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.

Hate

Writing about Israel/Palestine is a challenging experience. I’m dealing with censorship-baiting parliamentarians, abusive calls from a Jewish “comedian” and now pathetic hate-speak from “Jews Must Die”. Check out their website. The following are just some of the comments I’ve received in the last 24 hours:

– “you have been a naughty boy anthony i am watching”

– “i bet you would drop your pants and bend over for fisk wouldnt you anthony. jew fag. if everything is so bad in australia why dont you fuck off and go live in palestine you cockhead.”

– “you’re the nazi anthony you fucking mental midget. who’s side are you on anyway? THINK about it toolhead”

I’ve decided to leave the comments on my blog. I believe readers should see the kind of person behind the statements (and discover their inability to use punctuation.)

I’m now hated by neo-Nazis thugs and pro-Israel advocates. It’s an unenviable and taxing position, to be honest, but I have no intention of backing down from speaking truth to power (thank you Edward Said). The number of supportive calls and emails I’m receiving underscore the large amount of people in the community who are desperate for an honest debate on Israel/Palestine.

We are getting closer.

35 comments ↪
  • Jews_Must_Die

    oh the pain! so you're a victim now are you? good G_d Anthony get a grip. ever get the feeling you've been had? tool.

  • Jews_Must_Die

    BTW Mr failed cadet SMH journo. your 'book' is gonna be a major flop. know why? cos you're an intellectual midget. shove THAT in your peace pipe and smoke it! dickhead!

  • Darp

    You sometimes forget it's not polite to swear your head off on other blogs.So, JMD – wanna play? <a href="http://www.fightdemback.comwww.fightdemback.com<br />We'll have ya. BreakfastLunchAND Dinner.Join our forum and get stuck in, Nazi.

  • Comical_Ali

    it would be reasonable to ask why any real anti-semite would object to your book (attacking other Jews) and your rantings, Antony — going by the name of "Jews_must_die"You are so transparent, I just hope I'm not the only one who can see through ure shite.

  • Glenn Condell

    Boy, the natives are getting restless aren't they. You're right about allowing us to see them Ant. Sunshine is the best disinfectant for anonymous bacterial pests. You bigots are frittering away the capital in Western sentiment that has allowed Israel to exist. This sort of stuff coming from Muslims would be seized upon and paraded around as typical; lucky for you this kind of scrutiny and opprobrium (for some strange reason!) never seems to attend your intolerance. Not yet anyway.And Darp, don't hold your breath. Sniper fire is all they're capable of, their 'arguments' not having the intellectual or ethical grunt for real engagement.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks Glenn. It was a tough decision because the comments were so pathetic, but if that's the best these fools can do, then best let the sun shine on them.We Westerners are the civilised ones, of course…

  • leftvegdrunk

    Here's a dead give away: "Mr failed cadet SMH journo".The comments themselves reveal complete ignorance and political confusion.It would be laughable had the comments not been so vile.

  • Shabadoo

    See, the problem here is that subconciously, Ant as a Westerner and a Jew is ultimately fearful that the other side is going to win, and has been doing his best to suck up with his anti-Zionist routine. (Much like the various spies, traitors, fellow travellers and sellouts during the Cold War who 'saw the future, and it worked', as NY Times Stalin-lover Walter Duraty put it, in the Soviet Union).But for everyone from douchebags like jews_must_die to the Gazans who gleefully torched synagogues in Gaza in 'celebration' last night, Ant is still a Jew, and therefore the enemy – no matter what he says, or even if the Adelaide Institute has given him props. Remember that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Eichmann were great mates, so the Islamic-Nazi connection is well established – plus ca change, as the French say.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The logic above even astounds me….Perhaps I should be tried for treason? That'll fit the 'crime.'

  • Shabadoo

    No, I don't think you should be tried for treason, don't flatter yourself…I was just putting the current clash of civilizations into a Cold War context.But it's interesting that for all the posts you make about depredations committed by Israelis, you say nothing about the gleeful destruction of Jewish Holy Sites by Muslims/Palestinians. I mean, really, is this an auspicious way to get a state going?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Shab, my understanding of events over the last 24 hours is that Jewish holy sites were destroyed not because of their religious meaning but because they were seen by many as manifestations of Israeli occupation – put simply, more angry members of the Palestinian population considered that the occupation was not ended until its symbols were likewise removed. Further, this was a view opposed by many – it was not a monolithic perspective.Your use of the word "gleeful" is a typical attempt to depict the Palestinians as lunatics, playing to all manner of old stereotypes about the crazy Arab. Another way of looking at it – which you would perhaps appreciate had you tried to keep your family alive in the middle of a military occupation for a few years – is that the Palestinians are right to celebrate; they're right to express their joy and relief that one threat of violence has been withdrawn from their homes and streets and lives.I wouldn't burn down anything to celebrate the Swans winning the flag this year, that's for certain. But I cannot speak for those who chose to celebrate something far more significant in the way that they have.If it would make you feel better, we could wring our hands and chatter about how terrible it is to burn down these vestiges of occupation in such a maniacal way. In fact, I would go on record condemning these actions in the strongest terms, as I'm sure would many other readers. But then you'd just find another topic to heckle about, won't you?

