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.

Imperial masters see past their delusions

“Senior U.S. officials have begun to question a key presumption of American strategy in Iraq: that establishing democracy there can erode and ultimately eradicate the insurgency gripping the country.

“The expectation that political progress would bring stability has been fundamental to the Bush administration’s approach to rebuilding Iraq as well as a central theme of White House rhetoric to convince the American public that its policy in Iraq remains on course.

“But within the last two months, U.S. analysts with access to classified intelligence data have started to challenge this precept, noting a “significant and disturbing disconnect” between apparent advances on the political front and any progress in reducing insurgent attacks.”

Tyler Marshall and Louise Roug, LA Times, October 9

27 comments ↪
  • Ibrahamav

    Naive – yes. But not cynical, just hopeful that freedom to the Iraqis meant the same thing that it does to Americans.

    Apparently not. They just want a kinder tyrant.

  • Ibrahamav

    The Iraqis would have security were it not for the minority Sunni population that is pissed that they are not rulling over the majority Shi’ites.

    The Sunnis want what the white South Africans had.

    And your 100,000 figure is wrong. But don’t worry, the Sunni terrorists will soon up the body count.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    The naivity of the world's most cynical decision makers never seizes to amaze. That article reads like something The Onion, which is a worry to say the least.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    As an aside, Australia does have compulsory voting, but there are moves to change this to voluntary…

  • Ibrahamav

    The butchers of the palestinian camps in Lebanon were Lebanese. And they don’t deny it.

  • Wombat

    With all dues prestects, that's an absurd statement Ibrahamav,Iraqi's want someone who can give them security. As dispicable as he may have been, this is something Sadam was able to provide but apparently not the US 150,000 troops on the ground.And who could blame the Iraqi people for being distrustful of the US brand of freedom, when the resients of Fallujah are forced to give retinal eye scans to enter their town? Or when the US brand of freedom has cost the lives of more than 100,000 Iraqis?

  • Human

    The Iraqis would have security were it not for Corporate power, religous fanatics like Bush and the blind support of people like ibrahamav. No WMD. No Saddam-Osama-bin forgotten ties.Not welcomed as liberators. That is the truth no matter how many times the lie is chanted.Say ibrhamav, has the Butcher of Sabra and Shatilla Sharon invited you to his dacha yet? Bring toothpicks if he does. Rumour has it that although tender the flesh of Palestinian children really sticks to the teeth.The 100,000 figure is wrong. But don't worry, the Amerikkkans will soon up the body count.your fellow Human

  • Human

    Now for what I came to ask you Antony, is it true that Australia has compulsary voting? I read that one if able must vote or be fined.

  • Ibrahamav

    You are not a fellow anything, except perhaps a follower of iraqi terrorists.No, the Americans were not welcomed as liberators, too bad. But the Sunni's and saddam had already won the propaganda war.Why would some Lebanese invite me to a dacha? And why do you eat Palestinian children?

  • Human

    Well now we know you are so out of touch that you think Sharon is a Lebanese. It's been fun, however from now on you like most fanatics are to be ignored.your fellow Human(whether you like it or not).

  • Wombat

    Ibrahamav,I have read many of your posts and while you are often quick to refute the arguments put forward by those you disgree with, I have yet to see you support your arguments with any sources of your own.Furthermore, becasue someone disagrees with you does not make them a supporter of Iraqi terrorits. The world is not binary. Evidence has shown that most of those "terrorists" were ordinary Arabs prior to the invasion. Only 10% are from other countries and those that are resisting the occupation by and large are doing so becasue their libertators have killed or mained comeone close to them, destroyed their homes and made them feel sub human in their own country.The Lancet Journal is internationally recognised and respected. The report states that the estimates are very conservative so could be much higher. If it wrong, then by all means, feel free to tell us how and why. The US military says hey do;t so Iarqi body counts so who's your source? Saying it is wrong becasue you decide it to be so isn't overly convincing.

