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.

Making peace with ourselves

Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, December 12:

“It can be said that in comparison to the old Sharon, the new Sharon is a man of the centre. So what? One can wager that Kadima will dismantle a few outposts and will maybe even cut into the settlements. However, it would be seemly for a party that has only just now joined the political market not to sell this merchandise under the brand name of “peace.” No country will recognize a border that is determined by one side while annexing territories that are at the heart of the conflict. Even the United States will not relocate its embassy to the capital of Israel until an agreement on the holy places is achieved.

An all-inclusive movement that calls itself a ‘centre party’ can at most help us to make peace with ourselves.”

30 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    Of course, it looks like certain people – the UN and the Palestinians – don't like any borders at all

  • neoleftychick

    Have the West Bank Muslim males got around to reading Resolution 242 yet?

  • Shabadoo

    Dunno, Neo, but I'm just waiting for someone to link last night's car- and people-bashing by Religion of Peace adherents in Maroubra and elsewhere to Palestine…

  • Wombat

    This rioting stuff is better than sex for you isn't it Shab?

  • Shabadoo

    Hunh? No, it's hideous, if completely predictable. But nice try.

  • neoleftychick

    ShabadooI hear that Keysar Trad founder of the "Islamic Friendship Association" and Sheik Hilayly are about to hold a joint news conference revealing that it was "The Jews" who started the Cronulla "riot." ;))

  • Wombat

    Predictable? Why's that? Because it involves people of Middle eastern appearance? Did you predict the Redfern riots 22 months ago, or the Macquarie Field riots 10 months ago?What was the evidence that helped you predict those events?

  • Wombat

    You two really should be over at Tim Blair's site salivating with the other woudl be Eichmans.I'm sure they are popping champaign corks as we speak.

  • Shabadoo

    1. If you read Tim Blair's blog, he has stated that this is just a fight between two different groups of 'beach trash'. He's hardly celebrating.2. If anyone is doing any celebrating, it's self-flagellating media elites who can point to these incidents as further evidence of Australia's boganish unsophisticated redneck charachter.3. Completely predictable if you've been paying any attention to NSW policing over the years, which has bent over backwards to be PC to the Lebanese / ME community – playing down (scroll down) the gang rapes, etc – Tim Priest said this was where we were heading two years ago.But much easier to cry 'racist' and stick your head in the sand, eh addamo?

  • neoleftychick

    Actually my take is that the huge problems being caused by Islamic males in every pocket of the globe comes down to one thing: Sex.The Islamic baby-boom started 20-30 years after the western one. At the moment males aged 15-24 are by far the largest demographic group in the Arab world and broader Islamic middle east.Because of the totally screwy and appalling suppression of women, Islamic males have few outlets for all that testosterone. That is why male-to-male sex is so common among Arab men, and yet not considered to be "homosexual behaviour."With all this pent-up masculine hormonal activity the sense of loss and humiliation felt by the Islamic males as their societies are so far unable to generate viably social and economic systems that might otherwise channel that hormonal rage. Fortunately Asian and western societies are able to provide these opportunities to young males.In despair and denial the Islamic male has simply exploded (literally)

  • Wombat

    That homosexual behavior you refer to Lefty exists pretty harmoniously in countries like Turkey and Egypt. Your take on the frustrations these men are experiencing is no different to the dissenfranchisement that men of Timothy McVeigh's ilk also contend with – white men who were brought up in a country that promised them the American dream, only to discover that reality is something entirely different.Yes Shab, the gang rapes of 2000 and 2002 were disgusting, and I have female frineds in Western schools who have told ne horror stories about the mentality that is ecnouraged in some of the Lebanese families. Tim Priests article, while most informative, alludes to the same elements that we've seen from Asian crime gangs in Sydney – murder, extrotion, drug runnignand prostitution. But thanks for the link nonetheless.The Lebanese Muslims started the trouble at Cronulla, but the white males were apprently primed for the confrontation. It is evident that they had it in their sights to re-take the beach back from the Lebanese, and that this was the opportunity they were waiting for.While a feeble attempt at humor, your brash remark about this being tied to the Paelsitnian situtation, suggests you are oblivious to cause and effect scenarios.

  • neoleftychick

    AddamoHow many men ARE there of Timothy McVeigh's ilk? He blew up 10 years ago and has since been executed.Addamo, that is a very lame and desperate example of the denial I am talking about. I mean how can you equate the Islamic male problem with one vile white American whose society has delivered justice

  • Wombat

    Lefty,You should get a passport and travel one day darl. Ever heard of the militias in the US? The weekend warriors who think that Washington is a cesspool of the New World Order, and who still fly the Confederate Flag?They do exist. And liek iot or not, tehy balme their lot on the, blacks and the elite. You anthropological theory is not as unique as you would have people believe. What I am equating is the fact that dissenfranchisement happens in both the East and the West.

  • Shabadoo

    Yes, sure, there have been Vietnamese drug gangs, etc, but my impression is that these Lebanese Muslim gangs are much more "you and I against the world" than other ethnic crime syndicates, and with some truly sick attitudes, as you allude to. Where do you think that comes from?An interesting statistic I heard is that there are about as many Hindus as Muslims in England at the moment, yet there are 10 times as many Muslims in jail as Hindus. And locally, I know/am friends with/encounter tons of cardiologists/IT guys/knowledge professionals with names like D'nesh and Ramesh and almost never any with names like Abdul or Mohammed. Wonder what's going on differently in the two cultures?