  • maxim

    oh no shabadoo!what are the poor jews gonna do?How will the story ever be told of the terrible depredations of those nasty terrorists if not for brave freedom fighters such as yourself? It's so heart-warming to see you standing tall and proud for the downtrodden Israelis who can't get an even break! If it weren't for your thankless sacrifices I'm sure the jews would be holy-coasted any day!

  • Rebekka

    Goodness, people do get hot under the collar don't they. And I always thought the Jewish tradition was meant to be about scholarship and reasoned debate, not about mindless name-calling and refusing to question doctrine. Sheesh, heaven forbid you should question the existence of a Jewish state. Even though the whole idea is racist and antithetical to democracy. Really, I don't see why you should be tried as a traitor – I think these people want to burn you as a heretic.Keep up the good work, Antony.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks to all the ongoing support, greatly appreciated.We're all starting to realise the limits of so-called free speech in Australia..

  • Glenn Condell

    'Ant as a Westerner and a Jew is ultimately fearful that the other side is going to win, and has been doing his best to suck up with his anti-Zionist routine'You are the fearful one. You can't even tell us who you are, you sadpacker. 'the other side' indeed. 'so the Islamic-Nazi connection is well established' In your dreams, or to be fair, nightmares.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I know, readers can almost feel my fear….

  • evan jones

    As for these 'Jewish holy sites' on occupied land, Bionic Octopus has a jaundiced evaluation.BO, Jewish and female, is not for the faint-hearted, putting AL into the milksop brigade of the prose department.http://bionicoctopus.blogspot.com/2005/09/docket-of-aesthetic-crimes-against.htmlE.g. … 'Twentieth-century synagogue architecture is widely acknowledged to be the most heinous artistic perpetration ever devised by the fevered mind of man. I mean, look at that shit.' And why were the ephemeral synagogues left there? Ah yes, the magnificent propaganda value. Now we can demolish the sacred sites of Islam in Jerusalem. No worries.

  • Andjam

    Don't worry Ant, lots of nazis and their <a HREF="http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=Antony+Loewenstein+site%3Aadelaideinstitute.org&btnG=Search&meta=&quot; REL="nofollow">ilk still support you. Keep up the good work!

  • Comical_Ali

    wow thats more writing material for you Antony — you can devote an entire chapter in your new book to: "…Twentieth-century synagogue architecture… (as)… widely acknowledged to be the most heinous artistic perpetration ever devised by the fevered mind of man. I mean, look at that shit."Thats in addition to other chapters detailing how Australian Jewry are downright pathetic to antisemitic attacks in the Ukraine…and how people who dont announce their religion there basically (or anywhere else for that matter) "aint asking for it." If you really are disturbed by the henious architecture of synangogues ("I mean look at that shit") you can always use and apply the German precedent of 1938.And of course why not take an extra step and attack the very core of Judiasm — its Torah and its teachings…everything seems to be fair game when it comes Judiasm and the Jewish people — there is no line which you cant cross. It Certainly comes along way from merley "criticising Israeli government policies." But G-d forbid if we ever become "Islamophobic."Evan Jones…if the Israelis really wanted to destroy mosques and other Islamic sites — they would have done so many years ago, when the Arabs destroyed Jewish synangogues in areas captured by them in WBank and Gaza in 48 — using ancient and modern Jewish headstones to build anything from cemetaries to toilets. But unlike some, Israelis arent barbaric animals who lack the most basic human respect and decency. And the barbaric animal instinct of PLO/Islamist supporters is certainly showing here.

  • Comical_Ali

    "In your dreams, or to be fair, nightmares." Then we must be all dreaming…or better still living in a nightmare.Thanks for the link andjam.When it comes to Islamo-facism and Nazis…the founding father of the Palestinian National movement and Nazi war criminal (wanted for murdering thousands of Jews, serbs and gypsies in the Balkans) and good friend of Hitler, Eichmann and Himmler is a good point of reference.

