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.

Us and them

Sydney continues to experience racial tensions:

“Sydney erupted in a second night of racial violence last night as Middle Eastern mobs fired shots into the air, attacked women and smashed shops around Cronulla, while up to 600 young men – armed with guns and crowbars – prepared for a battle.”

al-Jazeera wonders why:

“…Tensions between youths of Arabic and Middle Eastern descent and white Australians have been rising in recent years, largely because of anti-Muslim sentiment fuelled by the attacks in the United States in September 2001 and subsequent bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali.”

A combination of machismo, racism – on all sides – and an Australian community that has never fully come to terms with immigration from the Arab world, especially in a post 9/11 environment, all contribute to this unhealthy situation. Prime Minister John Howard might argue that the riots do not reflect deep-seated racism but he knows full well that a great many non-Middle Eastern Australians feel distinctly uncomfortable with the Arab world and its myriad of problems. The Howard government itself stands partly to blame for whipping up anti-Muslim sentiment during the asylum seeker debate.

The issue, however, is far more complicated than that and requires a great deal of self-reflection within the Muslim community and the wider community. Australia’s multiculturalism is not yet a completed picture.

62 comments ↪
  • erinkait

    If a woman has been sexually assualted, it's horrific and should be condemned.Thanks Antony, that's sooo reassuring. Nice to know that you think that sexual assault against women (and girls, I guess) should be "condemned." The utter lack of conviction in your tone is apparent. Do you believe that maybe a jail sentence is appropriate?I get your point, Mr. Weak Tea. Dudes, rape is so unproductive. It's not worth 55 years in jail.

  • anthony

    55 years in jail for rape? It's usually half that isn't it? It's time the state Liberals ran with a policy of castration for rapists, in future elections- that will win them Government, we’ll also see what the people really want to happen to criminals.As for this, Antony:"[The] Australian community that has never fully come to terms with immigration from the Arab world"Why should we? Instead we should massively reduce the number of immigrants from the 'Arab world' in favour of a focus on accepting emigrants from Africa. The situation in the latter continent is much more dire than in the former. Let the incredibly wealthy ME try to stamp out corruption and distribute some of its oil money to their poor, rather than forcing the Western world to accept Arab immigrants. The religion of peace can deal with ME poverty and human rights abuses in its home region.

  • Zoe Brain

    Anthony Lowenstein said:If a woman has been sexually assualted, it's horrific and should be condemned.How extraordinarily insensitive you are to traditional Middle-East Values, Andrew! What a terrible thing to say! You've condemning an entire culture, as worthy as our own, based on purely western values and ethos.Not every Muslim would disagree with your statement. The evidence is though that a not inconsiderable minority would. Here in Australia, there's supposed to be a certain minimum standard, respect for a minimal set of human rights. A large minority of immigrant Muslim women in all countries suffer oppression within their own homes: you don't have to go far to read stories from the UK, France, Denmark, anywhere where there's a large number of unassimilated fundamentalist Muslims to find examples of "honour killings". By Pakistanis, by Afghans, by Arabs, but always by Fundamentalist Muslims from traditionally patriarchal societies. Who is to blame? Partly us, the women of Australia. For not speaking out before. For not complaining when spat upon, called whores or threatened with rape for the way we dress, for not publicising the problem so people like Andrew L don't have a clue as to the scope of the problem. It's a "tiny minority" to them. Well do the sums, figure out how many "young men of middle eastern appearance" went around bashing cars, and in at least one case, the women who drove them, with baseball bats. Figure out how many are likely to be from extended families, where such behaviour is accepted, even encouraged, by the family Patriach.Anthony L, just ask any woman of your acquaintance who has had to ride trains in certain areas of Sydney, whether it's a "tiny minority". Ask them if such things have ever happened to them. Then tell them that they're being hysterical. Or do they actually have to be raped before you'll condemn what happened to them, and cease tolerating it?Andrew L, I'm not saying you're bad, evil, or even the traditional MCP. I'm saying you are so incredibly ignorant of the true situation you are clueless, and so smug in your own ignorance that you're saying some very hurtful things.And it's not all your fault. We should have spoken up before. That's the lesson of the 5000 in Cronulla: not the hundred or so Nazis, or the thousand or so drunken alcohol- and testosterone-poisoned hoons. But the thousands of local residents who just had enough of police inaction, and let themselves do some pretty dumb things out of pure frustration.And nect time before accusing a victim of "hysteria", check the facts first, OK?

  • anthony

    *Ahem* Antony, or Lowy (he dislikes that), not Andrew or Anthony :PAnd, what's an MCP?

  • neoleftychick

    ZoeAbsolutely brilliant! I could not agree more!

