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.

What balance?

Israeli historian and dissenter Ilan Pappe explains the inherent pro-Israel bias at the BBC:

“The decision to maintain the disciplinary procedures against [BBC journalist] Barbara Platt and even to go as far as to establish a commission of inquiry into the way the BBC covers the Palestine question (BBC bias complaint upheld, November 26) is one of many manifestations of the grotesque phase we have all reached in this troublesome part of the world.

“Had it not been for Ms Platt’s balanced and informative reports, it would have been difficult to distinguish between the BBC coverage of the occupied territories and that of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. Ms Platt admirably tried for many months to “balance” a simple imbalanced reality: of Israeli occupation and Palestinian victimisation. The atrocities on the ground – the killing of children and women and the blowing up of houses – warranted an emotional response as it is, and it was only natural that once, and only once, this would show in her reports (as many BBC reporters allowed themselves a show of emotion when reporting the deaths of George Best or Princess Diana). Only outside pressure could have produced such an ill-thought procedure and action.

“As for the inquiry commission, one can save taxpayers’ money. The cable companies in Israel come now and then under official pressure for allowing free access to international TV news stations. They would like to remove CNN and al-Jazeera. There are no complaints in Israel about Fox news (representing the US neoconservative point of view) and the BBC. The BBC is indeed a pro-Israeli news agency and is going to remain so if its directors silence the professional reporting of Barbara Platt.”

Ilan Pappe
Tivon, Israel

Indeed, every major news organisation in the Western world shares a similar bias.

29 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    Oh, puh-leeeze! The BBC is about as pro-Israel as Patrick Buchanan. (Or Anty Loewenstein, for that matter).Why is it that the BBC breaks down Israelis killed by Palestinians by civilians v. soldiers, while Palestinians are treated as one lumpen group of victims?Or check out the reporting of others like Orla Guerin, never failing to justify a riot so long as it's run by Palestinians.Here's a nice piece outlining BBC anti-Israel bias.The BBC is at the vanguard of the dhimmi-tizing of British civilisation. Let's not forget that they were tied up in knots even about calling the 7/7 bombers terrorists!The BBC is a great example of the old British Foreign Office "Lawrence of Arabia" complex, romanticising the noble savages at every turn…

  • Shabadoo

    p.s. If a BBC reporter broke down at the site of the murder of, say, a pizza restaurant full of innocent Israeli families (not old and dessicated murderers like Arafat), what do you reckon the reax would be?

  • Ibrahamav

    I'm sure she also cries at the execution of pedaphiles who murdered their victims after raping them.

  • Glenn Condell

    Why, for the umpteenth time, don't you two bugger off over there to help if it means that much to you? What is more important to you – Israel or Australia? Be honest. If the answer's as obvious as it appears to be, you'd be more use over there helping extinguish the Palestinians than here helping make us a target of Muslim terror. I classify your attitudes as a danger to my country, as unAustralian (a term I promised myself years ago I'd never use, but it's apposite here). And if, as I suspect you are part of an organised campaign to marginalise and/or harass Antony, a stridently anti-Likudnik Jew (the most dangerous kind for your lot) then I'd go further and say that you deserve the type of punishment that you recommend for your ethnic enemies. You are as low as they come in blogland – your last comment ibrahamav would make a person capable of reflection and perspective ashamed. But you don't do shame do you, or even apology for that matter. Sometimes I almost feel you're hardly human, hardly the same species as me. Does that feeling ring a bell with you blokes I wonder?

  • Ibrahamav

    Why is the death of an Arab muslim living in the palestinian territories less important to you than the death of an Austrailian? Are they not both people? Do they not both have souls? Are you willing to deny the humanity of one because he wasn't born closer to where you live?I guess I'm not the same speciaes as you. You're just some sick racist bloke who demands that white people rule the world!

  • Wombat

    Your lofty standrds of hipocrisy never cease to amaze Ibraham. The same person who considers the death of anyone but an Israeli collateral damage, who salivates at the idea of Pasltinians being rotinely executed, has the gall to lecture Glenn on the value of human life.The same person who considers himself part of the "chosen" has the chuzpah to berate Gelnn for being a white supremacist!!Have you no shame?

  • Ibrahamav

    My standards of hypocricy? I'm surprised you don't need a breathing coach.You consider me to be 'chosen' and superior to you. It part of your personality and why you whine so much. It is what drives your antisemitic bent. It is the palestinian who preaches routine execution of jews in his mosque, school, street, home, and places it in his newspapers and television programming.And you really need to wipe of the foam, it's spraying all over your post.

