency be putting these figures out there? Sure their exagerating, just like saddam and most regimes in the region. But every-one of these regime's has one thing in common, they exagerate the details not the intent. It is a fact that the iranian regime is sponsoring these suicide bombers, their doing it on a religious justification, wether they have 10 or 10 thousand on the books ready to go is immaterial. However if you look at their tactics during the iran-iraq war, where die-hard volunteers charged through minefields so that the tanks behind them would be undamaged, you have to assume a higher number.

  • the young-lib brigad

    and daniel pipes isnt racist. Racism is irrational. You hate because you know nothing of those you hate, hence you can hide what makes them and you the same. Racists spout on about the superiority of their (usually white) race over others with a laughable psuedo-science as their justification. Daniel Pipes spent decades as a student of islam. If you hate something you dont dedicate youre life studying it, or alternatively you come to an understanding that hate is irrational. Sure he is critical of some islamic practices and beliefs, but too many professors in the oriental studues faculties act(ed) as apologists, aka Edward Said.

  • Anonymous

    Look at the riots in Afghanistan over the alleged desecration of the koran…and you don't see why it's a bad idea to let these guys have nukes? Sheesh, Lowy! That's crazy-talk!