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.

I like his thinking

The following letter appears in today’s Melbourne Age:

“SURE, we’d all think a lot better of the Muslims if they showed more tolerance of other people’s religions. But try to convince me it wasn’t a calculated propaganda exercise that the Israelis left the synagogues standing among the wreckage on their way out of Gaza, knowing that the world’s headlines would run with their destruction by the Palestinians.”

Gordon Drennan, Burton, SA

Meron Benvenisti, Former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, wrote recently that the Israelis probably hoped the destruction of synagogues would be a propaganda coup. Furthermore:

“The Palestinians may wonder whether the principle that one must not harm holy sites applies only to synagogues, or to abandoned mosques and churches as well. Does the demand that the Palestinians – or an international body – take responsibility for the synagogues apply also to the Israeli government vis-a-vis the abandoned mosques in Israel? And if we are in such a hurry to expose the Palestinians’ shame to the world, are we ready to expose Israel’s shameful behaviour vis-a-vis the Moslem holy sites as well?

“Out of some 140 village mosques that were abandoned due to the war in 1948, some 100 were totally torn down. The rest, about 40, are in advanced stages of collapse and neglect, or are used by the Jewish residents for other purposes.”

15 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    Yep, once again, the Palestinians aren't responsible for their lousy behaviour, it's all the fault of those crafty Jooooos…

  • uhuh

    you clown…what would you reasonably expect to happen in such circumstances?…regardless of the countries/peoples involved.a community has just had the yoke of almost 40 years of debilitating foreign occupation (semi)thrown off, an occupation which is still brutally maintained in other significant parts of the land, and the dispossessed are pilloried for venting their relief/frustration/defiance/anger on a few abandoned structures, whatever their former purpose, which are undeniably and understandably viewed as nothing more and nothing less than symbols of that occupation?What where they supposed to do?…turn the joints into lovingly maintained shrines to their ongoing woes?

  • anthony

    Shabadoo, it's just a Synagogue, a Jewish holy place. It doesn’t matter! The Palestinians are allowed to destroy these because of 40 years of occupation by the evil expansionist Zionists. They get lots of bonuses now- like the right to kill an infinite number of Jews. Maybe if they can kill enough in a single intifida, they’ll get another seat at the UN?

  • uhuh

    whether it's a jewish holy place or a bloody outdoor dunny is irrelevant you facetious imbecile, the point is it's on someone elses land.hypothetically reverse the situation and try considering the fate of a few abandoned mosques lying around in previously long-occupied israeli territory…

  • Shabadoo

    oh this is ridiculous…anyone remember the lovely treatment of Joseph's Tomb by the Palestinians in 1996?

  • uuhuh

    naturally there's a litany of tit-for-tat incidents, on a variety of destructive levels…let's exchange volleys shall we?, highly constructive.bottom line: there's an occupier, and an occupied, and while the scale of harm routinely inflicted by the former comfortably dwarfs that of the latter, until the occupation ends, the position which produces that sort of obfuscatory bleating is equally dwarfed.

  • Shabadoo

    uhuh, learn your islamic history. the entire religion's grth was/is based on occupation, subjection and forced conversion, and the destruction of any and all local culture, both physical and socio-political and replacement with a stark desert/Arab culture. (remember the bamiyan buddhas?)go read naipaul's brilliant "among the believers", among others, for more on this. for these people to be whinging about losing a little land after starting a war of aggression is laughably offensive. is there any arab/palestinian/muslim excess you won't try and excuse?

  • Irfan

    er, is it just me? or do i get the feeling that all those mosques and churches the IDF and the mad settlers have destroyed over the years just don't figure? does the blood of a thousand arab goyim really not even equate to one jewish fingernail?

  • uuhuh

    i can do without the sanctimony thanks…any other homework you'd like to set?but, i see…so in principle, the illegal occupation of another's land in the here and now is well and good then?…pefectly ok.it's difficult to think of a greater "excess".and to think the occupied have the temerity to whinge about their subjugation too!…outrageous indeed.just more side-stepping and obfuscation…O-C-C-U…go on, spell it…there's your homework for the evening.

  • Glenn Condell

    'go read naipaul's brilliant "among the believers", 'Naipaul's an Anglophile racist; brilliant writer I agree, but a racist nonetheless. Wagner was too, you'll recall but it was Jews he hated. You don't go to such people for moral or political guidance. 'for these people to be whinging about losing a little land'for a moment there I thought you were referring to the settlers…uhuh has it right. Get off their land for God's sake and they'll stop blowing you up. Simple. And irf, thanks for reminding me of that fingernail quote – wasn't it from the rabbi who performed the funeral service for Baruch Goldstein? A man who murdered 29 Muslims at prayer in a mosque, a doctor who refused to treat non-Jews, a man who had a shrine dedicated to him by fellow extremists…Zionist ugliness loses nothing in comparison to the Islamicists. Likudniks are just lucky enough to be a protected species in Western political discourse, but the manufactured prevalence of a Likudnik preference in Western media and polities generally may not last much longer.