  • Mannie

    Mannie De Saxe: What I least understand is the fact that the people pouring out abuse and hate haven't got the courage of their convictions by signing their names to their vomit.Their blogs have nothing on them, so they seem somewhat purposeless.As for the abusiveness of the homophobia and the incomprehensible attacks on Robert Fisk and Antony Loewenstein, one is led to believe that homosexuality is akin to anti-zionism.I would like to know why the zionists don't go to Israel when Sharon has asked them to go there to help fight the Palestinians, and why the fascists and nazis don't go and settle in those states around the world which have dictatorships of the type which censor everything and imprison the rest. We even have a few so-called democracies which now have legislation to do the same!Antony's book is in the process of becoming a best-seller because of all the pre-publicity it is receiving from a federal member for parliament, the member for MelbournePorts/Israel, and the other abusive emails you are receiving.The strange thing is that there are so many Jews in Australia who are anti-zionist but are apprehensive of lending their names to anything because they are intimidated and the so-called Jewish media are so vituperative.Keep up the good work Antony. You have many supporters around the country!

  • evan jones

    Much could be said about the pathological condition of uncomical Ali and his friends.But lets cut to the chase.The 'very core of Judaism' has been thoroughly vanquished by the Zionist project and the creation of the state of Israel as a Jewish state.What can be sustained only by a criminal enterprise has shat on the 'very core of Judaism'.This proposition is now new of course. It is what the spiritual Zionists were saying in the old days, only to be pushed aside by the colonisers.

  • leftvegdrunk

    The last few comments got me thinking – yeah, I do that sometimes!Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't equating Zionism with Judaism the same as equating Bin Laden's misguided anti-imperialism with Islam? Surely it is possible to oppose the Zionist project on a political basis without being labelled an anti-Semite. Likewise, it is possible to support the struggle of Muslims who seek to overthrow foreign or local domination without endorsing the murderous activities of terrorist groups. Why does the right have so much trouble with this?

  • Comical_Ali

    "As for the abusiveness of the homophobia and the incomprehensible attacks on Robert Fisk and Antony Loewenstein, one is led to believe that homosexuality is akin to anti-zionism."right…"and why the fascists and nazis don't go and settle in those states around the world which have dictatorships of the type which censor everything and imprison the rest."because as andjam kindly pointed out – they are too busy reading Antony's material."We even have a few so-called democracies which now have legislation to do the same!"interestingly in Israel's place you promote a Nazi Taliban like state."The 'very core of Judaism' has been thoroughly vanquished by the Zionist project and the creation of the state of Israel as a Jewish state."then yes, in other words everything is fair game.But what I can agree with you on is the idea that this conflict is pretty much in black and white — you can tell which side is civilised and which side is barbaric. In other words this is a conflict where there is no room for objectivity. But this is where we stop in agreement. One way of telling apart the sides — and point out which is "good" and which is "bad" – is by looking at how one side treats the others Holy sites. To say that the Israelis left behind the synagogues to use as an excuse to destroy Muslim holy places is pathetic — they could have destroyed the Dome of the Rock and all that other shite along time ago when the Jordanians, Egyptians and Philistines destroyed and plundered synagogues and cemetaries using head stones to build roads and urinals after the 48 war.The egyptian born and bred Yasser Arafat once declared that he and "his" people (without any historical evidence) were descedents of the ancient Philistines. Looking at how they have always behaved I would actually support his declaration. You can all wear your Philistine label with pride.

  • evan jones

    Let's confront the synagogues in Gaza for what they were – transparent symbols of occupation and domination on racial grounds.The only sacredness regarding the settlement sites was the materiality of the coastal real estate.If there was any worshippingn going on it was to pagan gods.All underpinned by AMerican capital and Palestinian labour.Nice view if you can get it.

  • leftvegdrunk

    I dips my lid to Mr Jones.

  • Comical_Ali

    "Let's confront the synagogues in Gaza for what they were – transparent symbols of occupation and domination on racial grounds."I'm yet to see the "racial grounds" aspect. hard evidence over blind parroted rhetoric would be a start. And Some seem to still seem to convienantly forget how the so called "occupation" began in the first place. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't equating Zionism with Judaism the same as equating Bin Laden's misguided anti-imperialism with Islam? "Next time "militant Zionist extremists" blow up a buse or train in London, madrid or (as mentioned by a recent conver to "militant Zionism") Melbourne I hope you are all on it.All the best.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Comical, your prose is lovely but I can't make sense of your comments.Are you saying that all Jews are Zionists and all Muslims are terrorists? If not, what exactly are you arguing?

