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.

Leave now

Britain’s Sunday Telegraph publishes an interesting report:

“Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed.

“The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country.

“It demonstrates for the first time the true strength of anti-Western feeling in Iraq after more than two and a half years of bloody occupation.”

Citizens of any country don’t want to be occupied. This is not hard to understand. Momentum for a withdrawal of “Coalition” troops is building.

The ideal position would be a withdrawal in disgrace, tail between the legs and severely scarred, unlikely to contemplate anything of the sort again.

Sometimes lessons need to be taught the hard way.

The Australian media is reluctant to call for a withdrawal, not unlike the Labor party, fearful of being seen as weak on terror. Real bravery requires understanding when a monumental blunder has been made.

Ideology has opened the floodgates:

“US intelligence officials say Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has expanded his terrorism campaign in Iraq to extremists in two dozen terrorist groups in about 40 countries, creating a network that rivals Osama bin Laden’s.

“US government officials said the threat to US interests from Zarqawi compared with that from bin Laden, to whom Zarqawi pledged his loyalty a year ago.”

20 comments ↪
  • paul

    The ideal position would be a withdrawal in disgrace, tail between the legs and severely scarred, unlikely to contemplate anything of the sort again.Hardly likely, except in some bed-wetting leftist's fantasies.Fact is, the "insurgency" is running out of willing recruits, and the more of them turned into compost in Iraq, the less to cause trouble elsewhere.The schadenfreude displayed by the lunar left at the misery and destruction wrought by demented religious fanatics on a fragile new democracy is truly sickening, but confirms every malicious thought I've harboured about spoilt suburban socialists who preach revolution from behind mum and dad's bankroll.Hopefully one of your infantile beliefs will come true- karma should guarantee you some really awful shitstorm for your open support of murderers, thugs and goons.

  • Wombat

    Gee Paul, You want to stick the dummy back in your mouth? Your venom is a dead giveaway that you know you picked the wrong horse and you are batshit bitter about it.What facts are you referring to when you suggest the insurgency is running out of willing recruits? All the coalition forces need to do is continue to flattening one town after the next, and they are guaranteeing a permanent supply of recruits for the insurgency. That doesn’t even take into account what the Shiites will do if the US don’t show any sings of leaving, or if the US do attack Iran. Rumsfeld and Condi are talking about decades of occupation before things are secured. Hanging your argument around another White House talking point Paul? Aren't you getting a little sick and tired of cleaning the egg of your face, or do you take some masochistic enjoyment from humiliating yourself?A poll, undertaken for the British Ministry of Defence shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country. A recent poll concludes that 82 percent of Iraqis are against the continued occupation and that millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks are justified. That includes the Kurds, who are unanimously behind the US presence,To talk about the left as thought they were a pack of mummy's boys is even more ludicrous when the lovely war you salivate over has been instigated by some AWOL loser who has been described as a man born on 3rd base, but who thinks he got there by hitting a home run. Schadenfreude seems an accurate description as we witness the most corrupt and criminal government in memory being held to account and watching their minions jumping ship. To suggest the left is rejoicing the in the mess of Iraq is a blatant straw man argument. We railed against this war to avoid this clusterfuck you call liberation and democracy. The best that you can pull out of your sorry arse is to say that no matter how bad it gets, it's better than having Saddam around. And if that one fails, there's always plan B – the pottery barn principal right?As they say, build a bridge….

  • paul

    Do you really believe the evil military-industrial complex of Bushitler could be beaten by some raggety-arsed bandits and half-witted student activists from Syria? Despite the constant barrage of negative press that makes the shameful reporting of Vietnam seem balanced, public opinion in participant states (particularly the US) is showing no sign of swinging your way- the only reason the NVA finally won in Vietnam.Keep on carping- El Que'da's got about as much future as international socialism.

  • 32325235345dfgdgfdg

    I'd be interested in seeing the structure of this survey. The questions asked and all. I wonder if they asked the following questions;Would you support a suicide attack against British troops who are surrounded by Iraqi children at the time, knowing that many more children will perish just to kill one or two soldiers? Would you support blowing up a market, killing dozens of Iraqi's, if it compelled foreign troops to leave to the outskirts of town? Would you support the use of a truck bomb at Shi'ite religious festivals, killing in excess of 200 people, if it helped paint foreign troops in a negative light? As a Sunni, would you support the wholesale slaughter of thousands of Shi'ite civilians since a Civil War would surely compel US troops to leave the country?As a Shi'ite, would you support the wholesale slaughter of thousands of Sunni civilians since a Civil War would surely compel US troops to leave the country?

