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.

Defining a nation

83 comments ↪
  • 32325235345dfgdgfdg

    I'm still not seeing how this 'defines' the nation. Maybe from where you're sitting, it's an immensely candid observation, but your three line briefing of a cartoon really pushes the boundaries of credibility now that you've imported your cherished Middle East 'Other' argument. Yep, Leak's unusually poor form here really has laid bare Australias inherent bias towards the Arabs, huh. Please inform us in advance if your 'upcoming' book contains such devastating lefty smackdown, because it really staggers the mind that a publishing house, Melbourne University or not, would be willing to print anything of yours based on the contents of this weblog. A pitiful collection of half-arsed, misrepresented, paroxysmal linkage to slightly better informed lefties. All the while carrying on a charade of transparent 'outrage' over the heavily exaggerated attempts at 'censorship' of a book that you will be lucky to offload in triple figures, including the complimentary copies that will gather dust in various Australian Uni collections.Par for the course Loewenstein.

  • Ibrahamav

    Regardless, Antony is expressing the very racist idea that a national identity is important. Hitler did the same thing.Are you trying to limit Austrailia to only god-fearing englishman? That the rest polute the austrailian identity?Shame, shame, shame.

  • Gibbo

    Maybe this cartoon defines YOUR Australia Ant but leave the sane people out of it.I might be slow but I still don't understand how you got so much "meaning" out of a simplistic and overtly racist cartoon. Although, if "understanding" involves becoming like you, I'll stay ignorant thanks.Watching this from the sidelines has been hilarious. I know no-one reads or comments here anyway (except the Blairites when you stuff up) but have you noticed the absolute lack of support from your supposed mates? Where's crazy Marilyn when you need her? Methinks you are now considered a liability.If only backpedalling was an olympic sport…More strength to you. John Howard appreciates your help.

  • EvilPundit

    It took Antsy a good 36 hours to work out a politically correct answer to the question of why he posted the cartoon.That's pretty impressive. Thinks on his feet.

  • CB

    A busy weekend hey? Obviously not at lunch time Sunday, when you had enough time to post two other articles. Absolutely swamped. Flat out like a lizard drinking. All this attention from your avowed political opposites is stroking your ego to such a point where you have to make long-winded explanations and apologies for a stupid political cartoon. Let us know when you've had enough.

  • HC44

    Qantas' consideration of the outsourcing option for it's maintenance purely reflects the commercial reality that companies like to minimise costs. This is the same as our clothing labels having the manufacturing done OS. And it isn't simply a cheap labour issue here, these off-shore maintenance facilities are probably enjoying better economies of scale than Qantas can achieve locally.From this we get cartoons that "define our nation"? Talk about reading too much into something.

  • chris

    Oh my god! And, like, you didn't even quote your source, Antony–and, like I bet you don't even give to charities… or recycle, or, like… scrape the black stuff off the toast when it's burned.Lay off a bit guys! The REAL purpose of blogging is the pursuit of free, democratic speech. Racism is stating preference for one race over another. Simply stating that Japanese people replace Ls with Rs (which is the only point I can see the cartoon making), is probably a fairly accurate generalisation. As for the Japanese setting, well the Japanese people I know who went to school and go to uni in Australia, and who mix up their Ls with Rs in fact still call Japan home. Racism would be a concern if the accompanying headline read something like "Illiterate Japanese Sell Out to their Own National Heritage".And anyway, shoudln't you all be complaining to the editor of the paper, or Bill Leak himself?

