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.

Fiction and fact

FICTION

The Age’s Tory, Tony Parkinson, on what Tony Blair can teach our ALP:

“This week, as Latham raged bitterly against party colleagues, the media, and “the system”, Blair was delivering to his party conference a speech rated as among the best of his prime ministership: bold, resolute, challenging, uplifting.

“For a man written off not so long ago as a leader in terminal decline, this was a vibrant, high-intensity performance, reminding critics that Blair is far from a spent force. Confident about who he is, and what he stands for, the British PM appears also to have an acute sense of what matters most in the lives of those he is elected to lead.

“The contrast with the identity crisis of the ALP could not be more pronounced.”

FACT

The Guardian’s John Harris on why Blair’s Labor conference is “so scared of debate“:

“…With the [Labor] party long since becalmed and the activists still on board adjusted to the supposedly tough realities of power, those at the top would have us believe that Labour now moves with a hard-headed kind of rationality. But strangeness still rules – only now, riotous chaos has been replaced by a bizarre spirit of contorted denial. What, you wonder, does the outside world make of the fact that repeatedly hailing the London Olympic bid is obligatory, but mentions of Iraq must be avoided? How about the news that on the second day, Labour’s National Executive resolved not to make any decisions on what resolutions to back, so as to avoid being “divisive”? And what of the see-through fact that the debates are so transparently managed?”

Parkinson is right. Blair is a figure to be admired and cherished. Shame about those pesky Iraqis murdered in the name of “freedom.” Parkinson should listen to David Clark, former Labour government adviser:

“On Iraq Blair is not simply discredited: his personal pride has become a fundamental obstacle to any rational discussion about what now needs to happen. It has been obvious for some time that the presence of British and American troops is causing more problems than it solves, but to change policy would be to admit error and that is something he will never do. As long as Blair remains in office, saving face will take precedence over saving lives.”

Parkinson reminds me of a belligerent child, not unlike James Morrow, an American Sydney-based journalist that I debated last night. The topic was “Why Hate America?” Morrow insisted that the anti-war movement in America was “petering out”, we shouldn’t really care about the environment and global warming because that was little more than praying to an Earth goddess and the Vietnam war was perhaps slightly misguided but essentially about eradicating Communism in Vietnam.

When I suggested that Iraq was never about spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East, Morrow suggested that George W. Bush had said otherwise during his State of the Union address and therefore should be taken at face value. He seemed perplexed when I dared suggest Iraq was strongly aligning with Iran, America’s new whipping boy.

Morrow was pleasant enough, but seemed to live in a world of absolutes, good vs. evil, a kind of Fox News/Weekly Standard perspective. There’s a term for such individuals who love using the American military to spread “freedom”: chicken hawk.

Let me make a reasoned suggestion. Morrow needs to get out more and actually meet some of the millions of Muslims who feel outraged by America’s “War on Terror”. They can smell hypocrisy a mile away and Bush’s America is their justified focus. They wonder why the freedom-loving USA supports despotic regimes around the world. They’re curious why Iran’s nuclear capability is unacceptable but Israel’s is encouraged. And they’d like to know how many innocent Iraqis can be killed by the Americans or the insurgents – most of whom started their campaign of terror after the US invasion – before the Americans realise a terrible mistake has been made.

When will the Morrows of this world actually look beyond the corridors of Washington, London and Canberra for the true price of Western policies?

8 comments ↪
  • evan jones

    So who is funding that ridiculous magazine Investigate, of which Morrow is the editor?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Good question.Maybe Ann Coulter. They publish her regularly, and she is, after all, a true journalist in the neo-con mould.

  • Ian Westmore

    I suspect the next Iranian earthquake will be triggered by Ayatollah Khomeini's ghost shaking with unbridled mirth at the stupidity of Americans (and their gullible allies)!

  • Glenn Condell

    Evanmaybe their funding source is the same as Quadrant's used to be. And perhaos still is.

  • Nadia

    "What can you say? What am I to make of this image? Do you really need to comment on this picture? This is not a simple issue. It speaks louder than expensive US propaganda efforts in the Middle East. Here is the man (Bush) who does not stop talking about spreading "freedom" in the Middle East, holding the hand of the symbol of Arab oppression, the head of an archaic religious dictatorship which still stones people to death, still beheads poor people with a sword, still sentences people to lashes, still arrests people for worshiping "the wrong" religion. And you wonder why nobody in the Middle East takes Bush's claims about democracy seriously? Are you kidding me?"http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2005/04/what-can-you-say-what-am-i-to-make-of.htmlHi Antony, please check the link and you will see the photo that had this comment to it. What As’ad have said here is what I think too 100% and I can assure you Iraqis and other people from the Middle East that I know personally agree with him fully too. Above this I would like to ad that Blair’s government sells enormous amount of weapons to this religious dictatorship of Saudi Arabia.Bush and Blair hail Saudi Arabia’s dictator for cooperating with the efforts to fight global terrorism??!! Now isn’t there something wrong here?A mean it just goes on and on and nobody in political power seem to be able or willing to stop this madness. I mean it’s not that they could not find support if they wanted.If this sort of hypocrisy of “some dictators get our support” stopped and was put to an end a lot of people would start respecting US, UK and other democracies foreign policy but until then we will see a lot of angry people.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Comment on the photo? Aside from stating the obvious: the vast majority of the Arab world certainly don't believe the US rhetoric re spreading freedom and democracy. Fact.As for being cosy with Saudi, money talks, and oil talks louder.Most people who think otherwise have spent little in the region or prefer visiting think-tanks intent on invasions.

  • Ambrose

    I stopped reading Parkinson ages ago because it's so predictable. However because he was writing about Labor here and Labour there I read it.And what it boils down to?'Because I agree with the British Labour Party they are mature (like him, presumably) and because I disagree with the ALP they are immature'. How much opinionists like these get paid to write such a drivel?

  • Rowan Berkeley

    I don't think mAnn Coulter funds things.