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.

Assessing the threat

“Don’t forget, Mr Howard, that if ever there is a terrorist attack in Australia, it is you personally who must take the lion’s share of the blame for it as a result of your rushing to support George Bush in the Iraq war.”

Former Federal President of the Liberal Party, John Valder, in a letter to John Howard.

The current terrorist hysteria proves, once and for all, that our corporate media has become an extension of the government and its various agencies. “Imminent attack foiled.” “A massive terrorist attack on Australian soil has been narrowly averted.” Maybe. Maybe not. We will never know the full truth, neither from the government nor the media. The Murdoch press is boasting of its impeccable contacts within government though I would have thought the leaking of national security matters would be a concern for the government. Not so, says the Attorney General.

The presumption of innocence and proportionality seems to have been lost in the hype. By all means, prosecute people if they pose a real threat. But don’t tell me that the Sydney Morning Herald needs to give the story five pages of coverage, as it does today. This story has a long way to run and somehow I wonder whether the initial media hysteria will have been justified. If I’m wrong, I’ll be happy to say so, but the inherent acceptance of intelligence, government and police spin shows a public and media too afraid or gutless to question “reality.”

18 comments ↪
  • Iqbal Khaldun

    I'm tearing my hair out here… thankfully I have copious amounts. With the timing of a Hollywood script, the saga has moved from leak of draconian laws, to vague alleged terrorist threat requiring new legislation, a muffled backlash from State and Federal police, and now, finally, an alleged crackdown on numerous terrorist plotters.Now there is a prospect some of these people were plotting an attack. What is unclear is whether the Federal Government's recent brinksmanship (and faithful shadowing by the State Governments) compelled Police and security officials to mount raids, lest the people they were surveilling pick up shop. Instead of following this (where is Australia's version of Seymour Hersh??) the media has bought the whole story. It's all very exciting I suppose.Dangerous times for all of us. For today it may be Muslims. Tomorrow it could be Tamils, or anarchists, or some other group. The problem is that a situation often only stops appearing absurd when it's too late.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Iqbal, your concerns are indeed valid. The media's collusion disturbs me perhaps the most. Little questioning. The SMH said today 'we must trust the govt.' Really? Why. I see no reason why on past form. Some of the accused may well be suspect, who the hell knows, but the lack of critical investigation is yet another sign that our democracy is, well, broken.Also, what media org, like the ALP, wants to be accused of being 'soft on terror'? The Murdoch/Packer press long ago forgot what journalism was about and the Fairfax press aren't far behind.

  • SUPERIOR AMERICAN

    It was good of PM Howard to support President Bush. He recognizes Superiorness when he sees it.

  • Shabadoo

    Anty, if you'd ever worked in a real newsroom, you'd know about these things called police scanners. Journos often listen to them to find out what's going on. Good ones even have mates in the cop shops who pass on a tip or two. Nothing necessarily sinister there.These would-be terrorists had ample opportunity to pick up on what was going on; apparently even a Danish exchange student on one of their streets was aware that the house was under watch for months! Remember, one of them fired at a cop outside a mosque – these were not peaceful people.

  • leftvegdrunk

    You can pick up ASIO and the AFP on a scanner? No wonder we can never catch any drug lords.

  • smiths

    murdoch knows better than anyone what journalism is about today, and he knows its very different from what it used to be about, he meets with bush and blair and howard behind closed doors, and he tells them the agenda for the coming years and they know if they cross him they are gone,this from the independent not long agoTony Blair has told Rupert Murdoch he believes the BBC's coverage of Hurricane Katrina was "full of hatred of America and gloating". In an extraordinary disclosure that will acutely embarrass Mr Blair, the world's most powerful media mogul revealed details of a private conversation that took place in New York on Thursday.or this one from the BBCThe news that media mogul Rupert Murdoch has had a secret meeting with European Commission President Romano Prodi has set pulses racing in Downing Street.Last year, Mr Blair was accused of trying to oil the wheels of a Murdoch deal to buy into the Italian TV network Mediaset when it emerged the British premier had raised the matter with Mr Prodi, who was then Italian prime ministeror this More significantly, Lance Prince also reveals that Tony Bliar promised Rupert Murdoch that he would be consulted on any change to Britain's policy towards Europe… in fact one entry described the atmosphere at No. 10 Downing Street as "very edgy" after Pro-Europe comments by the then Secratary of State for Trade, Peter Mandelson "because we have promised News International we won't make any changes to our Europe Policy without talking to them."the media are without doubt the topmost responsible party for the shit we're in because none of the secret agenda could be prosecuted without their complicity,what saddens me is that i really didnt think it would be so easy for them

  • SUPERIOR AMERICAN

    You Aussies should follow America's lead. Afterall we saved your asses from the Japs. Ever tried to talk like them? Good thing we took the Stanley Range and rescued you guys coming up from Port Moresby.You all would be waking uo to a Rising Sun come rain or hail.