  • evan jones

    I would recommend that uncomical and his friends participate in an exchange program. A Palestinian family comes and stays in his comfortable suburban home, while he removes himself and his family to any West Bank Palestinian town/village of his choosing. For a year (or perhaps 38 plus?).If he survives the snipers, the bulldozers, the helicopter gunships, and the daily endless indignities of being treated as sub-human by his Storm Trooper overlords, then he might acquire some qualifications to offer an opinion on the mentality of the Palestinian population.

  • Comical_Ali

    "Are you saying that all Jews are Zionists and all Muslims are terrorists? If not, what exactly are you arguing?" No, was just poiting out the irony of your equation b/w zionism and Islamo-facism.Did someone recommend an exchange program?Funnally enough, I've actually been there — to Shilo, Hebron, Bethleham and Gaza. Whereas its obvious that you have never set foot in the place. When over there its good to note to that the Arab houses are rather large (they have large familes) — villa style. Whereas your average Israeli home is a tiny boxed in apartment. The Arabs also dont pay for electricity, water and gas — they get that free courtesy of the Israeli tax payer. They also study in universities (usually inside Israel) for free courtesy of the Israeli tax payer (whereas you average Israeli pays) — and at university they are free to hold mass demonstrations where they incite voilence against Israel — all courtesy of Israeli democracy and liberalism. Of course I can go on and on. Its certainly not bad for a Nazified apartheid country with stormtroopers who treat these people as "subhuman" – keeping in mind who really wants to annihliate who.I could turn around and recommend an exchange Israeli programme for you, but there is probably not much point since London and Madrid were targeted and Australia was already singled out as next. Its unfortunate, but if the victims are nut jobs like you, then I wont have a problem — you can finally find out what it means to be an Israeli.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Mmm, rather different interpretation of the occupied territories than many find…including me.Hebron is truly like apartheid. If the wider world saw what happened there – a handful of Jews living amongst tens of thousands of Palestinians and treating them like dirt – world opinion would strongly turn against Israel. And rightly so.Blind pro-Israel supporters fear this information getting out because they know the likely response.

  • Comical_Ali

    "Mmm, rather different interpretation of the occupied territories than many find…including me."so you disagree that the Arabs dont pay for electricity, water, gas, their university, etc, etc?Hebron is truly apartheid? Perhaps – considering that when ever there dispute arises b/w an an Arab and Jew and an Israeli police or army officer handles it, he would almost always side with the Arab (knowing full well that he could end up in shit creek if he doesnt). Now thats apartheid and discrimination Israeli style. Thats the reality on the ground — pushing aside all the lies and parrotted empty rhetoric.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The reality on the ground? Let Gideon Levy, from Haaretz, tell you a few things about Hebron:http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/623227.html

  • evan jones

    Various commentaries on the bounteous life of Palestinians under a beneficient Israeli state.1. the Guardian's Urquhart.The soldiers say that in some situations they were ordered to shoot anyone who appeared on a roof or a balcony, anyone who appeared to be kneeling to the ground or anyone who appeared on the street at a designated time. Among those killed by soldiers acting on the orders were young children. While the background to the soldiers' experience is the armed conflict that has been going on in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since October 2000, many of the shootings occurred in periods of calm when there was no immediate risk to the soldiers involved. 2. Derek Summerfield in the BMJLast October I published a review in the BMJ on the appalling human rights situation in the Israeli- occupied Palestinian Territories, providing detailed figures on civilian deaths which pointed unambiguously to a culture of impunity for Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers. I also pointed to the rapid rise in poverty and destitution as a direct and foreseen consequence of Israeli policies, with documented rises in child malnutrition, the blocking of food aid distribution, denial of access to medical facilities (including for those critically ill), the killing, wounding and harrassment of Palestinian health professionals on duty, and the destruction to the coherence of the Palestinian health system as a result of the apartheid Wall- all violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention. I was not recording a personal view: I was quoting documentation from the United Nations; Amnesty International; international aid agencies like Medecins Sans Frontieres; Johns Hopkins (USA) and Al Quds (Jerusalem) Universities; the Israeli human rights organisations B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights; Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (Ramallah), and the Palestinian Environmental NGOs.3. a US Congressional delegation in May 2004.It was an extremely chilling, deeply disturbing visit. It was a shock to see the extent of land seizures, tight travel restrictions and endless humiliation which Palestinians are forced to endure. … One of the most sobering lessons of our visit was the awareness that words, and even photographs, cannot convey the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Palestine today. Without touching Israel's wall, it's hard to grasp its size and horror. Words cannot describe the humiliation and fear you feel at a checkpoint as you stumble in the dark past rifle-toting soldiers and try to avoid razor wire and the broken pavement. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • Andjam

    Bin Laden "misguided"?That's putting it mildly…