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.

The bigots come out to play

Jason Burke, The Observer, November 13:

“Analysts and commentators often seek to find evidence to support their well-established ideas in any given event. So while critics of the ‘French social model’ have gleefully seen evidence of its failure in the recent violence in France, its supporters have seen evidence of the damage done by right-wing policies in the country. But little compares with the extraordinary way in which the disturbances of the last two weeks have been hijacked by those who appear set on either finding, or creating, a ‘clash of civilisations’ between Islam and the West.

“Take one particularly egregious example. Melanie Phillips, writing in the Daily Mail, described the riots in France as ‘a French intifada, an uprising by French Muslims against the state’. I covered the intifada in Israel and Palestine and, beyond the fact that thrown stones look much the same wherever they are, saw little that resembled the Gaza Strip in the autumn of 2000 in Clichy-sous-Bois in the autumn of 2005. In the course of her article, Phillips spoke of how ‘night after night, France [had] been under attack by its Muslim minority’, how the country was being ‘torched from Normandy to the Mediterranean’, how it had ‘sniffed the danger that had arisen in its midst’ and quoted a little-known writer called Bat Ye’Or who is a favourite of the more unsavoury right-wing American websites and believes that the European Union is a conspiracy dedicated to creating one Muslim-dominated political entity that will comprise most of the Middle East and Europe.

“Phillips also conflated Arabs (a race), and Muslims (a global religion of 1.3 billion, some devout, some not). This is dangerous nonsense, but needs to be studied.”

15 comments ↪
  • brokenleg

    Have a look at 60 Minutes tonight. If their story about the French riots is anything like their promos, you can't expect some pretty ridiculous claims.The promo goes like this (paraphrased) "The French riots prove once and for all, Australians can't ignore muslim extremists".The French riots were exactly like the MacQuarie Fields riots but on a much larger scale. The spark (police chasing people to their deaths), the demographics (young males), and the socio-economic factors (high unemployment/ghettos/limited prospects) are identical in both cases.But notice how 60 minutes focusses on the religion (most probably totally lapsed)of the criminals involved, and draws a ridiculous link to international terrorism.Anything for ratings.Maybe someone should have written an article saying, "The Anglo MacQuarie Field riots prove once and for all that we can't ignore the Christian Fundamentalists in Washington" to prove how stupid 60 minutes have become.One more thing. Check out my blog to see the latest effort from our home grown neo-Nazi movement.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks, checked out the Neo-Nazis, sad cases. As for 60 minutes and the usual media suspects, it's far too complex to actually examine why something is happening, so much easier to talk about radical Islam, the new bogeyman, akin to the 'threat' of Soviet Communism, another Western exaggeration. It'll fool some…And let's not forget, Ronnie Reagan ended Communism…and supported death squads in Latin America, but let's not focus on the negatives.

  • Wombat

    Ronnnoe was also famour for saying things like, "facts are stupid things" and, "you can tell a lot from a man by the way a man eats jellybeans".

  • J F

    The French appear to be choosing sides for a game of bigot ball.

  • Pete's Blog

    Well it just looks like thugs being thugs.However its significant that young men in Australia of Lebanese ethnic origin enjoy a higher than usual crime rate (rapes etc) and they appear to form a majority of the suspected terrorists recently picked up here.So it appears that generalisations can be drawn in the Lebanese case on basis of ethnic origin.Islam itself is probably a secondary excuse. Seems the would-be terrorists do not appreciate Australia being part of the force occupying Iraq – an ethnic "Arab" country.

  • boredinHK

    AL, soviet communism wasn't ever a threat ? you just keep getting better with the passage of time !

  • Wombat

    If it was a threat, it was singinificantly less than we were led to believe at the time.

  • boredinHK

    You must be young stupid ignorant or all of these at the same time.What did you believe at the time incidentally?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Mountains of evidence that proves the West exaggerated the threat is there to read. Not unlike the current terrorism 'threat'. Perspective…and spare the hyperbole.

  • boredinHK

    Mountains ?The threat was real – you maintain there was exaggeration because you are an apologist for a failed political philosophy.The cuban missile crisis was what – a tea party ? A nuclear threat can't be called an exaggeration can it ?Mountains of Pilger bilge doesn't cut it as evidence by the way….

  • Wombat

    It amazes me how when confronted by the futility of the Vietnam war (that in spite of the US being defeated, communism did not spread like cancer as we were warned), the same appologists argue the Soviet communist threat was already in shaper decline.Nontheless, when it suites them, they fallback to the position of this massive threat that esistsed until the fall of the Berlin Wall.The Cuban missile crisis is of no consequence, because the same threat exists today. In fact, the threat is greater given the greater range, accuracy and lethality of these weapons and the fact that the Russians are a good ten years ahead of the Aemrican's in missile technology.Boredinhk, you don't need Pilger to preach this stuff. It is widely aknowledged, even by former Cold War armchair warriors.Your perspective is about 10 years behind the times.

  • boredinHK

    You miss the point – AL stated that soviet communism was a threat in western minds only-" radical Islam, the new bogeyman, akin to the 'threat' of Soviet Communism, another Western exaggeration. "Soviet communism existed , it was expansionary , it was an aggressive political idea – ask any of the invaded countries. These wars and invasions don't count as disasters for all involved?How can someone claim these activites weren't a threat?The cuban missle crisis was a crisis and could have been a disaster. It could happen now but that doesn't make it less of a crisis then.I'm not trying to hide the truth but AL needs to keep looking for the truth in all the aspects to these stories and unfortunately he doesn't seem to be able to.You don't need to tell me that all and sundry political operators and sleaze bags used the existence of the soviet union to build up false concerns and exploit these fears in numerous ways – that is all reasonable comment. But you lose any credibility if you try and assert there was NO threat.I'll leave out of it the internal problems the soviet had – gulags for dissidents , psychiatric treatments for troublemakers , environmental disasters from one side of the country to the other- they aren't a threat to cloistered western know it alls are they ?

  • Wombat

    Fair enough comment. I'll let Ant speak for himself, but the way that the terror threat is being packaged does have a ring of fmailiarity to it.Interesting that you mention, "the internal problems the soviet had – gulags for dissidents , psychiatric treatments for troublemakers , environmental disasters from one side of the country to the other-". Some of the gulags have been taken over by the US under the cheerful name of "black sites", and that Bush's environmental policies have wreaked devastation to the environment throughout the US. Psychiatric treatments for troublemakers is verold school, when you have the media at your beck and call to do the charactre assaninations on your behalf.The Soviets were overtly aggressive in conduction the invasion of terrotories adjacent to their borders, but it woudl be naive to suggest the subversion in many parts of Aouth America, and countries throughout the world has been any less devastating.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Communism no threat? Vastly exaggerated, much for political gain in the West. Sound familiar?

  • Davo

    The riots in France and probably formed by a number of factors (none of them relating to radical islam).Firstly it seems that often European education systems (and possibly society at large) are not as inclusive of immigrant children as they should be. And secondly, the french operate a social democratic model of the economy which doesn't not appear (at least in the french and german experience) to provide their low skilled and unemployed (read immigrant) workers with employment.Add in police racial profiling and brutality and you get a reciepe for disaster.Here's a couple of frenchie quotes."The troubled suburbs are the extreme expression of a country which despairs for the future. They are not another France but France as we have built, and managed it, for the past 30 years." – Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy "The French social model is not a model, since no-one wants to imitate it, it is not social since it leads to record unemployment and it is not French since it is based on class struggle and a refusal of reformism" – The ex-minister Patrick Devedjian http://www.johannorberg.net