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.

Taking a hit

This is encouraging news in the anti-imperial struggle:

“People in Arab nations believe the Iraq war has brought less peace, more terrorism and contrary to Washington’s claims, will result in less democracy, a new poll indicates.

“When asked which country was the biggest threat to them, most respondents chose Israel or the United States, while France was nominated as the country most respondents would like to be a superpower.

“The University of Maryland/Zogby International poll published on Friday was conducted in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in October.”

Western-backed Arab dictatorships should be worried about such results. After all, countries lacking a free press or freedom of speech are likely to turn against their governments for supporting an unpopular US administration. Furthermore, US-backed regimes in the Arab world may not have supported the Iraq war publicly, but rest assured they’re still keen for US largesse.

The West doesn’t want real democracy in the Middle East because governments unfriendly to the West would likely win open and fair elections.

16 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    Considering that France still acts like it has an empire in much of the world, I'm not sure that foreign meddling is a problem. Perhaps encouraged by the Fracifata they're just playing a long game and figuring it's only a matter of time before France (or some Islamic-Vichy hunk of it) becomes the metropolitan centre of the Islamic world? If so, buy Bordeaux futures – it'll be like land, they're not making it any more!Anyway, China came in number two, so I don't think this really tells us a helluva lot, and is hardly the death knell of the, ahem, "American imperial project".

  • Wombat

    Always the optimist Shab.Democracy and freedom are such sad slogans, I just hope they are hung up to dry before too long. I cannot bear to hear Bush using such words out of context any longer.Regarrdless of how you consider France to conduct itself, the fact that they are regarded so much more hilgly than the US speaks for itself. Good old fashioned intelligence and diplomacy still commands respect.It wil be interesting to see how much longer the governmetns fo Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia can continue to give such unqualified support for the current US foreign policy.

  • Shabadoo

    Oh yeah…the French are really strong at intelligence and diplomacy. Rainbow Warrior, anyone?You mock freedom and democracy and call the other side fascist. How ironic. Guess like all lefties, you just want a tough guy strongman to tell the little people what to do.

  • Samir

    Good post Antony – don't worry about the knockers. You are right, it is good news to see that not everybody is fooled. Remember, Australia spent several hundred million on the illegal war in Iraq, then ten million for Iraqi reconstruction… and fifteen million on fridge magnets!Samir from The View From Fes

  • Wombat

    Rainbow Warrior? Ahemm, how could I foget. I can see how against the backdrop of detroying a country, sinking a boat 2 decades ago would spring to mind. Excuse me while I grab a tissue.And yes, the obligatory tough guy strong man straw man argument. Isn't that the image that Dubya is constantly trying to portray? I mean, who could forget the oversized cod piece he sported on the Abe Lincoln before his Mission Accomplished speech?What is it with you reich wing nutters? Do you all subscribe to the Lame Book of Left Wing Taunts? Isn't it about time they published a new edition? The old one is lookng like a worn out 70's commic book.

  • Shabadoo

    OK, here's some more recent French "diplomacy" in action.And no, the French never loot.In many African countries, the number of French officials INCREASED after "independence", and most of West/Central Africa is still treated as a semi-fiefdom by Paris.

  • Shabadoo

    More French in Action: Complicity in genoicide?I especially love this bit, all you ICJ-lovers: "The Paris army tribunal – the only court that can try French troops for crimes committed abroad – will decide whether to take up the complaint."Good thing they're not all unilateral like the 'Mericans!

  • Wombat

    Great stuff Shab.Yes the French have a sorry history, and remnants of that contiue today. Same thing with the British, the Spanish and Portugese.Now, why don't you try and spend a fraction of that effort digging up dirt on the US, and you efforts will yield a tenfold volume of incriminating examples.

  • orang

    I love these horseshit arguments about the Frogs being not nice either. It's like having a really rotten kid and your stupid wife says well Mr and Mrs so & so's kid down the road is bad too. Ooh, now I feel better, and I have no reason to criticize my dope smoking, butterfly wings pulling, psychotic kid ever again.

  • Ian Westmore

    Samir wrote… …and fifteen million on fridge magnets!Worth every penny, Samir. Since I got mine no low down dirty terrorist scum has succeeded in blowing up my house and thats despite leaving it in the unopened plastic bag it came in. I'm sure it would be even more effective on the fridge door as its makers intended! 😉

  • neoleftychick

    adammoI think you credit the Arab masses with far too much intelligence. Come on, do you REALLY think that the Arab masses know that France voted against invading Iraq because France has been for decades the western nation most entwined with Saddam and lucrative military/chemicals dealings?Do you really think the Arab masses know that Israel's nuclear capabilites are all provided by France?Don't you think the Arab masses might have a little more credibility if their "opinions" were expressed through ballot boxes? A process that might start if they can raise their per capita GDPs above being only 1/3 of the only democracy in the region? 😉

  • Wombat

    I dunno lefty.Spaking of the collective intelligence of the Arab masses sounds extremely presumptious, of not extremely biggoted. If you had pent any time int he Middle East, you might be surprised how aware the average man onthe street is. Certainyl, far better informed than the average US who can't indentify most countries on the map, or think that Tasmania should be the US's next target for pre-emotive strikes.I'm pretty sure teh Arab masses knew that Cheney lobbied for the removal of trade santions with Iran while he was CEO of Halliburton.I'm pretty sure that the Arab masses knew that the 3 newest sumarines in teh Israeli arsenal come from Germany.I'm sure the Arab masses woudl have more respect for ballot boxes in the Middle Easy, if the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were forced to hold legitimate elections, rather than having their dictatorships propped up by the US?I wonder what would happen to that impressive per capita GDP, if that democracy you referred to wasn't receiving massive welfare cheques from a certain benefactor?Amd perhaps the average GPD might improve a notch if the oil proiducing natios weren't forced to provide oil at artificially low prices to teh US.

  • Shabadoo

    The Arab masses also believe that Jews were told not to go into work on 9/11, that George W. Bush is Jewish, and that if they don't supplicate 5 times a day to a black meteorite in the desert, they're going to H-E-double hockey sticks!

  • Wombat

    And most of us now have every reason to believe that you are am imbecile.

  • neoleftychick

    addamoSomehow I think that if the nations of the middle east were to have their "welfare" completely cut off, it would not be Israel that would be most affected.'Forced" to prudece oil at "artificially low" prices. Jesus, what is "real" low price? Last I checked oil was over $50 a barrel. Oh to be so oppressed!

  • Wombat

    I guess that remains to be seen lefty, but I doubt that withotu US support, Israel would be a self-sustaining.Yes we are paying a lot for oil these days, but it's purely relative. Following the pil crisis of the 70's, the US and Saudi Arabia entered into an agreement whereby the proce of oil would be kept low (i.e.e by maximinizing output) in return for US offering support and protection to them. The spikes in oil priceds have been largely driven by speculation in NY and London.