  • 32325235345dfgdgfdg

    I thought a bit more about Loewenstein's claim that cartoon depictions of the 'Other' are generally quite unfair, based in delusional and hysterical scaremongering and very much a product of the hatred of the cartoonist and those who enjoy their work. A brief, but by no means complete, look through Loewenstein's archives candidly displays his very wise observation.Here's Loewenstein partaking in this vile practice when he shows the Israeli Prime Minister with bloodied hands against one of Judaism's holiest sites. Yep, he's definately right about the outrageous use of cartoons in the blatant spread of hatred. Here he is prematurely judging the the newly born Iraqi democatric process, a cowardly aside that has now been proven wrong, seeing as Saddam is very much alive, being defended by a star studded team of lefties Loewenstein can only ever hope to become, and just given a 40 day recess to boot. That is quite a long rope the Iraqi people are using, considering this is a man who is responsible for the deaths of up to 1 million Iraqis, Iranians and Kuwaitis. But Loewenstein has no desire to judge these people, why, thats the cartoonists job.Here's more hot intellectual punditry by our favourite former F2 cadet, about a topic in which he is clearly a guru; tacky anti-American cartoons.Once again, Loewenstein's very observant point is shown for all to see here when he indulges in the sins of the MSM scaremongering in New Orleans, a propogation of uninformed, uninvestigated lies that potentially led to more deaths then might otherwise have occurred had their feeding frenzy not whipped up such a climate of fear for rescuers and volunteers. I am willing to concede this point, Loewenstein is indeed correct. The lack of intellectual integrity when we characterise the "Other" in cartoons demeans all those who partake in it.

  • TimT

    You take 'exception to being labelled a racist'? Funny, you didn't take exception yesterday. What's changed? A little bit less of the faux outrage, thanks.

  • dusty_buster

    Antony? you deleted one of my posts. What's up with that?

  • Sho Fukamachi

    Summary:1. AL has no idea what this cartoon actually means but posted it because he likes the fact it seems to be vaguely critical of someone, maybe us2. Many readers criticised AL for poting what seems to be quite a stereotyped and racially provocative cartoon3. AL responded saying that although he has no idea what this cartoon means, it's good to post racially provocative content because it encourages debate.Conclusion: AL is a posturing idiot who doesn't understand this, or anything else he writes about, and is in favour of racist speechWell done AL! Quite a good day's work. I didn't think it possible for your credibility to actually get any lower than it was – guess you proved me wrong!

  • Antony Loewenstein

    No idea. I havn't touched any of the bile. Ask blogger.

  • dusty_buster

    'Bile'… Kiddin right? You mean the kind of bile you direct towards the state of Israel? Do you really think the Paleos and Arabs are going to give you a free pass for helping them out with your propaganda?Nup, they'd cut your head off as soon as look at you.I hate to call you 'stupid' – I prefer to think that you're just young and misinformed.

  • leftvegdrunk

    This is quite a display, boys and girls. Sixty comments and counting: the power of the conservative blogosphere, unleashed on blogspot and linked to all around the globe(?). Awe inspiring. ;-)(And here we were being told that lefties take themselves too seriously.)Anyway, has anyone thought about writing a letter to the Australian about this tremendously offensive racist cartoon? There were none published today. Perhaps there'll be some tomorrow.I admit to not fully comprehending Leak's cartoon. I didn't fly into a stupour over it, though, and I fail to see how it warrants anyone doing so.I am following the events at Qantas, but from a far different perspective to Leak. And if indeed Leak is postulating some kind of eighties-style left nationalism then I will take exception, to be sure. Meantime there are many other far more important issues demanding consideration.Sho, you can add one other point to your summary: Rightist blog commenters have a lot of time on their hands.

  • leftvegdrunk

    I should also add that [Censored by Australian Government, probable seditious comment].

  • Shabadoo

    Cute, Dirt, real cute.But you miss the point: the big difference between Leak and Anty is that Anty actually said that this 'defin[ed] the nation'; if he was being sarcastic or ironic, it's certainly out of form with the way he normally endorses cartoons (see Wilbourne's post above). Leak's point apparently was about Qantas, but he missed off the mark because Japan's not involved in the story and the humour is pretty lame/racist, but Anty's point…well, he's been all over the shop on that one.

  • James Waterton

    DBO – true, we are all over it. And rightfully so. Also notice how there's no one (bar yourself; 10/10 for loyalty, 0/10 for common sense) from the leftist blogosphere leaping to Ant's defence – which is a first. Can't say I blame them, however. If nothing else, they know a train wreck when they see one.

