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.

News bytes

– US Christian right-winger warns leading Zionist extremist not to criticise their religious beliefs otherwise they will withdraw support for Israel. The unholy alliance between Christian Zionism and Jewish Zionists is starting to unravel. And the problem is?

– Perhaps the most vilified politician in the world, Hugo Chavez, recently won yet another free and open election in Venezuela. His ideology seriously threatens US ambitions in the region, hence the attempts to smear and overthrow him.

– Der Spiegel reports on Iraq’s deteriorating security situation.

– Not all Australian public servants are craven:

“Australia’s representative on the coalition body that governed occupied Iraq objected to US proposals to spend billions of dollars of Iraqi oil revenue on questionable projects.

“Neil Mules, Australia’s former ambassador in Iraq, protested against or questioned many projects that US officials from the Coalition Provisional Authority proposed in the weeks before it handed control of Iraq and its finances to an interim government in June last year.”

– Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave Australian Prime Minister John Howard some home truths this week: “Iraq has become a training ground for terrorism.”

– Reuters reports that Poland was “the heart of the CIA’s secret detention network in Europe, with bases there until recently holding a quarter of the 100 detainees estimated held in such camps worldwide.”

War pimp alert: Israel wants the US to be tougher on Iran. In other words, place US soldiers in harm’s way, while Israel calls the shots.

– Yet more evidence of US unilateralism ruining relations with the Arab world:

“Omar Al-Zubaidi, a well-known reporter for the Arabic satellite channel ‘Al-Arabiya’, ripped his visa application and other papers in two in front of the American ambassador at a press conference. He had been told to submit the application and other documents to the US Embassy in Riyadh but he tore them up, saying, ‘We do not want your visa!'”

– While Jewish settlers from Gaza start to learn about life in the real world, relatives of murdered Palestinian civilians have filed a lawsuit in the US against former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter for the deaths of 14 Palestinian civilians who were killed in a targeted hit on a senior Hamas operative in 2002. Once again, military and governments elites are starting to feel the heat for their actions.

25 comments ↪
  • neoleftychick

    I know much is made of the power of AIPAC. My reading is that AIPAC's power is exaggerated by the Usual Suspects.I have also often heard of the "christian Zionists." What is a good source that meticulously documents the power of organised Xian groups in influencing pro-Israel decision-making in the US?I would imagine that a lot of "Xian Zionists" are like athiest Zionists (such as myself), whose views are not influenced by Xian lobby groups. My own Zionism is rooted in my liberal/left politics.

  • Shabadoo

    Gotta love an election where the opposition didn't even bother showing up, and where the voters stayed home in droves in protest. Poverty and repression grow unabated in Venezuela, while he pulls political stunts like offering oil to Massachussetts (shades of Mao's giving grain to the Soviets while Chinese starved). And of course, now that he's got a supermajority, he's essentially dictator for life, he can remove the two-term limit.More here.

  • Wombat

    Steven Rosen, former the director of foreign-policy issues at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was once quoted as saying “A lobby is like a night flower: it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.”You can read the articel from the New Yorker here:REAL INSIDERSA pro-Israel lobby and an F.B.I. sting.by JEFFREY GOLDBERGhttp://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/050704fa_factSo judgig by this, it would be the objective of a group like AIPAC to perpetuate the idea that it's influence is modest.

  • Wombat

    Yeah Shab, I can tell you’re really pissed about Venezuela. And sorry to break it to you mate, but if poverty and repression were on the increase, then Chavez wouldn’t have a base, seeing as the elite hate his guts. It was the poor after all that reversed the US sponsored coup in 2003 after all.Facts sucks don't they?The poor turnout was because Chavez's majority was a foregone conclusion. The poor all halve health care and he’s even providing cheap oil to poor US districts. What a black eye for the Bushies that in is!! In fact, what you don't realize is that Venezuela's press is more free than just about any Western country, which being run by elites, is highly critical of Chavez.Best you run back to Timmy baby with something more substantial than this lame piece Shab.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Any kind of independence from the US is heresy and must be dealt with, according to some. Shame most Western countries don't grow a backbone, like Australia.

  • Wombat

    Poor Whitlam tried that and look at what happened to him.

  • Shabadoo

    Yes, it's a really free press they've got there.Bitch all you want about a compliant press and sedition laws here, but name me a journo who's gone to jail here for "disrespecting" Howard?

  • neoleftychick

    antonyThere is no backbone without planes, boats, guns, and bombs. It is as simple as that. Australia is strategically isolated and vulnerable nation with a small population. We don't really have the luxury of eschewing powerful friends.addammoAgain with the conspiracy nonsense. WHERE do you learn your history?

  • Wombat

    Conspiracy Lefty? Darl, haven't you heard of Whitlam's plan to Buy Back thr Farm? Your perception of history is a tad limited.

  • neoleftychick

    addamoAnd haven't you read about the processes, events, and personalities that drove matters in 1974 and 1975? They had absolutely nothing to do with the United States, and the fact that you insinuate otherwise helps to put many of your other bizarre political and historical "insights" into some perspective. 😉

  • Wombat

    I am not discounting the other factors Lefty, but the fact that no financial institution inthe world was prepared to lend Australia a fairly poultry sum to buy back industry from foreign ownershiup smacks of US influence.

  • neoleftychick

    addamoOh dear. Another Mossad and Sep. 11. The "orientalists" are clearly bang on the money!

  • Wombat

    Nothing to do with Jews or Israel or Mossad Lefty. I think it's you that's getting a little paranoid. The US has always had lot of leverage over banking, along with the UK. How else did Wolf get his position?