  • Wombat

    Again thanks for that article. It was a hell of an eye opener Shab.Going back to my teacher in-laws, they told me some remarkable stories about how these Lebanese muslim families would force their children to go to school on weekends, and even when they were sick, in the hope that they would graduate from shcool sooner and start earning money earlier. Obviously the parents arrived in Oz poorly educated and wit the belief that the country was full of riches for the taking.There is evidently a lot of pressure being put on these kids at an early age, and it would appear, they are being set up to fail by the pressure placed on them.The resentment builds very rapidly and lead to troubles for the kids. This is where the family would close ranks. As we saw from the families of the young teenagers behind the gang rapes in 2000, there is never an acceptance of guilt or wrongdoing and conflicts rapidly escalate and older family memebers are involved. A young boy get's his older sister involved, who then gets the older brother and the uncle etc.I agree the problem is cultural but I don't agree the it's religious.

  • Shabadoo

    Yeah…there's also a lot of pressure on Chinese kids in the Eastern Suburbs ('I got a 95% on my test!' 'Where'd the other 5% go?') and elsewhere and I don't see it breaking the same way. I still think that religion and culture are inseparable; even though I came from a largely non-practicing RC family, that's still a part of who I am, just as Anty's Judaism is a part of his – even if neither of us really observe its tougher tenets, it's a part of who we are. Islam, with its inseparability from politics and its treatment of women, among other things, is going to have to have an effect on these kids, just as Confucianism and Buddhist values will have an effect on Asian kids, etc. What sort of effect does it have when they see how women are treated and dress – their mothers, their sisters, etc – and then go out into a world of western-style sexual equality?

  • Wombat

    The reason I disagree is simple.I know enough non Lebanese Muslins to know that these issues are not universal. Two colleagues at work are Egyptian (practicing) are the most tolerant and open people you will ever meet. One is are married to a non muslim too. The way they treat their wives is an exampek to anyone, and they are both very popular peope in general.The same coudl be said for Malaysian muslims I know. So yes, culture and religion can operate independently.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    neoleftychick said… "I hear that Keysar Trad founder of the "Islamic Friendship Association" and Sheik Hilayly are about to hold a joint news conference revealing that it was "The Jews" who started the Cronulla "riot." "You heard no such thing. You are a liar.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    neoleftychick said… "Actually my take is that the huge problems being caused by Islamic males in every pocket of the globe comes down to one thing: Sex."and blah blah blah … (the rest of the neo-Nazi pop-psychology hate-oozing bile).My G~d! Ibrahamav has had a sex change while I've been away!

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "I still think that religion and culture are inseparable;" even though I came from a largely non-practicing RC family, that's still a part of who I am, just as Anty's Judaism is a part of his – even if neither of us really observe its tougher tenets, it's a part of who we are."Yeah and my "culture" is inseparable from my Roman Catholic Atheist Sundanese Muslim religious background too. You're a dill, Shabadoo, a total dill."Islam, with its inseparability from politics and its treatment of women, among other things,"Oh yes, you're absolutely right Shabadoo. Just take the Minangkabau people in Padung, Indonesia. Muslims through-and-through … and their "culture" is matriarchal. That's right Shabadoo, religion and culture are inseperable siamese twins, and Islamic religion/culture is the same everywhere you go. *rolls eyes* (You should get together with Usama sometime. You agree with him on so many things!)

  • Shabadoo

    Well Padung is an exception to the rule not just for Islam, but just about the whole of human history – and it sounds like it's one place that hasn't been "Arabized" by it's Islam (read Naipaul's brilliant "Among the Believers" for a further account of the Arabization of Indonesia and other places conquered by Islam, and the destruction of native culture by this interloping force).I'm really not sure what makes me a 'dill' in commenting that religion and culture are interlinked — is that really that controversial? Help me out, people.

  • Ibrahamav

    Eddie, a dill from way back, is upset that he has no culture. Perhaps his jealousy over those that do give him his antisemitic bent.He certainly has no sense of humor.

  • Shabadoo

    Further to which, the gang rapes of a few years ago were all perpetrated by people who were not observant Muslims who still had a cultural hangover from their religion that said uncovered women were sluts just asking for it – and proudly proclaimed such.

  • Wombat

    I've heard Greeks and Italians make similar derogatory remarks about whit Australian women.I could fill a book with storie from Greek and Italian women I knew, who had to go to extraordinary lengths to avoid being branded a whore.I could also cite the fact that honor killings are still unoffically sanctioned in Brazil. Men are able to beat murder convictions by citing Machismo.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Shabadoo said… "Well Padung is an exception to the rule not just for Islam"Ohhhh – now we have exceptions to the rule.And don't forget Aech, where Islam is formally Sunni, has Shiiah influences mixed in (unthinkable anywhere else), and the culture is mostly Indian. Or Flores where Islam is mingled with Christianity. (Outrageous!) Or Middle Java where Islamic practices are mixed with Hindu mysticism and Buddhism. And let's not forget, say, the Sundanese in South East Java who have somehow managed to give their Islam an ancient mystical Jawa pantheistic flavour. Where-ever you go in the worlds largest Muslim nation you will find extraordinary variety and flexibility. No exception to the rule – there is no rule. (But let's pretend none of that exists because it doesn't fit into the Daniel Pipes cardboard cut-out worldview.)

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Perhaps his jealousy over those that do give him his antisemitic bent."I don't understand what you're saying. Please explain …. if you can.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "He certainly has no sense of humor."Yes, you always did find racism funny, didn't you?

  • Ibrahamav

    As I said, eddie has no sense of humor. Is that why he has that antisemitic bent?

  • Wombat

    No it's probably because Eddie's humour is too high brow for you Ibraham.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Perhaps his jealousy over those that do give him his antisemitic bent."I don't understand what you're saying. Please explain (fully) …. oh go on – just once! I promise I won't ask you anymore difficult questions if you do.