  • James Waterton

    Incidentally, I'm having problems visualising someone "flying into a stupour(sic)".

  • leftvegdrunk

    Yep, missed the "stupour" when I previewed.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Cute, Shab? *blush*You're not too bad yourself.

  • tim maguire

    This is all very interesting. 1) First, the obvious–the commentors post reasonable reactions based on a viewing of the cartoon. They may be right or wrong (and they recognize this), but they are not without justification.2) Ant responds by saying, essentially, "you're all a bunch of doody-heads posting in bad faith."3) Commentors say "huh?"4) Ant gives a justification of the cartoon based not on anything in the cartoon, but based on his own world view, which includes giving the cartoonist the full benefit of the doubt on every issue, despite admittedly not knowing the cartoonist's intent.So that's what Ant's attitude is all about–mindlessly defending his own. Does anybody here–Ant, DBO, or anyone else–doubt for a moment that if this exact cartoon was published by someone Ant didn't feel was in his own camp, Ant would be first and loudest among those screaming "racist!"? Never mind the fact that his actual knowledge of the underlying intent would be identical.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ignatius, you neglect the origin and intent of the commenters in your assessment. Again, context is important. These are not regular readers, and their comments are neither constructive nor genuinely interested.Your final supposition about Loewenstein's response to a hypothetical situation is groundless, unless you would like to explain further.Oh, and how did you find Loewenstein's blog?

  • tim maguire

    I ignored the origin and intent of the commenters on purpose. First because I don't know it and second because it's irrelevant. It has no bearing on the quality of their observations and arguments.How I got here is irrelevant as well. For the same reason.Maybe if you'd read what these people are saying and then think about how you feel about what they wrote, instead of the other way around (which is what you've obviously been doing), you'd learn something.While your remarks on my final question are non-responsive (as is virtually all of what you've written), I take it you do doubt it.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Why, O Ignatius, are these high quality commenters not inundating other threads with their wisdom? Do you really separate intent from content?Doubt? Yes. I have never heard Loewenstein "screaming 'Racist!'". Have you?

  • 32325235345dfgdgfdg

    It's not that hard to find out DB0. It's called a search function. And lo and behold.Further to the attempt to lesson his culpability for a clearly racist cartoon, it took him 3 attempts and 48 hours try and explain it, only to come up with a defense that was so clearly transperant it took me 5 minutes of looking through his archives to show what a lying weasel he was. Still no reply to that post incidently. And even though I did come across this particular post from another blog, I happen to be a regular reader of Loewenstein, and have commented from time to time, when his rubbish required it. Usually I ignore most of his posts, meaningless links to cheap cartoonists and Israel bashing wank-fests at the Grauniad. But sometimes, his attempts at Israel bashing are so maddening I must tell him what an moron I find him, such as when he posted a picture of young girl on her wedding day in front of a tank, not knowing any context, and expected us to believe it was an indication of the WILD, UNCHECKED MILITIRIZATION OF CRAZY, EVIL ISRAEL. Give me a break, is there no lengths to which he won't stoop, even a young ladies wedding day, to tarnish Israel's name.Same in this instance. Why funny little looking caricatures of Japanese businessmen really DEFINE THE FUCKING NATION don't they.I find it sad that the only way Loewenstein inspires debate is by being a complete nincompoop, making the simplest of generalisations on the most complex of topics and wondering why all these "other" people are so worked up. It's a shame Loewenstein, who claims he's a journalist, knows nothing of journalistic integrity (still mythical I know). If he did, he'd find balance in his views of Israel, but his long ingrained academic-inspired beliefs, compel him to slander Israel no matter what her actions. Of all the crazy Arab preachers I see on TV calling for the slaughter of all Jews, the neo-Nazi's praising each suicide bombing, the "intellectuals" calling for the "decommissioning" if the Israeli nation, only Loewenstein and his like manage to disappointment me. Most Jews who feel Israel should be held to the highest moral standard compared to her neighbours and the rest of the world, also understand the realities of the situation on the ground, that sometimes the waters get muddied. Loewenstein doesn't get that, and what's worse, he seems to think the Arab waters are pure, because he never finds the time to balance Israels actions in light Arab ones.Perhaps, if he managed to raise his standards a bit more, move beyond cheap cartoons and statements aimed to shock people into replying, and provide some decent Israeli/Arab insight that genuinely inpsires honest debate, he would have more readers other then those he found here in this post. The Oz blogosphere has no real discussion on this topic, because it is rather sensitive, but if he is going to cry censorship each time someone doesn't think his book should be published, or racist each time someone tells him he's wrong, then this site won't be that source.