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    anthony said… "It's time the state Liberals ran with a policy of castration for rapists, in future elections- that will win them Government, we’ll also see what the people really want to happen to criminals."The Shariah law punishment for rape is death. Harsh enough for you?

  • neoleftychick

    edwardYeah RIGHT! The justice of the Arab male? Tehran or Taleban style? ROFL. They'd call it an "honour killing" and the rapist fuckers would be called "Sheik" from then on.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Zoe Brain said… "How extraordinarily insensitive you are to traditional Middle-East Values, Andrew![sic] What a terrible thing to say! You've condemning an entire culture, as worthy as our own, based on purely western values and ethos."How extraordinarily trite of you. "Not every Muslim would disagree with your statement."Not every Christian would disagree with your statement. Not every follower of Judaism would disagree with your statement. Not every Hindu would disagree with your statement. Not every Sikh would disagree with your statement. Not every Zoroastrian would disagree with your statement.Not every atheist would disagree with your statement.Not every agnostic would disagree with your statement.Not every Freemason would disagree with your statement…..so you make no point whatsoever.Why might not every Muslim disagree with the statement? Because not every Muslim adheres to Islamic rules. Well surprise, surpise."The evidence is though that a not inconsiderable minority would."And here come the statistics to prove this revelation….no? Oh, I thought you were making a objective factual claim, rather than a subjective assertion coming from … somewhere in your brain."…large number of unassimilated fundamentalist Muslims to find examples of "honour killings". By Pakistanis, by Afghans, by Arabs, but always by Fundamentalist Muslims from traditionally patriarchal societies."Yeah – I've lost count of the number of honour killings of women in Sydney. I lost count at … umm … zero. (It doesn't seem to have increased much beyond that either. What a pity. It would have made wonderful grist to your Bigot Mill.)"Who is to blame? Partly us, the women of Australia. For not speaking out before. For not complaining when spat upon, called whores or threatened with rape for the way we dress"Errr – you do know there are hundreds of organisations in Australia which already speak out and "complain" as you call it, don't you? (You also know, don't you, that the vast majority of abuse against women occurs within the marital home and is highly correlated to the consumption of alcohol?)"Well do the sums, figure out how many "young men of middle eastern appearance" went around bashing cars, and in at least one case, the women who drove them, with baseball bats."5,000? Oh, sorry, that was the other psychotic mob."Figure out how many are likely to be from extended families, where such behaviour is accepted, even encouraged, by the family Patriach."You'd know of course because you have gone around to every single one of them and surveyed them all, haven't you? No? Perhaps you went and checked out the ABS databases? No? Well maybe you contacted to Commonwealth Office for the Status of Women and studied their research papers on the topic? No? Umm – maybe you rang up some women's welfare and advocacy groups in NSW then? No? Oh … maybe you consulted a source that is superior to all of these – your imagination."Anthony L, just ask any woman of your acquaintance who has had to ride trains in certain areas of Sydney, whether it's a "tiny minority". Ask them if such things have ever happened to them."And maybe you could go and check some credible databases too."I'm saying you are so incredibly ignorant of the true situation you are clueless, and so smug in your own ignorance that you're saying some very hurtful things."Kettle, this is pot. Do you read me kettle? Over."But the thousands of local residents who just had enough of police inaction, and let themselves do some pretty dumb things out of pure frustration."Move along, move along. Nothing to see here. No, no – no racism here. Move along.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    neoleftychick said… "Yeah RIGHT! The justice of the Arab male?"Hey, I'm not saying I agree with it. I'm just providing a punishment that the Castration Lovers might find appealing."They'd call it an "honour killing" and the rapist fuckers would be called "Sheik" from then on."Honour killings are illegal under Shariah law.

  • anthony

    I don't agree with capital punishment, Ed, justified by Shariah law or otherwise.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    anthony said… I don't agree with capital punishment, Ed, justified by Shariah law or otherwise. Oh, sorry. I thought you were looking for a really harsh punishment for rape. After all, it is rape.

  • Mannie

    "Emigrants from Africa" is really choice for all those Arab and Muslim haters in these blogs. Many of those "Emigrants from Africa" who are entering Australia are Muslims from eastern African countries such as Sudan and Somalia, fleeing their war-torn countries.What difference does it make where people come from? Australia is a country built on racism from its beginnings when the original inhabitants were displaced and destroyed by people with guns. Since then every newcomer to this country is an "emigrant" from another country, and almost one in four living here now either comes from overseas or has at least one parent from overseas.Generalisations do not an argument make, and racism has been here from day one and in more recent times has been stoked by more than one government in this country.