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.

Afghan Civilians Killed in Airstrike

17 Afghan civilians were murdered by an American airstrike in late June. The Washington Post reported the story on July 5. The US military apologised for the mistake but claimed they had targeted a “known operating base for terrorist attacks.”

How comforting for the victims and their families. Another fine example of Western humanity in the face of war.

Scott Burchill explains the hypocrisy: “Some of ‘our values’ on display again, this time in Afghanistan. Why would this make anyone angry? We kill with the very best of intentions. Don’t suppose these people will get a memorial. Of course what we have done to Falluja is many times worse than the terrible tragedy in London. For how much longer can Afghanis and Iraqis withstand the onslaught of our values?”

17 comments ↪
  • Doylie

    The people responsible for this awful event are terrorists, trying to achieve their political aims via indiscriminate murder. These people are clearly immoral scum who should be hunted down and killed without mercy, as should all those who support them, politically and financially.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Er, the American pilots above Afghanistan or the London bombers?

  • doylie

    Exactly.

  • Dennis Smith

    The truth is that, to the rich and powerful, all life is cheap. To them, American soldiers dying in Iraq to secure oil supplies for America are no more important than the unfortunate Afghanis killed 'accidently' (usually described as collateral damage. The difference is that the Americans get a better funeral.

  • doylie

    Well said, Dennis. The other difference is that there is no media saturation when kids are killed in Afghanistan.Howard said this about the deaths of innocents in London last week:"This brutal, indiscriminate, unforgivable attack on people going about their daily lives is a mark of the depraved character of the people who carried these out."I would be truly astounded if he said something similar about the deaths of civilians in Afghanistan or Iraq.

  • Mike Jericho

    "17 Afghan civilians were murdered by an American airstrike in late June."Antony, how do you define "murder"?Does intent have nothing to do with it, in your view? Those people died inadvertantly. Of course that is no comfort to their grieving relatives, but at least they can know – with certainty – that their loved ones were not killed deliberately. If they were noncombatants, it was an accident. That is quite beyond doubt. The US does not deliberately target civilians, Antony, has not done so since Korea. It did so then only because North Korean infiltrators were using large crowds of refugees as cover for their incursions.I have two questions that go towards the credibility of your post, Antony.1) Have you any proof whatsoever that US troops in the last decade have deliberately targeted civilian noncombatants, justifying your use of the word "murder".2) When terrorists have deliberately targeted civilians for death, how many instances of which have you covered, and in your articles referred to their actions as "murder" instead of "killing" or something else more neutral and indicative of an accidental death, which the victims of terror are not, by definition.If you do not reply to this, I will take it as an open declaration that your argument is innately flawed, you are aware of that fact, yet you make no effort to retract or amend your remarks, because your ultimate allegiance is to the same people – the only people in this conflict – who deliberately murder civilians.

  • doylie

    MJ, someone once wrote that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.How many "accidental" deaths will be allowed to occur before we see public outpourings of grief from our leaders?If you argue that the intentions of the killers in Afghanistan excuse them from guilt, then you are valuing one life (or death) more highly than another.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The central question remains: how many more bombings of civilian areas, towns, and cities have to happen before an 'accident' is seen as more than that?In Israel, for example, Israel deliberately targets civilians through bombing refugee camps and firing indescriminately into the occupied territory. Palestinian death are therefore far from accidental. It's all about making a point, as twisted as that point clearly is.Similarly in Afghanistan and Iraq. America and British are engaged in a war that involves the regular killing of civilians, whether bombing villages, or at checkpoints etc. To suggest that none of this is accidental misses the point entirely. The rules of engagement are so skewed that civilians are likely to be killed, rather than avoided.And no avoidance of the reality will change that.To suggest that I have an allegience with those who carry out 'terrorism' is absurd, offensive and downright childish. I'm simply able to see "our" terrorism little differently than "their" terrorism.

  • Dennis Smith

    You can't drop cluster bombs on villages (or napalm) then claim that civilian deaths are accidental!Those who do this are no better than the London bombers!

  • Glenn Condell

    mjhow balanced and reasonable your post appears. I wonder if you had actually been on the recieving end of this assiduously targeted mayhem and lost your wife or daughter, if that reasonable tone would survive.

  • Anonymous

    In Israel, for example, Israel deliberately targets civilians through bombing refugee camps and firing indescriminately into the occupied territoryWhen the HELL does Israel bomb refugee camps? THat's just plain slander.On the atrocity scale of 1-10, how bad would you rank Israel compared to other states in the Middle East?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Too many examples to name here, but Israel consistently bombs and destroys houes in refugee camps. Eg: <a href="http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_world_story_skin/449278?format=htmlhttp://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_world_story_skin/4492… />On a scale of atrocity? Jeez, great question. To suggest Israel is more democratic than, say, Iran, isn't really the point. Israel claims to be a democracy which it patently is it. If you're a Jew, of course, but otherwise, you'll be treated like a second class citizen.Seeing Israel increasingly as South Africa under apartheid makes logical sense, and the campaign is gathering steam. Israel cannot claim uniqueness because of its history or geography. Its action are illegal and excessive. What, we shouldn't highlight Israel because, say, Sudan is worse?

  • doylie

    Anonymous, the "atrocity scale" has only two levels: 0 and 1. How can one act of terrorism be less atrocious than another?

  • weezil

    With all the claims of simple error etc. from the USAF, do you sometimes wonder if the software for the 'smart' bombs is written by Microsoft?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Yes, strangely I do. Gates would be a wealthy man. Oh wait a minute…

  • michael

    "If they were noncombatants, it was an accident."Good thing we've got God to retrospectively (and posthumously) sort it out. If the victim is an innocent baby the negligent pilot pushed the launch button accidentally. If it was an armed anti-US militant the heroic pilot struck the launch button with righteous intent. But what if the bomb killed combatants and non-combatants indiscriminately?Could the pilot have dropped the bombs both accidentally and deliberately?Funny the perverse twists of logic (and the historical record) that consequentialist virtue ethics imposes, no?"Have you any proof whatsoever that US troops in the last decade have deliberately targeted civilian noncombatants, justifying your use of the word "murder"."Very important qualifier – 'in the last decade'. We now have proof from declassified documents that the US had a deliberate strategy of targeting civilian areas in bombing raids over Germany and Japan in WWII so as to demoralise 'enemy populations'. Although many people claimed this was the policy all along, authorities flatly denied it for about fifty years until the indisputable proof reached the public record.'mj' apparently expects us to have faith that the US have now abandoned their terror bombing policies – in spite of their continued use of indiscriminate anti-personnel weapons in populated civilian areas in Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq and the continued appalling toll of civilian casualties – even though it will take many years for the 'proof' that they keep killing civilians because they mean to kill civilians to be declassified.

  • anthony

    "Israel has destroyed hundreds of Palestinian homes in Gaza which the army says militants use as firing posts or to hide tunnels dug on the Egyptian border to smuggle in weapons."What? That article has only one reference (above) to the policy on demolishing houses (which I’m against), but its not at all clear. It certainly doesn’t support your claim that 'Israel consistently bombs and destroys [houses] in refugee camps'.