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.

Useful idiots

Bob Geldof and Bono have praised the G8 decision of African debt relief and aid. Geldof, creator of the Live 8 concerts, said: “The summit in Gleneagles is a qualified triumph”.

Dissenting historian Mark Curtis, writing in today’s Guardian, reveals the truth behind this “triumph”:

“The new deal was recently morphed by spin doctors into a Marshall aid plan. Brown told a Chatham House audience that this was “a smart business proposition: enlightened self-interest at its best … for the world economy to prosper and for the companies operating in it to have markets that expand, developing country growth is a necessity”. Without this, rich countries were “unlikely to maintain the growth rates we have enjoyed over the past 20 years”. Again, poor countries help western companies, at their own expense.”

Read the whole thing.

Geldof and Bono have been fooled. But then, are they just ignorant, stupid or gullible?

5 comments ↪
  • Aaron Lane

    Instead of complaining of the motivation behind the G8's decision, why not just be glad that it was made? Every time a western political entity makes a decision for which you have been agitating, you quickly move to belittle it by questioning its movitation, integrity, etc. Israel could retreat from the West Bank and Gaza tomorrow and you would offer up some obscure historian to prove that it was some self serving Western conspiracy involving John Howard, global corporations, George Bush, Tony Blair, and anyone Jewish who doesn't hate themselves because of their ethnicity, as you clearly do. How about some optimism for a change.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    Alternatively, one could note that the world is still a savage place because the mechanisms that lead to the savagery have not fundamentally changed. I know others who would say, much like you but in their own way, that we should be thankful that Western nations haven't been subjected to more terrorist attacks than they have, because the West deserves everything it gets. Of course, we rightly condemn such statements because there is a serious disconnect between it and the facts.Yes, questions will still remain. What role does an observer take? Is the critical voice always necessary? I think it is, if we are serious about eradicating the problems of the world. Besides, self-congratulation (on this issue, as others) can be left to mainstream voices. I doubt anyone here aims to be the sole voice in the globe. Even if they did, they could not in any event. The fact that forums like this exist reflects the fact that there isn't enough critical discussion of social issues in the mainstream media.

  • Fabian

    I think the fact that they helped bring these issues to mainstream attention and that many people are debating and discussing them that would otherwise note be, is a small triumph in itself.

  • Anonymous

    Antony, you run a great site and need to be congratulated. Some pop stars with cool eyewhere may apease, many a concience, but where does it go from there? Australians get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the nice things they do,and so should they. Sadly, the rest of the story gets lost under tears. Keep barking on and don't leave home. We need alternative, intelligent voices, who can stand up to nonsense and name calling. This is not your mum or family, but a reader. Sorry can not afford donation.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks for the kind words, Anon. Abuse seems to be normal via the blogosphere these days, but we soldier on.As for Bono and Geldof, they've certainly destroyed any credibility they may have once had. Sucking up to power, and getting so little, especially the complete of discussion about Africa being open season for Western multinationals, shows how clueless they really are.