  • Human

    Thanks for responding Antony. I got the info from a story about that Brit Hoon who is thinking about doing the same in great(small case intented) Britain. I have met only a few Aussies in my hoped for half life and all seem to be happy people. It seems that the people of Australia respond to the same hate and fear that is shoved down the throats of we Americans. This article I found very interesting – <a href="http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/100905B.shtmlhttp://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/100905B.shtml<b… />As a Amnesty International member I found it so. It is on topic as far as "the political" situation in Iraq.your fellow Human

  • Ian Westmore

    Antony is only half correct. We have mandatory attendance at a polling place, but not mandatory voting. Once you have your name crossed off the electoral roll you can do what you wish with the ballot paper.The papers for the House of Representatives isn't of much use even as toilet paper, but the Senate paper is nearly big enough to use as a table cloth. 😉

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ian, fair point. Once you're in that polling booth, it's open season on opinion.And, really, re Lebanon and the Palestinian camps. Is Ibrahamav ever capable of seeing fault with Israel? The Israelis, led by Sharon, directed the massacres. Fact.

  • Ibrahamav

    Since they did not direct the massacres, there is no reason for me to find anything.I am open to the truth, but if you want to make things up, then you are on your own.Does Israel have faults? Of course it does, just like every other country on earth. But it is better than any arab country, better than most african and asian countries, better than many Soth American and eastern european countries, and equal to many western European, Oceana, and north american countries.Any reason why no lebanese arab has ever been errested, tried, or punished for the murder of 900 arabs on Lebanese land?

  • Ian Westmore

    Human according to a recent survey ( http://tinyurl.com/a2bx7 we are the happiest people on the planet.I don't know that we are as motivated by fear as Americans. While the multiple Indonesian bombings have had an effect on people's perceptions of traveling I don't sense there is much anxiety about safety within Australia. But we humans are bad judges of risk. Some examples:About 2,300 Americans died on 9/11, but over 3,000 American children aged 0-15 years died in that same year from gunshot wounds, and every year since. If you include all kids and teenagers then the annual toll if about 30,000. Reducing gun availability and buying back those already in circulation wouldn't be cheap but still only a fraction of what is being spent on questionable homeland security programs. Terrorist bombing in Britain (Northern Ireland included) have claimed several thousand lives in the last 30 years, but about 10,000 Britons die prematurely each year from particulates emitted by diesel trucks. Most of these lives could be saved by retrofitting more efficient cyclonic filters. About 200 Australians have died in terrorist attacks in the last decade or two, but wood smoke from heaters kills about 400 people in our biggest city, Sydney each year. It would probably cost less to replace all these heaters with something safer for about what one national anti terrorist advertising campaign costs the federal government. I'm not suggesting we ignore terrorism, but the chances of you dying in a terrorist attack are less than being hit by lightening.Anyway, can anyone cite where terrorism has been defeated by military means?

  • Human

    Peace to you and yours ian. Terrorism is a method and as such can not be "defeated", either militarialy or otherwise. There always has been individuals who will kill others because they believe they hane a just right to do so. As the "news" here tells us Aussies have given up a lot of rights in the name of fighting terrorism. That is what I meant about being like Americans. The response to hate and fear. I put it poorly before.The stats you site are just further proof we Humans are our worst enemy. To make my self clear man's inhumanity to man, knows no bounds. It is the children who to me that are the only innocents. It is good to hear that indeed Aussies are happy. Maybe that is because of a less crowded country and a more monolithic point of view?your fellow Human

  • anthony

    Anyway, can anyone cite where terrorism has been defeated by military means?If you mean terrorist organisations, (former) West Germany comes to mind.I genuinely hope you correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that West Germany defeated the Red Army Faction (which had been a terrorist org. sponsored by the communist East). Responsibility for this was given to the German border police- part of the military. This is all from memory, so I’m sure you’ll understand if (and point out where) I’m wrong.The Malaya Insurgency didn’t last very long…I would argue that FARC as a terrorist organisation has been defeated, and is only a criminal organisation now.I think the same applies to the IMU of Uzbekistan as well- another ideologically driven movement-turned criminal gang.

  • Ian Westmore

    Ibrahamav wrote:Any reason why no lebanese arab has ever been errested, tried, or punished for the murder of 900 arabs on Lebanese land?You'd have to ask the Israelis that. The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons makes it clear that the occupying power is responsible for law and order (specifically Section III, Articles 64-78 apply). It is also responsible for all the forces, regular OR irregular, under its control, which the Phalangists certainly were.Sharon had direct responsibility as he personally "approved the entry of the Phalangists into the camps", " ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge" and failed to take "appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed" (finding of the Kahan Commission, 1983).Of course the Sabra and Shatila massacres were not the first involving Sharon. He is also directly implicated in the murders of 69 Palestinian civilians living in the West bank village of Qibya in 1953.