  • James Waterton

    DBO :IIRC, Loewenstein has called ibrahamav "racist" and "bigot" several times.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Sorry, I should have italicised the word "scream". Which would imply irrationality. I can conclude from Ibrahamav's comments that he/she is either a racist or an idiot, or simply a shit-stirrer. Perhaps a combination of the latter two. Am I screaming?"Scream" goes along with "crazy evil Isreal". (Or that other rightist favourite, "AmeriKKKa", which I have never seen anyone write seriously.) Made up quotes that attempt to paint Loewenstein as a lunatic. A common ploy – find an individual who rants a little too much, pinch some quotes or exaggerate them, and then suggest that anyone you disagree with is as crazed as your example. Then rant, rant, rant.In reality, a comparison between Ant's posts and those of his political opposites (Waterton's wordsmithery aside, of course) would show his prose and tone to be relatively calm and restrained. Much of the rabid ranting – "screaming" – emanates from the anti-greenie, pro-war, anti-fucking-everything tribe, usually with tongue in cheek (at least I hope). Or am I generalising now? Of course I am.PS Waterton, did you pick up on "the lengths to which he won't stoop"? That one's a visual/linguistic nightmare. I might email Kel Richards.

  • Gibbo

    DBO, I sometimes find it difficult to know when you are being serious and when your are taking the piss because your not real good at either.You want to see ranting, screaming etc? Follow the link in Wilbournes comment above you goose. Then take a quick trip to Ants mate Margo Kingstons looney tunes site for stage 2. Check out the SEIVX thread especially. It's a beauty. Then come back & talk to me about raving, screaming looneys.Calm and restrained my bum! Your mob wins the screeching contests hands down buddy.Go back to the top of this thread and re-read it. You can actually "hear" the moment when Ant realised that his cover was blown and he'd made a right royal cock up in front of the whole class. A classic moment in blogging. It will be like that whole "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" thing.Where were you when Ants pants fell down? I feel priviledged to have witnessed it first hand.

  • leftvegdrunk

    My mob, Gibbo? Whatever, "buddy". You're cock-eyed.Go back to wherever you came from. Or will I see you on another thread here? Doubtful. Only when the boss says, yeah? What a hero.Is your hand still under the desk?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ant, next time you are looking for a provocative political cartoon I would suggest you go here and click on "Get Your War On".Hecklers, there are still no letters in the Oz about Leak's cartoon. What gives?

  • Gibbo

    Gee, you've gone to the insult cupboard early. Is that all you've got left? No more witty reparte? Some people are sprinters, some are stayers I suppose.Ah-so, me so solly for inferring you were part of a "mob". I should have realised that you were, as all adolescents proclaim, an individual!Why I no risten? Me iriot, so solly!My hand was under the desk but as soon as I saw Ants picture I got a soft-on.Don't worry though, yours will eventually get big enough to play with by yourself.It's funny when kiddies try to sound all grown up. Thanks, you've brought a smile to my face.By the way, where were you when Ants pants fell down?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Keep scraping the barrel, Gibbo. You are showing yourself in the usual light. Feel free to continue doing so.

  • baci_baci

    Loewenstein,Your position on Australia's involvement in Iraq is despicable and cowardly. How dare you wish for our defeat for some obsessive ideological agenda. Do you some sort of gratification every time someone gets killed? By the way, the cartoon is racist. So much for being a radical progressive!Baci