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 ABC still has guts. Sometimes

The following exchange, between Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and ABC Triple J, occurred on February 20, 2003. Australia was about to launch an attack on Iraq:

COMPERE: Are we turning our backs and covering our eyes about weapons of mass destruction in another nation in the Middle East, Israel?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Well Israel isn’t a rogue state, is it? Israel is a liberal democracy. It’s never used weapons of this kind or transferred…

COMPERE: But they…

ALEXANDER DOWNER: …of this kind to any other country or used against his own people or used it against – those weapons against its neighbours. I mean to compare Israel with the brutality of Saddam Hussein: That’s part of the problem with the debate. You’ve got to be kidding.

COMPERE: But hang on a second.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: You’ve got to be kidding.

COMPERE: You said the greatest danger to the modern world is weapons of mass destruction.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: It’s the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

COMPERE: Exactly, the proliferation of those continue to go on in Israel. Surely…

ALEXANDER DOWNER: No, no, they’re not going on in Israel. Israel aren’t passing nuclear technology to other countries. I’ve no evidence of that.

COMPERE: But they’re building up their weapons.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: They’re not passing chemical, biological and…I mean there are two things about Israel. I think actually, if I may say…

COMPERE: But they have a huge weapons program, don’t they?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: …if I may say so, I think it’s absolutely preposterous to compare a liberal democratic regime like Israel’s which operates under the rule of law with a brutal dictatorship like Saddam Hussein’s, number one. And number two, I mean will people never learn? Saddam Hussein has used these weapons against his own people. Does that not matter to some people?

COMPERE: So you believe it’s okay for Israel to have weapons of mass destruction because you don’t believe they’re going to use them?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Well first of all, I don’t think it’s okay. I think it would be preferable if they didn’t have them. But there aren’t any United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that Israel disarms. There are Security Council resolutions demanding that Iraq does. But I suppose people could say, it doesn’t really matter about the Security Council. It’s just a debating society. I feel more strongly about it than that. I hope that these Chapter 7 resolutions will be adhered to by Iraq. But let’s wait and see.

Israel “operates under the rule of law”? Israel is a “liberal democracy”? Earlier in the interview, Triple J asked Downer whether, like Chile and Iran in decades past, the US would install a US-friendly regime in Iraq. “The United States doesn’t have the thought here of putting in place any particular type of administration”, Downer replied. Clearly, he believed his own propaganda.
5 comments ↪
  • leftvegdrunk

    Not a bad effort, and typical evasion and rudeness from Downer.Only addition I'd make would be to also ask some questions about Musharref.

  • Glenn Condell

    Whoever that compere was had better watch his back. Lucky for Lynton Crosby he's in the Old Dart; this would have had him blowing gaskets fulminating about ABC 'bias'. Michael Warbucks too. What a blast of fresh air it would have been to hear it. Like a cocktail during prohibition, like reading Solzhenitsyn in Russia before glasnost. It would be nice to think there's cracks appearing in the wall of Western complicity re Israel, certainly in Oz with this hot on the heels of your Danby brouhaha. But I've thought that before.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Cracks are appearing here and there, and we should support those who dare speak it.

  • Gerry

    Your header: The ABC still has guts…That's touching on something that's been bothering me ever since just after the last elections. It seems to me the ABC (e.g Four Corners) is no longer confronting serious political issues in Australia.Is there any hope?.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The ABC is so pressured by govt and the Murdoch press, that self-censorship is order of the day. SBS Dateline still remains very strong, though. ABC Radio still remains gutsy, here and there.Check out Quentin Dempster's chapter in the new book Do Not Disturb for an insider's view.It's not pretty, to be sure.