  • Wombat

    Believe? Unlike you and your faith based beliefs, I don't need to believe anything. I just wait for the information to trickle in and watch people like you dodge facts, and concoct new post facto arguments.You seem to be overdosing on the Cool aid mate. Last count, the numbers were going down not up in terms of US public approval for the war. With casualties set to hit 2000 this week, that ain’t going to change in a hurry.Secondly, your BS numbers about the insurgency are baseless. Statistics have shown that the number of foreign fighters accounts for less that 10%, so quit the crap about the trouble being the fault of fighters flowing it the country.Whenever the US flattens a town like Fallujah, how many hearts and minds do you think they are winning by those left behind. Who will those people support? Who’s case wil they take up?If you still blame the press for the failure of Vietnam, or refuse to acknowledge that this war could have gotten out of first gear without he media's help, then you are deranged. Your suggestion that I'm a member of the Al Qaeda cheers squad just serves to prove how devoid of reality you are. Can win an argument so cerate one right?Take that anger elsewhere macho man. Sign up for the military, put that genius mind to use and show us how it's done.

  • paul

    I've done my bit, sport. I suggest you do some reseach on Vietnam- the NLF was effectively finished as a viable force by late '68, especially after Tet. Unfortunately the media (then as now) was infested with activists rather than journalists, who reported Tet as a huge defeat to the South Vietnamese and the USA. That plus the pathetic morale of conscript troops (many with drug habits) led to a general withering of resolve, plus the fact that the war had become electoral poison.Iraq doesn't match any of these criteria for failure, especially the fact that there is a well trained, professional anf volunteer force participating.We didn't want to have to go in to the place- it would have suited everyone if the UN for once actually did what it was charted to do, but as usual western democracies had to do its work for it.Predict all the doom you like- Iraq now has a constitution and it's own defence forces are becoming more effective every day.You honestly think the "insurgency" isn't getting much outside help? Ratbag nations like Syria and Wahhabi nutbars think a free democracy right in the middle of their turf is just a peachy idea.

  • leftvegdrunk

    You know that web site you can go to and generate a big long-winded piece of prose that means nothing but resembles a postmodern social science essay? Well now there's a site that strings together a bunch of equally meaningless cliches and lazy blogger's buzz words and parades them about posing as a conservative pro-war argument. Thanks for sharing, Paul.

  • Ian Westmore

    paul said…I've done my bit, sport.Propping up a bar? I suggest you do some reseach on Vietnam- the NLF was effectively finished as a viable force by late '68, especially after Tet. Then how do you account for the fact that 9,000 of the 14,000 American casualties of 1968 died after Tet? And/or that about as many Americans were killed in the 3 years post Tet as died before it?Unfortunately the media (then as now) was infested with activists rather than journalists, who reported Tet as a huge defeat to the South Vietnamese and the USA. That plus the pathetic morale of conscript troops (many with drug habits) led to a general withering of resolveIf things were going so well then why was the moral "pathetic"? Because the chickenhawks made sure they and their kids never went within a thousand miles of the place, just as they are doing with Iraq, maybe? And/or because the middle ranks of the US officer corp voted with its feet leaving Nam to the inexperienced and incompetent, just as they are reportedly starting to do in Iraq? Debarcles just don't look good on your record!We didn't want to have to go in to the place-Define "we" George W and the neocons certainly seemed very keen.it would have suited everyone if the UN for once actually did what it was charted to do, but as usual western democracies had to do its work for it.The UN did its job. There were no WMDs. Iraq was a threat to no one except itself! Something acknowledged by both Powell and Rice before they were leant on by Bush, Cheney and the other wankers. The UN was right, the aforesaid wankers were either wrong or liars.BTW-remind me, how many divisions does the UN have?

