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.

Empty words

“Iraqi women know that the enemy is not Islam. There is a strong antipathy to anyone trying to conscript women’s issues to the racist “war on terror” targeted against the Muslim world. Most Iraqi women do not regard traditional society, exemplified by the neighbourhood and extended family, however restrictive at times, as the enemy. In fact, it has in practice been the protector of women and children, of their physical safety and welfare, despite lowest-common-denominator demands on dress and personal conduct. The enemy is the collapse of the state and civil society. And the culprit is the foreign military invasion and occupation.”

Haifa Zangana, Iraqi-born novelist and former prisoner of Saddam’s regime, Guardian, August 17

  • Shabadoo

    Just tell that to Hirsi Ali…I've heard of the Stockholm Syndrome, but this is ridiculous!

  • leftvegdrunk

    Shab, I am certain that Haifa Zangana would be as critical of certain practices (that is, religious and cultural behaviours) that exist within the Muslim world as Ayaan Hirsi Ali is. I think that is why Zangana speaks here of the "lowest-common-denominator demands" made in some areas of women's lives.No one would suggest that the most extreme practices should be allowed occur, wherever they emerge. What is being argued is that concern for women's rights should not be toted as a rationale for war, because for the most part (and in this case we speak of secular Iraq) women were not repressed under Islam.Hirsi Ali's experiences in Somalia and Saudi Arabia are clearly much different to those of women in Iraq today.And your reference to the Stockholm Sydnrome, while likely only a shit-stirring tactic, is offensive and ignorant. Pull your socks up, Shab.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    We shouldn't expect any better from a man who paints Islam and Muslims with one foul brush.He's a nuanced chap…

  • Shabadoo

    Thanks, Dirt…yes, it would be really ironic if women did worse under the new Iraqi constitution than under the old regime. But then, Saddam's Iraq was a fairly secular, if brutally repressive place. I don't think women's rights were ever part of the three-pronged rationale for war, BUT I do think that any culture that keeps half its population sequestered and de facto the property of others is never going to succeed, and I make no apologies for saying that I think that modern Western culture is a million times more civilized on this score. Ladies like the one Ant quotes can do what they like but when they argue in favour of a system that would deny everyone else the choice to take it or leave it, then we have serious problems.But in a weird sort of way — stick with me here, I can't stay long so I'll make it quick — isn't this constitutional debate further proof of the problem of contemporary Islam, i.e., that once let out of its box, eveyrone tries to out-fundamentist each other in a race back to 7th century Islam? I mean, it's like a different version of what happens in the West, where the intolerant try and use the tolerance of the dominant culture to bring it down.Ant: In the words of Dean Martin, "Just tryin' to have a little fun folks, that's all!" Dr. Shab says: go pick up a little CD called "The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands", whip up a pitcher of martinis and a platter of vol-au-vents, and have a swinging evening with Ms. Poly. You could use it – you're taking things wa-a-a-ay too seriously these days.

  • Andjam

    In 1990, Saddam amended the law to allow "honour killings" to happen without penalty, amongst other measures to curry favour with Islamists.It's tempting to say "he's a secularist, and that guy's an Islamist", but it's not as simple as that.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Fair point, andjam. How does that relate to Zangana's statememt?

  • Andjam

    I felt Zangana was giving too rosy a picture of life under Saddam as being an equal-opportunity dictator.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Fair enough, andjam. Given that out of the pair of you only Zangana is a woman who has lived under the Iraqi regime I will place more weight on her argument.

  • Andjam

    There are plenty of Iraqi bloggers in favour of the US invasion of Iraq and don't blame everything that's going wrong there on the Yanks, DBO.