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.

The toady’s blindness

Piers Akerman in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph:

“…though the Koran does contain some verses of great poetry on tolerance and respect, it also contains a plethora of extremely virulent exhortatory suras condemning nonbelievers, apostates, Christians and Jews, to violent deaths and unending misery in the hereafter.”

All those sections in the Bible about death, stonings, murder and incest clearly read like a children’s fairy tale. No wonder Akerman is Howard’s favourite commentator/toady. ABC TV’s Insiders calls him a “highly experienced journalist and a columnist.” Notice the omission of respect. Why the hell is he on that show again? Yet another tortuous bow to “balance.”

11 comments ↪
  • J F

    I don't hear any Christians using the words of God and Jesus as bin Laden and associates used the words of Allah and Muhammad: "Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: 'But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)'; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders."

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Since when do the vast, vast majority of Muslims, or Christians for that matter, take their holy books literally? Basically, nearly, never. We can always quote extreme comments in the Bible or Koran (or Torah), but how it's interpreted is the main issue, surely….

  • J F

    Is it possible to be a Muslim and not accept the Koran as the literal word of God?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    As possible as being a Christian and not taking the Bible as gospel. People of many faiths are much more complex than simply living by, or ignoring, their chosen books….

  • J F

    Central to Islam is acceptance of the Koran as the word of Allah. It is not possible for a person to be a Muslim and not accept this. Such a person is certainly not regarded as a Muslim by true Muslims.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    I love the way all these non-Muslims become experts on Islamic theology when it comes time to condemn. Amazing. I wonder whether they can actually read Arabic and translated it into English. Um, 'jf', ever heard of abortion clinics being bombed, even health workers who conduct abortions being murdered? What about the armed-to-the-teeth ultra orthodox Jews of Israel and the Occupied Territories? Remember that dude who killed Yitzak Rabin? No he wasn't a Muslim with long sideburns.Not to forget the RSS and Bajarang Dal of India, a fascist Hindu sect who model themselves on a range of fascist icons including Hitler and Mussolini. They've even committed acts of genocide. In one instance killing around 2000-3000 Muslims in Gujarat.These episodes prove that fanaticism isn't the preserve of any one ethnic or religious group but requires more rigorous analysis of complex social and political situations.As for your "Such a person is certainly not regarded as a Muslim by true Muslims" comment. Well that's certainly only true in the minds of those arrogant and deluded enough to think they are the only 'true Muslims'. But that notion is not unique to Muslims.But more importantly than any of these diversions, and they are diversions, how on earth does any of this actually solve any of the problems we (we, humanity) face? What's your solution jf?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Iqbal, Praise be for your common sense. These Islamophobes come out of the woodwork, don't they? Notice, also, how we've started hearing calls to question Australia's multiculturalism…?

  • J F

    Easy boys, I'm simply responding to the premise of the original post by AL. As the quote from bin Laden's original fatwa indicates, at least some who claim to be Muslims are using the Koran to justify violence. You'd have to be blind not to be able to see that.

  • Me

    I wonder about the broader paranoia that seems to be setting in about 'multiculturalism' in general (Terry Lane's comments in The Age recently)…it's the other term at the moment being blamed for fostering extremism. I suppose people need to blame something – and wrapping up all their fears in a word seems the easiest response. But a robust assimilationist policy does not rid a country of simmering tensions or extremists…if anything, it pushes certain poeple to be more extreme.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    Thanks Ant!jf – you began by stating that Islam could be distinguished as a religion of violence by virtue of theological references to that effect. But now we are lead to believe that all you meant to say is that “some who claim to be Muslim are using the Koran to justify violence”. That’s a significant qualification.I don’t think anyone here is refuting bin Laden’s (et al) use of the Koran. The point is it’s too simplistic, and easy, to merely blame Islamic theology. It is equally simplistic and easy to blame Judaism for modern Zionism, Christianity for the Christian right, etc.People always seek authority from some higher source (eg seeking UN approval for invading Iraq) when they try to resist the status quo. But what people invoke, and why people do what they do are two separate questions.

  • J F

    iqbal khaldun wrote: "jf – you began by stating that Islam could be distinguished as a religion of violence by virtue of theological references to that effect."No, I didn't.