  • Wombat

    Funny, I thought that the Vietnam failure had somethign to do with the US forces losing 58,000 of their men. I guess Paul, you fall into the catergory of those who are prepared to fight to the last drop opf other people's blood.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Isn't the 'logic' great?If only the US had fought the battle better, smarter etc and the media had been simply cheerleaders, 'we' would have won in Vietnam. The fact that it was an immoral, illegal and hideous war is beside the point. Likewise in Iraq. Such are the believers in the wonders of spreading Western freedom and democracy.

  • paul

    As I said before- after '68 they were fighting the NVA, heavily resourced by the Russians and even the hated Chinese. I was a major ideological conflict for the Soviets and the Chicoms- had they lost there, a lot of Eastern Europe would have fallen, there were already major anti-communist uprisings throughout the sattelite states, crushed brutally by the Soviets.Odd how the biggest fans of statist socialism have never had to exist under its yoke; as to the cohabitation by the modern left with fundamentalist Islam, totally beyond the understanding of a rational person.BTW- I've been shot at twice and blown up once while in the service of my country, and I'd do it again.

  • Pete's Blog

    paulFollowing violent combat – sounds like you might be suffering post traumatic stress disorder.I suggest that passionately fighting bloggers on the web is not the best answer.Their are two few able recruits in the army (I know I've been there).I suggest you go back there or perhaps get help.

  • Wombat

    I think it is notable that the same way we are being scared into believing that the war in Iraq is abou stopping islamofgacists ensalving the West, the same was said if Vietnmen – that if we dind't stop the Cmmies there, they woudl spread liek a cancer.Well, we obviusly did not stop them and they did not sprad like a cancer. Any chance we are experiencing de ja vu?

  • paul

    How would you describe Laos and Cambodia then, worker's paradises?Or Indonesia and Malaysia in the 1960's until successful anti-insurgency operations finished off communist aspirations in the area?What about large tracts of Africa, like Angola, the Congo etc? Yeah- the Comintern was a fantasy of rabid gun nuts and Baptist fruitcups, just like the intended new Caliphate is for fundie Islam.BTW- PTSD is bullshit- I've never had any effects from any trauma in my life whether it be from gunfire, family deaths or being knocked off motorcycles by idiot taxi drivers and carloads of fat Italian women- shit happens. When it comes to geopolitics, I'm a realist.Anyone who thinks humans can just hold hands and get along is ignoring millenia of recorded history.

  • Wombat

    You a realist Paul?You thnk the coalition is having all it's way with the insungerncy and will have no problm with Syria?Maybe you should come back and talk to us whn the US finally manages to secure the road from Baghdad to Baghdad aiport, let alone the rest of Iraq.

  • Pete's Blog

    Well PaulYour sure adding to the diversity of views on this blog.And that can't be a bad thing.I'm a thought refugee from The Road to Surfdom, where they're truly intolerant of anti-blog views.Even if I don't agree with your preconceptions, analysis or conclusions, keep writing. Often opposing ideas can reach some synthesis over time.Pete

  • anthony

    I'm a thought refugee from The Road to Surfdom, where they're truly intolerant of anti-blog views.heh heh…

  • Ian Westmore

    paul wrote:BTW- PTSD is bullshit- I suggest you visit the psych ward of your nearest Repat hospital. It can be a real eye opener. If you're ever in Perth lookup the Hollywood Clinic, at what was the WA RGH (now Hollywood Private) which looks after ex SAS troopers with psych problems.I've never had any effects from any trauma in my life whether it be from gunfire.Every sane person has a mental tripping point. Apparently, your experiences have not have been enough to trigger yours, yet. However, you need to appreciate that a lot of blokes experienced being shot at and more regularly through a deployment, sometimes before breakfast.BTW-If you truly have been unaffected by the traumas of your life then you have a much worse problem than PTSD, although its usually others who suffer because of it. Ask a shrink about it if you visit a Repat.

  • paul

    That would have nothing to do with trick cyclists drumming up trade and funding, perchance? Counselling is one of the growth industries in the West since the '60s, and a tidy little earner it is too; convice someone there's something wrong with them, then kepp 'em coming back for treatment.In previous times such chicanery was subject to prosecution- now it gets a weekly slot on the ABC and Medicare funding.BTW- I studied psychology for 2 years in the late '70s at U of Q, and a fair amount was complete cobblers.

  • leftvegdrunk

    "I studied psychology for 2 years in the late '70s."Expert on everything.