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.

Two sides of the fence

The Israeli blogosphere rants and raves about the Gaza withdrawal, occupation, the West Bank and Palestinian human rights.

Living in Gaza” is worth a read. Written by a Swedish woman who is married to a Palestinian native of Gaza, the couple recently moved to Gaza so that their young children would get to know the father’s family and learn more about his Muslim heritage.

22 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    I'm sorry, but how in the hell can anyone look at the pictures from the beach with people swimming clothed from head to toe and not realize what an absolutely ridiculous culture this is we're dealing with!I just hope that this poor woman, if she ever decides to assert her independence, is able to get out with her children in one piece. Because right now, she and her children are no better than chattel property according to the local law.(P.s. Is she Muslim herself? If not, why is she wearing the full get-up? Even pictures I saw of Rachel Corrie never acheived that level of dhimmitude).

  • Wombat

    It called making a choice Shab. And comming from a Swedish heritage, it's highly unlikely this poor woman doesn't know what it means to be a "liberated" woman.Did you happen to notice that the family was also smiling? Perhaps you would prefer pictures of a wayward girl lying unconcious on the pavement outside a nightclub with a bottle of boubon in her hand?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "I'm sorry, but how in the hell can anyone look at the pictures from the beach with people swimming clothed from head to toe and not realize what an absolutely ridiculous culture this is we're dealing with!"My Irish-Australian grandmother would disgaree with you. She's dismayed by the "outrageous" kit "those youngsters today" wear when referring to Aussie teenagers down at Coogee beach. She longs for happier times when true Australian values held way – not this disgusting American flesh culture (etc., etc.) I suppose to be consistent, you could always argue that Australia, not so long ago had an "absolutely ridiculous culture" too … but then you would insulting the elderly hard-core who would agree with you about Iraq, Muslims, Arabs, terrorists, and everyone else who is not an Anglo Christian."I just hope that this poor woman, if she ever decides to assert her independence,"…huh? I wasn't aware that marrying a Muslim (or is that an Arab – it all gets so confusing) was to sentence oneself to a life of slavery. I assume you're basing this on years of experience."is able to get out with her children in one piece. "That may depend on Israel's none-too-precise "blow-up-to-kill" policy.

  • Ibrahamav

    Better than the Palestinian "blow up and kill as many women and children as possible" policy. Which includes arab women and children.

  • Shabadoo

    EMS: If you have no idea about the way women are dealt with in Islam, I suggest you read up on the topic. And then wonder where the feminist left is on this topic. Also, people have the choice to wear what they want, not have it imposed on them – no religious police is forcing them into bikinis.Addamo: People in cults often look blissfully happy.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "EMS: If you have no idea about the way women are dealt with in Islam, I suggest you read up on the topic."I asked my Muslim wife, and she disagrees with you. Does than mean she's not Muslim, dear Shaykh? Perhaps you suffer from jahiliyah due to reading silly websites rather than actually interacting with (g-d forbid!) flesh-&-blood Muslims. I have always found there to be a marked difference between the numerous pixelated versions of Islam and the numerous actually lived versions of Islam.(I do like how you phrase things: "the way women are dealt with in Islam" – as if it is some strange, far-away place … The Lost Island of Islam, with its strange customs and barbari rules, where the women are … "dealt with". It's pitchable in L.A., I reckon.)"Addamo: People in cults often look blissfully happy."And people who aren't in cults often look blissfully happy too. Pyshcopaths sometimes look happy. Somestimes they don't. Some days it rains, and some days it doesn't. Christians who go to Church sometimes look blissfully happy, and sometimes don't. And pointlessly on and on…

  • Ibrahamav

    Edward, keep your anecdotes at home, in the kitchen.Now pull out the stats. Women are treated as property in most Arab Islamic relationships.

  • anthony

    Perhaps you suffer from jahiliyah due to reading silly websites rather than actually interacting with (g-d forbid!) flesh-&-blood Muslims.Interaction? Anyone else ever had Muslim women try and ask you a question- in my experience they will avoid eye contact, by actually looking away (in my imperialist western culture- that is disrespectful). Why do you think some Muslim women do that Ed? I've certainly never had a Christian woman not look at me when she is talking to me. I guess Christian women are just a lot more promiscuous and disobedient. Maybe Australians just don’t train their property as well as they do in the ME?

  • Glenn Condell

    You are a low person shabadoo, I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. Why the hell don't you bugger off to Israel and stop contaminating this place with your racism.