  • Wombat

    You brought up the term "chosen" in a tant to Eddie a while back. The term never occurred to me, but it was most revelanign of your opinion of yourself and others.I don't regard you or anyone else as superior or inferior to me. Are you suggesting I should?

  • Ibrahamav

    I'm suggesting nothing. I'm stating that your inferiority complex leads you towards your antisemitic stance. It is fairly obvious which group you believe is superior to you above all (seeing as there are so many others that you feel are slightly better than you)If you don't understand it, it is not up to me to enlighten you. That would only make you feel more inferior and I am not about to launch you into a cycle which would probably end with your suicide.

  • Wombat

    Such sompassion and empathy Ibraham, and that you are so concerned for my well being.I do appreciate the psycho analysis, but you are way off the mark. Superiority and inferiority do not apply to the value of human beings in my world. I honestly do beleuev that all men are created equal, hence my oft overt leaning towards supporting the underdog.May I ask what you mean by "there are so many others that you feel are slightly better than you"? You assertion "If you don't understand it, it is not up to me to enlighten you", is becomming awefully boring and repetitive. Seems like a pretty obvious tactic of avoiding having to jssutify an argument. I noticed you you are very good at that.

  • Ibrahamav

    I'm not concerned with your well being. But no matter how reprehensible you are, I would not want to be responsible for you doing away with yourself, no matter how much the world would benefit.And "If you don't understand that, it is not up to me to enlighten you"

  • Shabadoo

    Addamo, once again you fall for the social determinist trap that suggests a Newtonian relationship between action X and result Y in human behaviour – i.e., Palestinian "oppression" (largely brought on by themselves and the Arab "leaders" who claim to love them) ipso facto leads to increased terror threats here.But plenty of people are "oppressed" around the world, often by governments that Australia is or has been friendly with, yet their co-ethnics here do not threaten us with terrorism.Perhaps there's something deeper in the culture or religion that's wrong here?

  • Wombat

    And Shab, you fall for the right wing trap of creating moral quivalent straw men.Try this thought experiment Shab. If the Palestinians got their act together (in your eyes), do you think that their luck would suddenly improve re territorial rights? Do you think that Israel would hand back the West Bank, withdraw (completely) from Gaza and give them their share of Jerusalem?QED.BTW. Who specifically are you referring to when you mention "plenty of people are "oppressed" around the world, often by governments that Australia is or has been friendly with"?

  • Ibrahamav

    If the palestinians got their act together, their lot will improve. But they will not get Jerusalem nor certain portions of the West Bank.There is no requirement to give it to them. Acting like angels doesn't get you what is not yours to begin with. And if that is what it will take before they lay down their arms and learn to live in peace as neighbors with their equals, then they'd better prepare their wills.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ibrahamav,Your extremism continues to emerge. Never get Jerusalem or certain portions of the West Bank? I suspect years ago you wouldn't have thought the Palestinians deserved anything at all.Just wait a few years, history will overtake you – as it does for all Zionists – and your goalposts will have shifted.You clearly move in very hallowed circles.

  • Wombat

    Ibraham,Does certain portions of the West Bank mean the majority , or a specific but lesser portion of it?As for Jerusalem, I was not referring to the whole city, but the Palestinians share of it.

  • Ibrahamav

    Whatever portion is mutually decided on by the two parties, taking account israel's security needs as envisioned in 242. As for Jerusalem, they will probably have to settle for a small symbolic piece of land and control of the Temple Mount. There is no palestinian share of the city.Israel doesn't need the headache of exercising control of the mount, just sovereignty. The fight amongst the Jews reguarding control would be too much to bear.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Whatever portion is mutually decided on by the two parties, taking account israel's security needs as envisioned in 242."Does the inordinate quantity of water Israel currently – ehem – "appropriates" come under "Israel's security needs as envisioned in 242"? Your vast expertise in matters of exegetical analysis of international law would be greatly appreciated here.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… But they will not get Jerusalem nor certain portions of the West Bank. There is no requirement to give it to them."This "no requirement" of which you speak … is it Bibical in nature?I seem to remember a question you refused to answer a while ago. It was about where the boundaries of Israel were, as stated in Numbers 34 of the Geriatric Testament. I don't know why you refused to answer. For some reason you kept asking ME for the answer (as if I was somehow the expert and you were the poor flailing acolyte). Anyway, for the record, I reckon the land of Israel as described in Numbers 34 would have to be AT LEAST this area, if not a bit larger than that. Do YOU think the land (as described in Numbers 34) isa) smaller than on the map supplied?b) the same size as on the map supplied?c) larger than on the map supplied?And does this have anything to do with your assertion that "There is no requirement to give it to them"? Come my child! Be brave! Give an honest and forthright answer! Please don't re-affirm your chicken status.

