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.

Getting far in journalism

Medialens, October 25:

“To the extent that a media system accepts that its ‘professional’ role is to report a news agenda set by officialdom, it must largely renounce the task of challenging that agenda. If the government, for example, rejects as hopelessly flawed a report on civilian casualties in Iraq – if it decides to ‘move on’, say, from the November 2004 Lancet report – who are professional news journalists to disagree?

“For a news journalist to continue promoting the credibility of the officially rejected report – or the rejected role of oil in motivating foreign policy, or the rejected possibility of Tony Blair’s prosecution for war crimes – is to challenge the accepted right of officialdom to set the agenda for the professional press. It is in fact an attempt to set a competing agenda. This is to lay oneself open to attack as a ‘biased’, ‘committed’ and ‘crusading’ journalist – something professional news reporters are not supposed to be.”

It is difficult to think of one leading Australian journalist – aside from Margo Kingston – who sees journalism as much more than simply “reporting the facts.” Corporate journalism is designed to promote and support those reporters who know their place and role. Don’t ask uncomfortable questions, don’t openly challenge government spin and certainly don’t offer an alternative way of seeing the world.

Medialens – whose first book, Guardians of Power, is released in December – regularly tackles the so-called “liberal” press and its presumptions of openness and fairness. Western journalistic exceptionalism has never had a greater foe.

  • 1

    Great blog. Just curious. How would you define your work within the scope of what you are discussing on this post? Would you consider yourself and independent journalist? Is that even a real category?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I would consider myself independent. I work, now and then, for corporate news orgs, but am not permanently employed by any of them, and nor do i want to be. I'm writing a few books and do not, unlike journalists at Murdoch, have to avoid certain issues or questions.

  • Rich Bowden

    Very thought-provoking blog Ant, thanks.As Pilger says, its the so-called "quality" press such as the NYT and Post that have to accept the most blame in allowing the Bush administration's excesses precisely because they are trusted more by readers.Congratulations too on your article on the same subject in this week's New Matilda.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks, Rich.Much more on this subject…hold that thought for my second book, on the Aussie media, due 2007.

  • Rich Bowden

    "my second book, on the Aussie media, due 2007"Mate….can't wait, though you do realise that by 2007, under Section 6 sub-paragraph 79 of the special Lowenstein sedition laws enacted by Parliament after receiving the full support of a compliant Opposition…. you'll probably be arrested for saying bad things about mates of the Liberal party. Just joking…or am I?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    It'll be out through Random House.I'd put nothing past the current govt, as they seem so uncomfortable with dissent.

  • Wombat

    Rich, you might think you're joking but it was only a few weeks ago that an Aussie was deported from the US for demonstrating against Halliburton was he not?