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.

Piers: no elitism here

Piers Akerman, Murdoch’s dutiful columnist, fails to understand the outcry over convicted Australian drug smuggler Nguyen Tuong Van, due to be hanged in Singapore this Friday. Indeed, he seems to believe that the death penalty is a sign of a country’s maturity. Akerman, always portraying himself as a man of the people, is actually little more than a useful stirrer of bigotry and malice:

“Nguyen, according to friends, seems to have come to terms with his crime and his punishment in a far more graceful manner than those shrilly hectoring the Singapore Government over its well-publicised drug laws.

“Despite facing the ultimate penalty, he has not succumbed to the madness that seems to have affected many in the media and political worlds, indeed, there seems in his writings to be a sense of relief that he will soon be spared their incessant irrelevant chattering.

“Though he has no choice in the matter, it does seem unfortunate in the extreme that death will provide Nguyen with his only release from their nonsensical posturing.

“We now wait for the same vacuous fools to mount another meaningless assault against capital punishment – and call for the cancellation of sporting events – when the smiling [Bali] assassin Amrozi is given the date for his execution.

Let’s hope that more than sports fixtures are scheduled for the same day, the event of his death should be marked with parties.”

23 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    Having had a few e-mail tussles with Piers Akerman, I am amazed someone as ignorant and so blatantly biase as he could ever be given a column. He has never offered even a moresel of criticiosm of Howard or US policy, even in the face of obvious mistakes and goes after their critics like a pitbull.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    He's only still working at Murdoch because Rupert likes someone with complete loyalty, to both himself and those in power. A useful idiot, in other words.

  • Shabadoo

    I, for one, will be dining on a fabulous plate of Singapore-style chili crabs, washed down by copious amounts of chilled crisp Tassy sparkling, to celebrate our ally's contribution to stamping out the global drugs trade. Now if only we could let them into the King's Cross injecting room to sort that joint out, eh?How you can complain about Piers' biases and yet happily link to loons like "Justin" Raimondo…well, all I'll say is that if Akerman is an idiot (he ain't), at least he's useful!p.s. Note the typical Anty slurring of opponents, rather than engaging the argument. Why should we care about NVT? Looking at the forums on the Fairfax sites – you should be familiar with that part of the operation 🙂 – most people agree with PA, not you. But I guess they're all stupid redneck bigots, not even worth responding to. Indeed…

  • Bernard

    Its a bit rich for the hanging hack Akerman to laud the cold blooded savagery of killing an Australian drug courier when he himself was an addicted user of hard drugs.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Bernard,Indeed, what do they say about 'reformed addicts'?As for the people wishing for death by hanging, guess that makes it OK then. As the world slowly abolishes the death penalty, only barbaric regimes (and the US) maintain it.

  • Antony Loewenstein
  • Shabadoo

    Bulletin? I can't trust that…big corporate media lies.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    For a man who wants to celebrate when a man is executed, surely discovering that Singapore works with the Burmese govt is something your precious, bankrupt moral code can handle…

  • Wombat

    Shab,How you can compare Justin Raimondo and Piers Ackerman is a real mental gymnastic excercise. For a start, Raimondo knows what he's talking abotu and doesn't mind lifting his arse off the sofa to do some old fashioned investigative journalism. I worry about you Shad sometimes.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    What, journalism isn't supposed to be merely rewriting govt press releases?I had no idea..

  • David Heidelberg

    Piers is so far up Howard's arse, he hasn't seen daylight since 1996.Shab's ridiculous assertion that executing a drug mule will in anyway help stamp out drug trafficking is so naive, I'm beginning to think he/she must be about 17 years old.Having said that, I'm pretty sure Shab is actually Mike Jericho.

  • Pete's Blog

    Dear Comrade ShabaThe execution of Nguyen merely removes a possible future witness in future trials of more significant drug figures.You have to realise that illegal drugs are a business like any other. The shrewd profit and get richer (certain policemen, politicians and judges in Australia, Indonesia etc) and the suckers hang or do longer stretches than JI's Bashir. The death penalty is a brutal veneer of activity to protect the influential.

  • orang

    Bernard said… Its a bit rich for the hanging hack Akerman to laud the cold blooded savagery of killing an Australian drug courier when he himself was an addicted user of hard drugs. Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:06:11 PM "Reading the 1st link – Akerman is yet another convert from being a Trotsky/Mao/Marxist….looney to now a war hugging Right Wing sycophant. What is it with these people?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "I, for one, will be dining ….to celebrate our ally's contribution to stamping out the global drugs trade."Shabadoo, how many state sanctioned murders have to occur before one starts to question this "solution" to the War on Drugs?Hmmm. The same mental framework that justifies Iraq methinks.

  • smiths

    there is no war on drugs,there is no war on drug dealers,theres a repetitive attack on soft targets and petty criminals and a lot of noise covering up the real truth,drugs run along the same slippery pipes as weapons, illegal oil and increasingly young girls, and the agencies paid to stop it are the cornerstones of the trades

  • boredinHK

    A couple of people imply there are some Mr Bigs in the trade . Any indirect references available to explain who exactly ?Just curious .Corrupt judges in Australia ? Is there a consensus that this occurs occasionally or is it rare?Sorry for the questions -just trying to learn about Australia .

  • dusty_buster

    Nang Dong Dang can go swing as far as I'M concerned!At least they are'nt hanging gays for the 'crime' of sodomy huh…

  • CB

    "drugs run along the same slippery pipes as weapons, illegal oil and increasingly young girls, and the agencies paid to stop it are the cornerstones of the trades."Your proof?

  • David Heidelberg

    Jesus CB, Singapore's involvement with the Burmese regime is famous.Also, I'm sure that you don't need reminding about how the CIA funded the overthrow of the Nicaraguan Government during the 80's.

  • Wombat

    Excellent link David thanks

  • boredinHK

    What has Jesus to do with this ?The articles are really old . The facts may be true but are members of the Singapore Govt also gun runners ? Young girls smugglers -these days …?Orang asks " what is with these people?"Well,what is it you don't understand?

  • David Heidelberg

    boredinhk,The person who wrote one of the articles is a Singaporean politician.He made the same points last week, here.

  • boredinHK

    Interesting point but the same can be said of many investment funds. I would think if we all bothered to look at the scope of their investments in many places many grubby deals would emerge but gun running , smuggling young girls -where does this fit in or is this added to spice up the story?Profiting from investments overseas is always going to be open to such broad criticism. Apart from the one drug warlord mentioned who are the other people? Are you suggesting the top layers of government (in Singapor or elsewhere )are involved in the actual trading of drugs or laundering their profits?And someone(smiths ) talked about corrupt judges – again where and who ?Are they saying Singapores judges are corrupt?As an aside to all this I'd always had the impression Hong Kong was the commercial and business end of the heroin trade. The Triads are multinationals themselves these days and many large corporationshave very dark pasts. Of course that is the way it is up here ….