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.

Convenient ideology

British commentator Nick Cohen recently wrote an essay in the New Statesman that claimed the Left is infected with anti-Semitism, Jew hatred is everywhere, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and 2005 is 1933 Germany. It was hysterical and simplistic – and therefore appreciated by those who subscribe to the America/Israel/Western “axis of goodness” club.

A number of letter writers have responded in this week’s New Statesman. A selection follows:

“Nick Cohen used his article on anti-Semitism (Essay, 10 October) as a crude bludgeon against the left. The article was illustrated by a picture of a couple of people holding up a banner equating a Shield of David with a swastika. Who were the banner-holders? How does he know they were from the left? What really seems to annoy Cohen is that the big anti-war march of 2003 was organised by a ragbag of Islamic fundamentalists, the Socialist Workers Party and “every other creepy admirer of totalitarianism”. He adds that we should have talked with Saddam Hussein’s victims. I did talk to Iraqi Kurds, and saw not a trace of fundamentalists, creeps of any stripe or members of the SWP. Why? The march was bigger in every way than whoever may have organised it. Anti-Semitism? I marched with contingents from several Jewish organisations, joined by the Arab Labour Group. I can’t remember us being subject to a pogrom – though it was a bit embarrassing when one group applauded us.”

Ross Bradshaw
Nottingham

“While it becomes increasingly impossible to defend Israel’s policies, a new front has been opened by propagandists, namely Israel is singled out for criticism because of ongoing anti-Semitism. Nick Cohen fails to see that a country he lauds as a democracy is all the more culpable of human rights abuses, precisely because the inhabitants of that country, through the ballot box, are able to make the choice to oppress another people. He says that there is a free press, so Israelis do not have even the consolation of saying “we never knew”, as often happens under dictatorships.

“It is indeed true that Israel is treated differently from other countries. It is allowed to occupy another people’s land, confiscate their resources and build walls to imprison the population.”

Diana Neslen
Ilford, Essex

“Nick Cohen’s essay had some insightful points regarding anti-Semitism and the left. I am certainly no supporter of the state of Israel, but I agree that the left concentrates a disproportionate amount of time on criticising it. As Cohen points out, this is embarrassingly difficult to explain. However, I believe that Israel’s policies in the occupied territories, and America’s support for them and greedy colonial meddling in the Middle East, are responsible for much of the animosity in world affairs today. It is an unnecessary focal point. I further disagree that opposing fascism means supporting George Bush’s warmongering. Some 25 million people across the world marching against a war that was a lie and is now a disaster suggests that the left is neither loony nor dead yet.”

Matthew Kennedy-Good
London SE16

“To suggest that Hamas is at the centre of a multiheaded, anti-Semitic hydra is political paranoia. Israeli soldiers and settlers, with fists, boots and bullets, bulldoze the houses and crops of poor peasants, steal their water and land, kill their children and humiliate their elders, all in the name of the Jews. It is, after all, a Jewish state. Nick Cohen wonders why the illiterates of Hamas echo the absurdities of European anti-Semites? He muddles cause and effect and persists in looking down the telescope the wrong way.”

Tony Greenstein
Secretary, Jews Against Zionism, Brighton

12 comments ↪
  • anthony

    British commentator Nick Cohen recently wrote an essay in the New Statesman that claimed the Left is infected with anti-Semitism, Jew hatred is everywhere, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and 2005 is 1933 Germany. It was hysterical and simplistic – and therefore appreciated by those who subscribe to the America/Israel/Western "axis of goodness" club.I think your criticism is a tad unfair, Antony. Cohen makes a logical and well-founded argument. How is it possibly ‘hysterical’? You criticise his view that ‘2005 is 1933 Germany’ (not quite his argument), yet you seem to embrace Chris Hedges article on the ‘rise’ of American fascism.

  • Human

    "Fascism should be properly called the Corporation of Government.". So said the founder of Fascism, Benito Mussolini. How anyone can buy into the idea that the American left is fascist ignores reality. Further I note the recent false propagandists of the American Imperial Right are using the term "Islamo-Fascists". What a joke. The idea that Israel's policies can not be questioned with out the label of anti-Semitism being thrown onto those who question smacks of, well fascist Authoritarianism.your fellow Human

  • Wombat

    "Islamo-Fascists" seems to be the brinchild of left wing come right wing intellectual Christopher Hitchens. In spite fo the guys amazing mind, his logic falls to pieces when he talks about Iraq (which he supports) and the supposed motivatinos for the terrorist networks aroud he world. He, along with anyone else who was in favour of tte invasion, seem to be on a mission to convince the rest of us that US foreign policy and related injustices ahve nothgn to do with what motivates terrorist activities.I guess it's all part of the PR campaign to distract peple from the fact that the US presence in Iraq preceeded the carnage, as opposed to following it.Quite lame really.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Addamo_01 said… ""Islamo-Fascists" seems to be the brinchild of left wing come right wing intellectual Christopher Hitchens."I thought it was invented by the Master of All that is Anti-intellectual, Daniel Pipes.It would be good to pin the origins of this down for future reference.

  • Ibrahamav

    Why? Do you think the coiner changes the exactness of definition? Does it have less meaning if Arafat invented it rather than Putin?

  • Wombat

    Actualyl it is significant, because it's definititon is what defines the dufferenbce between the Bush admonstration's complicitness in war crimes as opposed to defining it's efforts to defend it's people.Defenders of the war, espeically Bush, Blair and Howard have a great steak in painting terrorim as driven by some evil ideology that aims to enslave the infidels, as oppsed to be fuelled by the gross sense of injustice shared amongst moslems.Bush's hackery last Thursday was aneffort to dimiss any notion that US foreign policy has played any part in the blowback the Wesyt are now experiencing.

  • Ibrahamav

    This gross sense of injustice stems from the fact that they are backwards and powerless and their attempts to terrorize are thwarted by those they feel are their lessers.

  • Wombat

    They do say that those with a sense of superiority are often afflcited with a sense of inferiority so your comment makes some sense Ibrahamav.You also state correctly that terrorism is indeed the method of those who feel powerless.

  • Ibrahamav

    The feeling of powerlessness does not justify terrorism. It is njot the same as stealing food when one is hungry and has no money.

  • James Waterton

    I thought Cohen's article was very good, and more or less watertight. Still, we can't agree on everything, eh?

  • Wombat

    Cohen's article makes fo superb readin, but I agree with some of the comments which on the page.It's rediculous that Israel's defenders frame crticism of Israel as a challenge to Israel's legitimacy. It's a democractic country. It would seem pointless to challenge either Israel's legitimacy or that of it's leadership.

  • Levi9909

    Did you see how Cohen responded to my criticisms on his blog? He assumed a new ID and ands accused me of self-loathing sophistry. http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2005/11/ni