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.

Our good neighbours

As the Indonesian armed forces (TNI) start to withdraw from Aceh after the recent supposed peace deal, questions remain as to the new destination for the TNI. Could it be West Papua, asks blogger Jakartass? The Australian Democrats have released a statement warning about the possibility of massacres and the likelihood of TNI forces causing racial and national tensions. Senator Natasha Stott Despoja says:

“The Australian Government must call upon Indonesia to immediately withdraw additional troops from West Papua. During a situation like this, the allegations regarding a pro-Jakarta lobby within the Australian Intelligence services and concern over intelligence warnings prior to the East Timor massacre are deeply disturbing. We must not allow another East Timor to develop on our doorstep. We have the advance warning, there will be no excuse if this is allowed to happen.”

13 comments ↪
  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks for this, I’ve been watching the Munir trial with interest and notice SBS Dateline has a feature piece on it next Wednesday.
    In the last decades, Australia has taken a very ‘pragmatic’ view of Indo. Let’s not forget – as discussed in Clinton Fernandes book Reluctant Saviour – that Howard only went into Timor after massive public protests and pressure, not because he called about the Timorese people.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    So, Indcoup, care to refer to “Coalition” troops in Iraq who torture and kill as “savages”?
    I’m presuming your insights are tongue in cheek.
    If not, mmm…

  • leftvegdrunk

    We, and the Dems, are right to be fearful. Things change very slowly in Indonesia, and as far as Canberra is concerned the need for change in the human rights sphere is anything but urgent.A telling example is the current investigation and trial concerning the death of Munir Said Thalib last year. It's going to be a whitewash, without a doubt. A carbon copy of what happened after the rape of Dili – and the killing of Theys Eluay.(I had a little rant about this here if you are interested: <a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/leftvegdrunk/67997.html)http://www.livejournal.com/users/leftvegdrunk/679… />Time and time again the TNI and the Indonesian govt (of whatever "political stripe") demonstrates a disregard for human rights and an unwillingness to pursue justice even when faced with international "pressure" and overwhelming evidence. Canberra's warm relations with Jakarta are disgraceful. Surely a good neighbour has a responsibility to tap their "friend" on the shoulder when they are out of line. What is Canberra afraid of? Why not try punching above our weight wearing moral boxing gloves? It can't hurt. And the electorate has shown – via Timur – that it will support a principled stand. What is wrong with our policy-makers?As always, I'll be keeping an ear out for Max Lane's thoughts on this and will drop you a line when I come across them.

  • Vasco Pyjama

    Indeed. I would actually go further than what you say here, DBO ("disregard for human rights and an unwillingness to pursue justice"). I would actually go as far to say that TNI has a sound track record in manufacturing conflict to shore up their position, and profiting from conflict.We must also not forget that the peace deal for Aceh does not in itself guarantee peace. We have seen this before with the peace agreement in December 2002, which collapsed a mere five months later.I have not yet had the opportunity to review the details of the peace deal, but I hope if calls for significant international monitoring and also disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programs for former combatants. We must continue to put pressure on Indonesia to make sure the peace deal works.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Vasco, well stated, and I concur. We should not beat around the bush, which perhaps I was doing.Slightly off topic (maybe) – when I studied Indonesian history a couple of years ago I was introduced to the work of Damien Kingsbury, widely considered an authority on Indonesian politics. I learned recently that, after he seemed to drop of the radar for a little while, he is now a spokesperson for GAM. My respect has redoubled.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Kingsbury made some pointed comments recently about Australia's racism surrounding the Corby trial.Now, can somebody explain why I seem to be getting spam commentators on this blog recently?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Re Spam – just saw them. Don't know how that works. Can you get rid of them?

  • Vasco Pyjama

    Er… Damien is a close friend of my former neighbours'. I have spent a few afternoons and drunken nights talking to him. And his dog Sprocket and mine got along famously. And yeah, he is even more amazing in real life.He is an academic too, so that part of his life keeps him busy. He's been giving a few public lectures in Melbourne recently too.And DBO, aren't we having a role reversal today? I am usually the one tip toeing around…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Yep, will delete the spam (I think!) but it's odd and rather annoying…. Just when we thought spam was under control…

  • leftvegdrunk

    Vasco, I now believe that you are an imaginary character.

  • Andjam

    Some day, I hope that a quarter of a billion Indonesians might tell their government what it should not do, rather than a government of a country with less than one tenth the population.But until then, I'm firmly in favour of telling Indonesia that massacring is bad.

  • Jakartass

    Vasco Pyjama says above that "significant international monitoring" of the Aceh peace deal is needed.His prayers are answered here: <a href="http://www.thejakartapost.com/Archives/ArchivesDet2.asp?FileID=20050811.@02.http://www.thejakartapost.com/Archives/ArchivesDe… />There will be 60, mainly from the EU I believe, following the signing of the Peace Pact next Monday and a further 140 will follow ~ assuming you believe everything you read in the papers, that is.Oh, and ta for the link A.L.

  • IndCoup

    The "savages" in Papua need to be kept in line. The only way to do that is via military force. It is a dangerous situation as the Papuans have very little in common with the Javanese, their effective rulers. Let's see what happens but the omens don't look too good…