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.

Gerry’s delusions. Again.

Gerard Henderson is known for being boring. He exceeds at his chosen craft, writing weekly in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on matters of national importance and defending those groups, individuals or countries desperately in need of assistance. Today, the establishment’s friend and ally wraps his warm embrace around Bush’s America. Phil Gomes takes him to task:

Gerard Henderson uses one reported case of sanity within the US diplomatic corps to disprove the madness of the rest”:

‘So much for the mythology that the Bush Administration is dominated by adventurous and unfeeling ideologues.’

“Apparently guys like John Bolton aren’t on Gerry’s reading list.”

When will Fairfax dump Gerry and find somebody, anybody, to replace a man running a close second to the Australian’s Greg Sheridan for getting up close and personal with those in power? But then, Fairfax wouldn’t want to rattle their ever-increasing senior readers. While at Fairfax, I was told that Miranda Devine was only chosen as a columnist – and poached from Murdoch – to “cause a bit of controversy.” Yawn. Content clearly ran a far second. How many writers with a direct line to the Bush/Blair/Howard phone does a newspaper need? A few outsiders are just what the mainstream needs. I’ll offer my services for a reasonable fee. Give me editorial control and I’ll give you a rattled readership.

11 comments ↪
  • Guy

    Here's a pointed question for you Antony – who is your favourite right-wing / conservative journalist?I agree that the likes of Henderson and Sheridan are fairly tired and predictable in their slavish support for the conservatives, but I can also empathise with Fairfax's attempts to maintain some sort of balance.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Some kind of balance? Er, where are the progressive voices in the papers? Ramsey, sometimes, Mike Carlton, kinda, Richard Ackland, sometimes and Robert Manne seems to have left for the moment, and who else? This is like talking about ABC current affairs programs. The Insiders is a classic example. Right-wing commentators in excess and no liberals. Same old bollocks.Australia shows its vehemently conservative worldview by the lack of guts when selecting commentators of a progressive nature.My fave conservative writers, you ask? Good question. Truth is, virtually no regular conservative commentator in Australia seems capable of having strong conservative values (ie. belief in accountability etc) and still seeing past Federal and State govts. Bravery is sorely lacking…

  • Anonymous

    It would move things forward by differentiating those on the 'right'.The yanks have killed off intelligent labelling with the crude and wretchedly inadequate conservative-liberal divide.MAnne is an old-style Capital C conservative. SHeridan and Henderson are right-wing functionaries, but it is demeaning to the label to call them conservatives.ej

  • michael

    Aww, c'mon Antony. Some of these guys are a scream. Just think Paul Sheehan and his 'miracle water' or Paddy McGuinness and his apologia for well heeled pederasty. Wonder how Chris Pearson felt about Paddy's contribution to his public biography.But my faves are the shockjocks who tip over the edge into self-satire, with Watergate burglar G Gordon Liddy the granddaddy of them all. Stan Zemanek is the most consistent local example I know, but Alan Jones is pretty funny when he hits his stride too – especially when he's railing against gay marriage. Only if the ceremony is in a London public toilet or a Manly carpark, eh Alan?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Once again, the importance of sane alternative voices. Thank God for blogging and web, otherwise we really would have to rely on Sheehan, McGuinness etc…I frequently source their columns because I love reading the stunningly over-simplistic reading of world affairs. Good vs. Evil. Bush vs. the world. Howard vs. Evil. On a good day, I'm amused. On a bad…

  • Phil

    …..day I'm pretty well enraged. I promise myself most days that I'm not going to write even one line about those named but in the end I do. At least I've got it down to just a couple of lines now (more than they deserve). The definitions of left/right are now so warped that a progressive centrist like myself is viewed as some kind of raging communist, anyone who really knows me realises quickly that this is not the case. Additionally the word 'left' is now so imbued with negative connotations that I try not to use it, I find myself using 'progressive' more often now because of it's more positive connotations. We should all try to do the same and practise this kind of branding.

  • Guy

    How about Ross Gittins, Antony? I guess I'm not sure you could label him a "progressive", but he is certainly a lefty.I definitely agree that there are quite a few more rusted on conservative journos in the MSM than rusted on progressives.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Gittins can be good. In SMH column today, on the dud Budget, is a good one.My point is simply not to have all progressive commentators, but simply a balance. At the moment, we simply do not have that.Phil, let's ditch the left/right tag. I agree. Progressive/liberal is much preferable….

  • michael

    "How about Ross Gittins, Antony? I guess I'm not sure you could label him a "progressive", but he is certainly a lefty."My, my, how times have changed.I remember when Gerard Henderson's smh bylines included "… the director of the Sydney Institute, a privately funded think-tank". Just to be sure that everyone knew where the private funding came from, Gerry did several dishonest trash jobs on Democrat Senator Paul McLean after the latter had tabled internal Westpac documents exposing how they had deliberately ripped off Aus farmers by converting their loans to Swiss francs to cover Westpac's own exposure to the inevitable Aus dollar collapse following the Keating 'float'.Back then, Gittins was the token rightwing economist on the smh – to counter the more 'moderate', soft protectionist positions taken by Max Walsh.But then Alex Carey exposed Walsh's sly little payments from Aus entrepreneurs and the fertiliser hit the fan. Gittins became the main economic op-ed writer and his pieces no longer had Walsh's dissent as contrast.If criticising Howard's budget makes you a leftwinger, then I guess Gittins qualifies. But when Treasurer Keating and his pro-GST, pro-multinational, pro-money market policies were rightly seen as being to the right of what Fraser's repulsive little treasurer had been able to get away with, Gittins was rightly seen as the mouthpiece of the free market fund managers.Has Gittins shifted to the left?Or, like Fraser, does he just seem to have done so because everyone else has moved so far to the right?

  • Anonymous

    'Has Gittins shifted to the left?' He's been mugged by reality!

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Good points. Our society has moved so far to the right, that centrists or even old school conservatives (a belief in accountability etc), are painted as radicals. And all this in such a short period of time…Mmmm…Even questioning the free market and its policies (and indeed, I've also noticed Henderson's columns drop the think-tank line) appears to be against the rules.Such commentary is still good for a laugh…