  • Ian Westmore

    neoleftychick said… Australia is strategically isolated and vulnerable nation with a small population.Vulnerable? Hardly. The only nation that can seriously threaten us militarily is the U.S.A. No one in our region has the capacity to land more than a token force here.China may be able to in a couple of decades, but the Chinese have never shown expansionist desires. If we come to blows with them it'll be from following the Americans.

  • RapScallion

    neoleftychick says..And haven't you read about the processes, events, and personalities that drove matters in 1974 and 1975? They had absolutely nothing to do with the United States, and the fact that you insinuate otherwise helps to put many of your other bizarre political and historical "insights" into some perspective.Absolute rubbish from your blind side, neoleftychick. While Kerr the cur may have acted independently (from the US at least, but it's hardly likely he wasn't in cahoots with Fraser, who must have KNOWN his tightrope was not going to snap) it is ridiculous to assert that the US wasn't busy in Australian politics in 1974-75, undermining the Whitlam govt. You obviously haven't heard of Christopher Boyce or Pine Gap for a start, or have chosen to forget about them. The various pieces of puny financial kite flying that the media exaggerated to make the Labor govt. look scandalously shady and inept, were, as addamo has said, 'poulty' (was ever a typo more apt?)… and paltry. Ironically, at the next election after that Fraser, who had led the charge against the profligate Labor bastards who wanted to borrow so much, trumpeted something like $4billion dollars of loans from overseas that were going to do miraculous things to the economy. On Chavez – haven't we heard this story before? Chile? Nicaragua? One thing that really gets up the noses of the right wingers like shab is that leaders like Allende, Chavez, Ortega and even Castro (till he made himself a dictator, but the US doesn't need such extreme action as an excuse to start its subterfuge) manage to retain the respect of the hoipolloi. The 1984 elections in Nicaragua, won by Ortega, were generally found to be free and fair, yet were boycotted by many opposition parties and former Somozistas. After that? You dont hear much about the Contras any more, or Oliver North. Anyway, the Contras' destabilisation of the country and American cash must have contributed a great deal to the defeat of the Sandinistas in 1990, after they had been expected to win. While no government is perfect, Sandinistas or Chavez or Whitlam not excepted, there is no just cause for intervention of the type usually engineered by the USA, a country in which the unemployment rate is kept artificially low by the vast number of men in prison.

  • Wombat

    I have mentioned it before, but John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" is a true eye opener in this regard. It is the account of an economist who's job it was to cook the books so that 3rd world countries would be able to secure loans they woudl never be able to pay.This would ensure the country in question woudl be forced to give over it's natural recources to US interests for next to nothing and keep the country under the thumb.When the leaders of such countries could not be bought, Perkins talks about how the jackals (the CIA) were brought in to create unrest in the country. I that failed, then there was the miltary opition.Before Chavez, there was Jaime Roldós, president of Ecuador, and Omar Torrijos, president of Panama, both who accidently (not) died in fiery crashes.Here is a brief interview Perkins did last year.http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=04/11/09/1526251

  • David Tan

    … the Chinese have never shown expansionist desires.Tibet?Taiwan?Mongolia?Read some history westmore.

  • David Tan

    Calling Whitlam's government shady and inept is a fair and balanced assessment.

  • Shabadoo

    OMG, addamo, your typo/malapropisms get funnier by the day…"a fairly poultry sum"!?!?!?!? MaGRo herself couldn't come up with anything as good!

  • Shabadoo

    p.s. a couple of other things: to the person who said that chavez was loved by the "hoi polloi", why did only 25% turn out to vote for him?and anty, what's the point of this idiotic saudi reporter ripping up his visa application? rank arab hypocrisy i reckon; have you ever seen the saudi visa application? it's harder to get into that country than the royal sydney golf club – and in both cases, you'd be S.O.L. on account of being jewish!

  • Wombat

    Who gives a crap how many voted for him Shab? Why don't you ask all those who didn't come to vote against him? Of course, you vould do what you always do and run to Timmy Blair for his take on it.

  • Wombat

    BTW. Shaby,Seeing as you worship the example being set in the land fo the free, you might want to chekc out what's going on in Ohio.A law that will make democracy all but moot in Ohio is about to pass the state legislature and to be signed by its Republican governor.[with the lowest governor approval on record (5%-8%)]. Despite massive corruption scandals besieging the Ohio GOP, any hope that the Democratic party could win this most crucial swing state in future presidential elections, or carry its pivotal US Senate seat in 2006, are about to end. House Bill 3's most publicized provision will require positive identification before casting a vote. But it also opens voter registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio. When added to the recently passed HB1, which allows campaign financing to be dominated by the wealthy and by corporations, and along with a Rovian wish list of GOP attacks on the ballot box, democracy in Ohio could be all but over.Who the hell wants this kind of democracy? At least the mullahs are frank about their despotism.

  • Shabadoo

    Addamo, your cluelessness is almost as hysterical as your spelling…how many millions did Dubya win by? Little tip: you'll never win future elections if you keep fighting the last ones.

  • Wombat

    As usual Shab, you continue to shift the argument rather than admit that your logic is being diced.Your throw up one argument, and when it's rebutted, you throw up another one, pending that you are winning along the way.How many millions did Chavez win by? How many elections did Chavez have handed to him by a stacked high court? That the only thing you can actually come back with is my spelling shows how pathetic you are.Someone so obsessed with spelling usually needs a really strong laxative. In you case, Drano might be in order.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… it's harder to get into that country than the royal sydney golf club – you'd be S.O.L. on account of being jewish! Jews can join the Royal Sydney Golf Club ….. now. (I'm not so sure about Palestinians however. Time do change however.)