  • Comical_Ali

    lol — "why dont you bugger off to Israel…stop contaminating this place with your racism."From now on, thats gotta be a classic Condell line. Dunno about Shab, but whether on or off fire, I would piss on you, just for the sake of it, Condell.

  • Comical_Ali

    Let me ask you something ED — does your Irish grandmother belong to the religious police force who go around beating the sh8t out of anyone who they assume is inappropriatly dressed? If the answer is "yes," then I dont envy your child hood.Even our good happy neighbour Malaysia has a religious police force which enforces Sharia law on women.Slightly off topic – it was only a few months ago, that a woman, her fiance and her sister were murdered on a Gaza beach by Hamas "religious police" — because they thought it inappropriate for a non married couples to be walking together. So on that note, if I was a woman on that same beach, I would be covering up from head to toe. Who can blame those women in the photo?To be murdered or beaten to a pulp by a Taliban like police force, or your husband, brother or father – it certainly aint a matter of choice when it comes to dressing like that."I asked my Muslim wife, and she disagrees with you."Your Muslim wife, needs to get herself a good Muslim husband (who would most probably beat the sh*t out of her), in order to comment. otherwise you cant consider her a good "Muslim wife." A good wife? maybe. But "Muslim" — under Islamic law, good muslims dont marry kuffars.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Edward, keep your anecdotes at home, in the kitchen."Heil! Keep your racism out in the openm where we can see it. Oh, good, you are.Now pull out the stats. As you would say, do your own research foiler. anthony said… "Interaction? Anyone else ever had Muslim women try and ask you a question"Every single day of the week. More often than not they are asking me questions."Why do you think some Muslim women do that Ed?"I don't know. I'd have to ask them."Maybe Australians just don’t train their property as well as they do in the ME?"Now there's a quote for one's tombstone that one could be proud of. (Oy – what a shmegegi.)

  • anthony

    Clever Ed, cut the bits you didnt think needed addressing. How 'Benny Morris' of you.You turned this:Interaction? Anyone else ever had Muslim women try and ask you a question- in my experience they will avoid eye contact, by actually looking away (in my imperialist western culture- that is disrespectful). Why do you think some Muslim women do that Ed?Into This:anthony said…"Interaction? Anyone else ever had Muslim women try and ask you a question"Every single day of the week. More often than not they are asking me questions."Why do you think some Muslim women do that Ed?"I don't know. I'd have to ask them.I didn't ask why women ask questions you fucking idiot, I asked why they avoid all eye contact while they do it. I'll answer for you- because Islam all-to-often involves suppressing women and would see any eye contact as sinful. Oh no! Attacking Islam, politically incorrect! Too bloody bad.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    anthony said… "I didn't ask why women ask questions you fucking idiot, I asked why they avoid all eye contact while they do it."Well, blow me down. Racist religious bigots can swear in English too!As to why "They" avoid eye contact:1. I don't go around eye-balling every woman who walks down the street. Maybe sexual perverts do, but I don't. I'll leave it to you to figure out why you do.2. I haven't noticed that "They" do avoid eye contact any more or less than anyone else. I must admit, however, that I haven't done any serious empirical eye-ball research. When are you publishing your stats?"Islam all-to-often involves suppressing women and would see any eye contact as sinful"Where is this guy Islam? He seems to do a lot of suppressing. I would have thought it was men who did the suppressing rather than a mutlifaceted, constantly reinterpreted set of ideas. "Attacking Islam, politically incorrect! Too bloody bad."Tallyho chaps!

  • anthony

    Why am I a ‘Racist religious bigot’? Because I called you a fucking idiot (for your purposely deceiving half-quote) or referred to Muslims as ‘they’? Gee, I’m sorry- I’ll go back and re-do sociology 101 just so I know how to delicately refer to cultural, religious, cross-gender groups, and other assorted minorities.“A woman is worth one-half a man”(I suppose it’s still better than 1/14th of an elephant.)“Don't pray if you are drunk, dirty, or have touched a woman lately.”“A man cannot treat his wives fairly.”“When it's time to pray and you have just used the toilet or touched a woman, be sure to wash up. If you can't find any water, just rub some dirt on yourself.”"Believing women must lower their gaze and be modest, cover themselves with veils, and not reveal themselves except to their husbands, relatives, children, and slaves.”http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/women/long.htmlHave you read The Trouble with Islam, Ed? Just curious.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Such ignorance of Islam. Much exposure to Muslim people, Anthony? More than a few? Ever spoken at length to them? Ever spent extended periods of time in a Muslim country?Of course, it's much easier to simply slam the religion as backward…