  • Ibrahamav

    When you define the boundaries of land as stated in Bamidbar, then we might have another useless discussion which you won't understand.There is no legal requirement. It has to do with resolution 242.

  • neoleftychick

    AntonyI don't think it is really appropriate to describe Ilan Pappe an an "historian." I have read his work and journalism. He is more a "commentator" than a reputable scholar.Yes, the conditions of the "Palestinians" are not very nice. The issue is very complex. Personally, I lean more towards the view that the poor miserable ignorant "refugees" who have grown out of the landless peasants that fled Israel in 1948 are the victims of three things:1. The 80% who landed in refugee camps were among the world's most uneducated and unskilled people. The other 20% all fled to their mansions in Cairo, Damascus, or to well-paid lives throughout the Arab world. These 20% live very fine lives today, strutting the world-stage with the tired Muslim whinge of "we are victims."2.The "refugees" are victims of their bretheren. The United States offered Syria $400 million to accept the "Palestinians" in 1949. The Syrians almost accepted. Alas, the eternal inability of Muslim Arabs to organise viable states came to the fore and the Syrians just abandoned the "Palestinians."And let us all be very clear here. These "Palestinians" are no such thing. They are SYRIANS. The only people who were ever called "Palestinians" were Palestinian JEWS.And let us NEVER forget that "Palestine" was divided into Jordan (80%), Syria, and Israel. In the end, israel was given about 10% of Mandatory Palestine, which it agreed to, even though it was clearly unjust and the British had screwed the Jews royally. And they continued to screw the Jews royally even after Hitler and al-Husseini's gas pipes had been turned off.3. Lastly, the Palestinian Arabs have never had legitimate leadership. At first, they refused to recognise Israel's right to exist. They refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of UN resolutions from 181 to 242 to 303. Nowadays, they rely on the one that has the LEAST legal authority; the 1949 181.The "Palestinians" should not be living the way they are. But a solution to their largely self-inflicted plight cannot be made at the expense of Israel's legitinate and well-earned right to security.Personally, I think the biggest mistake was the Soviet Union and the United States not letting them sort it out once and for all in 1948.

  • Ibrahamav

    Lefty, I certainly don't agree with all you've written but I applaud your effort. There is tones of historical evidence of the Arabs in the region being referred to as Palestinians as well as Syrians. Just a western mindset makes us think of pre-mandate palestinians as Jews. While many of the refugees were tenent farmers, there certainly was a significant number of land owners. And, culturally, leaving a war zone was accepted, and they should not be penalized because of their culture. But because of the unique definition of Refugee for this one situation, definitions not used before or since, it appears there will never be a solution which will satisfy the Arab side and keep Israel as a refuge for the world's Jews, as it was recreated to be.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "While many of the refugees were tenent farmers, there certainly was a significant number of land owners. And, culturally, leaving a war zone was accepted, and they should not be penalized because of their culture."Holy Crap! What have you done with the REAL Ibrahamav? Give him back to us!

  • Ibrahamav

    When not having to deal with those whose outlook is basically antisemitic, there is no need to denounce the other side. realistic discussions can be held with realistic goals.But when the otherside operates with an antisemitic bent, well, fuck them. You can't reason with idoits like that.

  • Wombat

    I don't know about you Eddie, but I could certainly get used to the new Ibraham.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Addamo_01 said… "I don't know about you Eddie, but I could certainly get used to the new Ibraham."Nah. Not crazy enough.

  • Ibrahamav

    "Why did the antisemite attempt to bait the Jew?"

  • neoleftychick

    ibrahamavI am relatively new to learning about this whole issue, so I would be grateful if you could provide me with some sources on land-ownership in the 1940s. I know little beyond the Ottoman land reforms in the 1850s, the division of Palestine into various various vilayets and sunjaks, of which Syria, Beirut and Jerusalem were significant. I also thought that the land was owned by about 200 large, rich, and mostly absentee landowners and the sultan. I thought that Jewsih immigrants bought most of the land, which got the traditional serfs really mad.So please point me in the direction of better data if I am off-course here!I'd also love to learn more about "Palestinian" identity pre-al-Naqba. I was under the impression that the Pals thought of themselves as Syrians. No?Ta.

  • Ibrahamav

    Now you're making me read. The Jews were able to purchase about 6% to 8% of the land. Various edicts were created to prevent the Jewish groups from buying more. About 50% could be called State land owned by whatever group exercized soverenty at the time, and the other 42% in private hands, mostly in large holding by abseentee owners.More later.