  • Shabadoo

    Glenn:How is Naipaul a racist? I've read about half a dozen of his works, and some of them are controversial, but I don't think they're racist. A House for Mr. Biswas, by the way, is one of the most beautiful novels of the 20th Century. Wagner, yes, and he certainly got co-opted as well, but I think you're making the mistake of tarring with the R-word, rather than engaging his points. Don't fall for the Ant mistake where veryone who disagrees with you is "a vile, bigoted racist".In terms of "get off their land", where does that stop? Andalusia? Osama's referred plenty of times to that. And that's the problem with an expansionist political religion – give 'em an inch, yada yada yada. Think about it: Why aren't Greek Orthodox out blowing up shopping centres in Riyadh because of the fall of Constantinople ("Return the Hagia Sophia, and we'll stop!"), while Muslims are beheading Buddhists in southern Thailand? Methinks it's about a lot more than pushing the Jews into the sea – though judging from Hamas' latest statements, it's still high on the agenda.

  • uuhuh

    "where does that stop?"yes, quite pertinent to hark back centuries and beyond to legitimise an illegal occupation that's taking place in the here and now.so one's to assume that in 2005, if one state has the ability to invade and claim as its own the territory of another, they can simply do so, is that correct?…that's fine…i suppose that also applies to the concept of pushing jews into the sea at some future point??…if that were to eventuate, that's kosher too then?…stop your whinging, what's done is done and just chin up and get on with it?…by virtue of the fact that, you know, it's only a "little land" and besides where's one reasonably supposed to draw the bloody line?as an aside, there weren't any U.N. resolutions covering the occupation of Constantinople from memory.

  • Shabadoo

    Israel was created essentially by the fiat of U.N. partition, and the stated goal of Hamas, the PLO, etc, for anyone with ears to listen, has been the destruction of the entire State of Israel from day one – not just the 'illegally' occupied territories. Why don't they ever cop it for attempting to violate this very large U.N. project, i.e., destory Israel?I don't think anyone should waste time harking back to glory days long gone by, but Osama does all the time, as do other Muslim fundamentalists. That's my point. If the West abandoned Israel, as Ant, etc, advocate and left the country on its own, the Islamics would destroy it in two days and then be on about some other grievance against the West. (Of course, we'd also get to see the cinders dance in a pretty large portion of the Middle East in the process, so it would be a largely phyrric victory). By the way, if you're against harking back centuries, do you think its as silly as I do when some politician gives a speech by opening it "we recognize the traditional owners of this land", or do you think Australia is also an illegal occupation? (And if so, why aren't poor and dispossesed Aborigines suicide bombing?)

  • uuhuh

    actually i do in some respects, but while one can draw similarities in terms of the end-sum effect on the dispossessed, in the grand scheme of things the domestic scenario here is hardly comparable to that which continues to unfold in Palestine/Isreal…apples and oranges, both chronologically and literally.and in answer to your initial Q, no i don't think it's silly, i think it's respectful but i also think it's woefully inadequate given the broader state of affairs in this area and the mammoth physical and attitudinal efforts necessary to improve the situation.though while the lot of our indigenous population is a largely deplorable one, we don't have one set of state-sanctioned laws for white australians and another set of openly discriminatory laws for non-white australians…our state doesn't exist in law purely for the benefit of a chosen segment of australian society whereby everyone else is a 2nd class citizen and treated accordingly or worse…our national record with regard to indigenous affairs is lamentable at best and unworthy of defence, but in light of the attempted comparison, we're not out there bulldozing entire outback communities on the basis that a member of that community commits a crime…we're not banishing aborigines abroad to diminish their numbers and expropriate their property, or extinguishing their citizenship (though it appears something of that sort's now on the cards), we're not walling up swathes of countryside so that in-effect they become oversized prison camps upon which we maintain a military and economic stranglehold…we don't have our armed forces unaccountably gunning them down or blowing up homes, communities and varied innocents from helicopter gunships…and whilst our present relationship with the U.S. is a cosy one, we're not receiving the gargantuan level of political or U.S. taxpayer-funded financial support Israel's annually awarded with to continue perpetrating such crimes…and crimes they are, which continue as we speak…i suppose over time with some notable exceptions, in dealing with our indigenous 'problem' our elected governments here have preferred a less militarised, and certainly in recent times a more neglectful approach.the comparison's a pretty shabby one i'm afraid…and doesn't diminish the scale or the illegality of the crime in any way…in this country, there's the scope and the will i think to co-exist as equals in somewhat of a bi-national state which more extensively recognizes and includes its indigenous component, a pipe dream as it might seem in the current socio-political climate…an even bigger pipe dream, but perhaps a similar model could be achievable in palestine/israel over time if the respective populations are so inclined, but before talk of bi-national states it might be helpful to stop the protagonists from killing eachother first, and that's unlikely to occur unless the occupation, you know, the one happening right now that's apparently ok, ends.

  • anthony

    "we don't have our armed forces unaccountably gunning them down or blowing up homes, communities and varied innocents from helicopter gunships"Aaaah thats right, I almost forgot… the war crimes of the IDF that they manage to cover up so well, because the Zionists control the media. Unless, of course, we're looking at shoddy one-man websites expressing the 'truth' (or alternatively, PA or Arab controlled press)No doubt you assume, in true Chomsky fashion, that if western media outlets arn't publishing it, but the government controlled arab press is, then the latter is revealing the truth.And when Amnesty says something you like (despite being terribly wrong in most cases), you'll take that too. Any deviation from your program is obviously relying on Jew-sponsored lies…It will be interesting to see how much attention Loewenstein is going to pay to 'war crimes' in his book.