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.

Fisk in Australia

My latest New Matilda column is about the recent Australian tour of journalist Robert Fisk:

“[Fisk and I] discussed the media coverage of his visit. He was interviewed on ABC PM, ABC Lateline and for The Age. From what I could make out of Shaun Carney’s interview for The Age, he seemed almost uncertain how to approach Fisk (besides, why was a journalist usually tasked with domestic concerns, as well as being Peter Costello’s biographer, interviewing a foreign correspondent?). Carney seemed more interested in the fact that the hand he was shaking had touched Osama bin Laden’s, rather than Fisk’s impressive body of work. At least he gave Fisk the opportunity to criticise the New York Times (copy from which is extensively reproduced in the Fairfax press) and suggest a name change for that august newspaper of record: ‘comma, officials say, full stop.’

“[Sydney Peace Prize head] Stuart Rees said he’d contacted the Sydney Morning Herald and they’d been interested in running Fisk’s Sydney talk on the following day’s opinion page. They had wanted a copy of Fisk’s speech, which he’d refused, and Fisk said, ‘they should come to the talk and take notes.’ Suffice to say, the Herald completely ignored Fisk’s Australian tour.”

A collection of New Matilda columns can be found here.

20 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    I'm confused: Why wouldn't Fisk give a copy of his speech? This is standard procedure on any opinion page whenever someone big comes to town to do an event and the sponsors want to promote it…it seems as though either Rees, or Fisk, was acting like a pretty precious dill.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "I'm confused: Why wouldn't Fisk give a copy of his speech?"Presumably he was making a point about the traditional art of journalism. You go, you observe, you listen, you gauge the atmosphere, you take notes, you ask questions, record answers, etc. One assumes Fisk's point was that 'if you're not going to bother wearing down the shoe leather to get the story like a journo should', then you don't deserve to get the story.

  • Shabadoo

    Yeah, OK Edward, that's fair enough…but this was for the Opinion page, not the news section. If the story was gonna be Fisk-in-Oz, they'd send someone. For the Opinion page, you just are looking for opinions (i.e. text of a speech), not a scene-setter or anything else. And in fact, this would have been a much bigger opportunity for Fisk: a small story about his appearance ("Controversial journalist Robert Fisk gave a speech today to a bunch of woolly lefties…") would have garnered much less attention than a big piece of real estate on the opinion page, plus, his views would not have been filtered through a reporter or diluted by all the other requirements of such a story.

  • the nailgun

    "He believed, he said, that the Americans would leave eventually, but only after they had been able to claim 'victory.' So when they win they lose? Now that's what I call covering all the bases. How's Fisk play two-up? "Heads I win Tails you lose".

  • Human

    Antony. What was the name of your 1st book? I'm very interested in reading it.Peace. your fellow Human

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I contributed a chapter to last year's Not Happy, John! about John Howard and his merry men. I wrote about Hanan Ashrawi and the Zionist lobby in Australia.

  • Human

    Antony – Ok. I'll look for it here in the up over. I take it the book you are writing will be your first then. Hurry up then, whatta talkin to me for? :):):0. Ok. Seriously, I look forward to it. Peace. Your fellow Human

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Yep, my book on Israel/Palestine will be my first – out May 2006 – and my next will be on the state of Aussie media, due 2007.

  • paul

    All sonn to be available at Crazy Clarks- look in the cat litter section.

  • James Waterton

    Hehehe. Don't say that, Paul, you'll upset the Human.Human – why not buy Not Happy, John! It would be the first copy sold for months. Although they're probably knocking them back second hand on Amazon.com for >$2.

  • Human

    Ok Paul and jw, since to the both of you Antony's writings are not worth much, why come to his blog and comment? Where are the great literary masterpieces of your work? I have an idea. Why don't the both of you get together and write something? After all both of you go together like shit and toilet paper, and just as easily flushed. I'm not upset anything you and your paul spew, to me its great fun to play with small minds like yours.

  • James Waterton

    Human : click on my name. There you'll link to my blog to see my literary masterpieces. Feel free to drop by any time. I'll lay out the welcome mat for you. Hopefully your massive, well ordered brain can comprehend the scratchings of your intellectual inferiors.And you know what, Human? I think you are upset, judging by the sulky and petulant response you just left. Excellent! My work here is done.

  • paul

    Ditto, Humanoid- I think you'll find we recieve about 10 times the traffic that ol' Ants manages to generate, and it's supposed to be his stock in trade- we're just part-timers, who get vicarious trills from getting the sort of outraged foot-stamping response from loser leftists such as yourself. Aren't you due at Centrelink? Better hurry up- they're almost actually starting to do their job and cutting off tools who think recieving welfare as an "activist" constitutes work and benefits the greater good.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Paul, I love it how blog traffic is selectively significant. That is, when you're popular it's a measure of your success. But if someone else has more hits then that's inaccurate.Maybe, Paul, there's simply more people calling by your blog to laugh at you. (No, not with you.) The numbers mean very little, and you know it.Your primary-school name-calling is hopeless, by the way. No one is impressed by that kind of rubbish except you and your dickhead mates. Get your hand off it. And off the keyboard, too. Surely you have something better to do.

  • James Waterton

    Your primary-school name-calling is hopelessOne wonders why you'd bother resorting to it, then, in the very same paragraph as the above excerpt.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Compare "dickhead" to "aren't you due at Centrelink?", Waterton. Are they compatible?Only a handful of adults ever talk like that. The childish ones, I'd suggest. Disagree if you want. Who cares? Time to get over yourself, Waterton.

  • James Waterton

    Who told whom to get over themselves? And who told whom to get their hand off it? Physician, heal thyself!

  • James Waterton

    To sum up; you sanctimoniously lecture Paul for going ad hominem. Then, because you don't agree with him, you call his mates, and by association him, "dickhead[s]" and he should "get his hand off it." Sounds like schoolyard insults to me. The contention I raised wasn't whether Paul's and your own "schoolyard insults" are "compatible". I was merely exposing the fact that you were being a hypocrite. Cheerio!

  • leftvegdrunk

    Waterton, again you cut me to shreds. Damn you.

  • James Waterton

    My name's James. What's yours?