  • Comical_Ali

    These Muslims have got to be as bigotted, racist and narrow minded as the Joooowish community of Australia? Right Flavious Rantsky?Ive never been to a Muslim country myself although I have known Muslims personally — and they happen to be good people. But sometimes I wonder about the nature of Islam as a religion itslef, especially when you have "moderates" like the Mufti of Australia (the leader of Australia's Muslims and head of the Federal Islamic council) or the former Prime Minister of Maylasia make Nazi like Goebellesque speeches.Sometimes I wonder why the vast majority of todays conflicts and wars involve muslims or the fact that "honor killings" are rife and legally accepted in the Islamic world or that almost every Islamic country has a "religious police" or that In Australia itself police are asked to be culurally sensitive to Muslim men who beat their wives…need I go on?What exactly are you trying to excuse, you sanctimonious hypocrite who purports to be a "dissident" who speaks out for human rights?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    anthony said… "Have you read The Trouble with Islam, Ed? Just curious." I assume you're talking about the book by Manji. Yes. It's certainly provocative and not a bad read overall. More 'heart than head', which that could be a desirable thing, depending on who's doing the reading. I agree with the general thrust of some of her concerns (e.g. the confusion of Saudi Arabian cultural norms with Islam itself – often the root of a number of other problems such as crypto-theocratic laws that oppress women in SA), although she certainly over-generalises a lot too which tends to undermine her arguments.In relation to the "place" of Muslim women in Muslim sub-communities that I 'hang around', the sort of oppression one reads about, the behaviour you alluded to, etc., just doesn't exist. When you go on about the evils that Islam does, it just seems utterly alien to me because your words are so disconnected from lived experience. Sure, things are probably different in other places in the world, but that's precisely my point.

  • Ibrahamav

    Eddie still has a problem acknowledging that women are treated as property in most Arab Islamic relationships. Why is that? Complete ignorance? Denial? Or is he a racist who can't handle the truth?

  • anthony

    I assume you're talking about the book by Manji. Yes.I am impressed. It was a good eye-opening read, despite your valid criticisms.In relation to the "place" of Muslim women in Muslim sub-communities that I 'hang around', the sort of oppression one reads about, the behaviour you alluded to, etc., just doesn't exist.The behaviour I was talking about is drawn from my experience with first-generation Australian-Muslims in Melbourne. I agree the poor treatment of women by what I should probably have called fundamentalist Islam (throughout most of the ME) is much less likely to happen in Western states, given the fact that we have laws that aren’t drawn from the Koran.When you go on about the evils that Islam does, it just seems utterly alien to me because your words are so disconnected from lived experience.As Antony rather condescendingly pointed out (and does at every opportunity he gets), that is for the most part, correct. It was academic rather than personal.Antony- don’t normally see you post twice, unless you have to defend your racist attitudes towards Asians, sorry bill leak’s attitudes. Of course, you have ample time to attack my credentials (unlike yourself, I never claimed to have any, so your questions are irrelevant).

  • Comical_Ali

    simple question – if women arent persecuted, abused and treated like objects in Islam, than why are police in Australia and other countries asked to be "culturally sensitive" when dealing with Muslim men who bash their wives.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Eddie still has a problem acknowledging that women are treated as property in most Arab Islamic relationships."Ahh – you're such a dill, Ibrahim. What "most"? I haven't got any stats on it, so I wouldn't know about the numbers (you seem to know them however). (Incidentally, you should have been able to tell from previous posts by me – which you have responded to – that I'm no fan of Saudi law on dress-codes and freedom of movement. (Not surprising I suppose, given that it seems that you seem to go completely nuts whenever you see the words "muslim" or "islam". Red rag to a bull.)"I agree the poor treatment of women by what I should probably have called fundamentalist Islam (throughout most of the ME) is much less likely to happen in Western states, given the fact that we have laws that aren’t drawn from the Koran."It’s not a simple matter of a division between The Secular West and The Islamic Rest. It's a question of how the Qur’an is interpreted and what the dominant Islamic jurisprudential school is in a particular country. Saudi Arabia, for example, now dominated by Wahabbism, is awful. The pragmatic, multifaceted and highly flexible general approach to Islam in Indonesia on the other hand, produces entirely different results. They claim to be drawing on the Qur’an, but their interpretation is entirely different to what Saudi authorities say when they claim to be drawing on the Qur’an. (In fact, the Minangkabau cultural grouping in Indonesia – who are Muslim – have a, wait for it, matriarchally structured society!) In any case, I think you’ll find that the poor treatment of women in any given country has more to do with cultural norms than on this or that book.