  • smiths

    superior, you are obviously some kind of inferior joke but what really intrigues me is, why bother?

  • SUPERIOR AMERICAN

    smiths – Oh yeah? Well some strange creature has a blog that goes no where, So whats the point with that?At least my blog has a post.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    I just love the religious flourish of the Murdoch press:From The Australian: Osama's Aussie offspringFrom The Daily Terror: A holy war on Australia From The Courier Mail: Ready to die for jihadFrom The 'Tiser: HOLY WAR ON AUSTRALIAHerald Sun: HOLY WAR PLOTOnly Tasmania's The Merc deverged: SMASHED, Raids foil evil plot(At least they got "evil" in there, but I'll bet Murdoch will be jihading their arses for failing to follow the editorial "The Straight Path – the Path of those upon whom MurGod has bestowed His blessings".)

  • Gibbo

    So you are saying is that religion has nothing to do with this Edward?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Gibbo said… "So you are saying is that religion has nothing to do with this Edward?"Not for a second. I'm just commenting on the fact that there is a "line" being run across the Murdoch press. One would expect a little bit more variation from different newspapers … but perhaps not if they all have the same owner … and if that owner is known to dabble in a bit of Grand-High-Editor-In-Chiefing.

  • Wombat

    I agree ith Edward. It even came out receently that Blair consulted Murdoch on matters relating to the UK's interation with the EU.Superiot, your posts are fine commic realief. Saving us from the Japs? Weren't you guys supposed to have saves us from the Commies in Vietnam? Funny how getting your arses whipped didn't result in us marching to the goose step.Stick around.

  • SUPERIOR AMERICAN

    addamo_01 – We did save you from the commies. It was just a delaying action. We could not just say that. We could care less about Vietnam, why just last month our Superior President met with the Commie President. Notice he came here and not the otherway around.If we had not fought they would of just marched right into Alice Springs. The plan worked so well that even till this day some people think America "lost". What a farce. Americans never lose. We are Superior.

  • Gibbo

    Edward, so you agree that religion is a factor yet you don't feel it worthy of mention in the papers? Interesting.

  • Wombat

    Superior, you are good value. I like your style. Glad you're on the forum mate.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Gibbo, Edward (correct me if I am wrong) agrees with you in that religious belief has a role to play here. He (and others, including myself) simply feel that its role is over-emphasised for corrosive political reasons. What part are you disagreeing with?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Gibbo said… "Edward, so you agree that religion is a factor yet you don't feel it worthy of mention in the papers?"Obviously THEIR religious beliefs were a contributing causal factor IF they are guilty. The first question is: ARE they guilty? Don't know yet. Why? No trial. No evidence. No testimony. No cross examination. No testing of the veracity of the evidence. Etc. The second question, assuming the answer to the first question is 'yes', is this: is religion THE causal factor? We know the answer to that one already anyway: no. If it WERE, then there would be a hell of a lot more than eight of them and everyone would be dead by now. (Figuring out what makes people turn into terrorists is surprisingly complicated. Everyone working on the question agrees it requires a multi-disciplinary answer.) Now, given only those two points, it was clearly irresponsible and misleading of Murdoch to put up the screaming, salivating, religiously "spun" HEADLINES (not a mere "mention") that he did. NOW: that's not to say there is no religion-based story to be told here. It is a matter of finding it, however. Here's a good one, for example: Do you know why ASIO so easily tracked down Jemah Islamia followers in Australia after the first Bali bombing? Because they were allowed in by the DIMIA as refugees based on their claims of religious persecution in Indonesia. Great research DIMIA! And then there are other weird-arse stuff-ups with respect to less-than-desirable individuals being let in … esp. some imams who are incompetant, unqualified, ethical neanderthals with shady backgrounds. The DIMIA spends four years doing a "security check" on some poor sod who turns out to have permanent residency anyway, BUT these other twits just swan in? C'mon. There's a story there.