  • Ian Westmore

    Anthony, I had considered the Red Army Faction/Bader-Meinhof gang before I asked the question, but rejected them as an example because they don't really fit my definition of terrorists in the context of this discussion. RAF aim wasn't alway political, especially from the mid 80s onwards, they never had much in the way of support and were always small in number. IMO, the term 'anarchists' fits them better than terrorists, though I concede that its a very fine line. However, even in the case of Bader-Meinhof, they were finally persuaded to end their "struggle" by a political deal in which the German government unilaterally offered early release of imprisoned members in return for RAF stopping violent attacks which they did. The group announced they were disbanding in 1998 and AFAIK haven't been heard of since. I suggest that Malaya went beyond terrorism, more a war like Vietnam. At least that's how friends who fought in both see them. By the same token I don't see the insurgents in Iraq as terrorists, or classify bin Laden as a terrorist while he was fighting the Soviets, though terror is/was a tactic being used in both, and not just by one side. However, it probably a moot point. I don't know enough about the current situation in Columbia or Uzbekistan to comment.Maybe, I should rephrase the question to: Can anyone cite where terrorists with significant popular support have been defeated by military means?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ian, perhaps an addition to your question could be, "where have terrorist groups been defeated via political, rather than military, means?"

  • Ibrahamav

    So, Ian keeps playing the old game of "Blame the Jew". Before it was "blame the Jew" for the fact that lebanese Arabs murdered Palestinian Arabs.Now it "Blame the Jew" for the fact that the Lebanese government has never charged, arrested, tried, nor punished the Lebanese Arabs who murdered the Palestinian Arabs.Then lets bring in a one-sided story from 50 years ago. Ian, like to provide any facts? Or is antisemitic BS more to your taste?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Excellent stoushing, Ian.

    As Waterton swats undergraduate collectivists, so do you effortlessly swat boring and slightly unstable blog visitors.

  • Ian Westmore

    Ibrahamav said… So, Ian keeps playing the old game of "Blame the Jew". Before it was "blame the Jew" for the fact that lebanese Arabs murdered Palestinian Arabs.The Kahan Commission I referred, set up by the Israeli parliament squarely laid the blame on Sharon and others. So if anyone was playing "blame the jew" it was other Israelis!Now it "Blame the Jew" for the fact that the Lebanese government has never charged, arrested, tried, nor punished the Lebanese Arabs who murdered the Palestinian Arabs.Bit hard to do when the Palangists aka South Lebanon Army were protected by Israeli artillery. Many of them were allowed to settle in Israel after the Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000. Some of those who stayed have been subject to "justice" of a less formal kind.

  • Ibrahamav

    Ian, the commission did not exonerate the actual murderers, they merely assigned 'political' blame for failure to prevent murderous arabs from murdering arabs, much as you'd blame the police for failure to prevent a riot and then charge them with the murders which they actually had no part in.Still no real answer for the fact that the lebanese Government has failed to attempt to charge, arrest, try, or punish any of the actual murderers even though several lived in Lebanon, unprotected by Israelis, for many years. What is dirt babling about?

  • anthony

    Ian,Again, I think the IMU (Islamic fundamentalists, of course) may qualify. The group is merely smuggling opium to the European market, and lacks truly revolutionary aims. I have an article relatively handy, I’ll take a look- but only for you.My understanding is that During the Cold War, FARC had much support, at least in rural areas (and from a certain Evil Empire)- as it is now manufacturing cocaine for sale to US teenagers much wealthier than I, I would argue it has been defeated as a terrorist organisation. By military means? I’m not sure. Of course, the US involvement of special forces in South America is well known, but whether this, or the collapse of the Soviet Union and its disgustingly tainted funds is the reason- I have no idea.If you’re desperate for an example of a terrorist organisation being defeated by military means, I’d suggest these two. Of course, don’t take my word for it.

  • anthony

    I dont have time to look at the article to confirm what I've said, but if you are really interested:Tamara Makarenko, Crime, Terror and the Central Asian Drug Trade, in Harvard Asia Quarterly, vol. 6, no.3, Summer 2002.I'm pretty sure it mentions FARC and the IMU.