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.

A high price to pay

My final New Matilda column for the year is about the Israel/Palestine conflict and what may lie ahead:

“The greater ramification of Israeli intransigence is a growing belief among Palestinians in a one-State solution. While a two-State answer is still widely accepted in both the Israeli and Palestinian communities – even though the details of such an arrangement remain largely undecided – the increasing unlikelihood of a viable Palestinian State could lead many Palestinians to lose hope and pick-up on the growing sentiment within the Palestinian intelligentsia.”

My New Matilda archive can be found here.

48 comments ↪
  • Ibrahamav

    And the Israeli people are still adamant about no return. Seems like you think the standstill will remain for another 38 years.

  • neoleftychick

    ALWhat are you goping on about now? The palestinians have ALWAYS and ONLY ever wanted on thng and that is one state. But I wonder if they include Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon in this one state.The rancid sly, untrustworthy misogynist raping homophobic Mulsim Arabs simply cannot be trusted. And they are far too backward to be given a state for christ's sake. Just have a look at every Arab Muslim society on the planet!Diabolical.

  • Stev

    I wonder Neo, and I'm not trying to bait you here, I'm asking honestly – do you believe there are any Muslim Arabs (or any Muslims at all for that matter) who are genuinely good people? Or are all of them misogynist, raping, homophobic etc and therefore deserve to die?

  • orang

    They should make one country – Israelistan. Anyone who wants to piss off back home to Leeds or Russia or New York will get assistance from the US about – 1/2 Billion each should cover it.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    AL, RE the Matilda article: as usual, a good and succinct summary of the situation.The Israel-Palestine Tragedy is so appalling, not just for the inhumanity and injustice, but also for the fact it seems endless. I don't know how you can continue to look it in the face without getting thoroughly depressed. (I'm glad you do do this work however, because it saves others, such as myself, from having to wade through the psychologically devastating detail of it all.)

  • jimajanga

    E M-S claims that Loewnstein's article is "a good and succinct summary of the situation." But Loewenstein's knowledge of Israeli politics is so superficial that he erroneously describes Tzipi Livni as a man. "Yet more evidence of Israel speaking the language of ‘peace’ but acting entirely differently came from a senior ally of Sharon, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. HE told a legal conference in early December that, despite years of Israeli denials, Sharon himself imagines the 425-mile separation barrier as the future border between Israel and a potential Palestinian State.‘One does not have to be a genius to see that the fence will have implications for the future border,’ HE said."This is error is a reflection of two things:1) Loewenstein's fundamental ignorance of the Israeli political scene and its primary protagonists2) Loewenstein's Hebraic illiteracy – – if he were conversant in the language of the country upon which he so sanctimoniously pontificates, he would be aware that ’Tzipi’ is an abbreviated form of ’Tzippora, an unambiguously feminine name. So if Loewenstein can’t even get the gender of an Israeli cabinet minister right, then what does it say about the quality of his analysis of the Israeli political scene? Nothing good.

  • Wombat

    AL referred to Tzipi Livni as a man? Wow, that's a smoking gun if I ever saw one. perhaps it's also evidence that AL isn;t really AL's name and that men really didn't land on the moon.Gotta love those extrapolations.

  • jimajanga

    Addamo:C'mon guy, stop injecting extraneous issues into the debate. Loewenstein's error is a reflection of how fundamentally ignorant of Israeli politics he is. You wouldn't give much credence to the political analysis of someone who wrote that Beazley's first name was an abbreviation of 'Kimberly,' and that the leader of the opposition wore a skirt.The simple fact that Loewenstein doesn't have a clue, and your attempt to cloud that fact with all sorts of irrelevant references doesn't cut it.

  • Wombat

    jimajanga,You gave one example of AL making a mistake as to someone's gender. Props to you for correcting him. But what does it have to do with his ability to establish a reasoned opinion about Israeli foreign policy, or events that take place. Since when does someone have to be conversant in Hebrew to enter the debate?As far as I can see, AL provides links to columns and reports of the day and gives an accompanying summation. If a terrorist blows himself up in Jewish neighbourhood, or the IDF stop a pregnant Paelistinian womana t a check point, it is what it is. I don't recall AL pretending to be the man on the ground.

  • jimajanga

    AddamoSimple. Such a basic error reflects such a superficial knowledge-base on AL's part that it eviscerates his credibility as an informed commentator on the issue at hand. How can you consider the views of someone who doesn't even have an understanding of the basics to be "reasoned opinion?" It would seem to me that a prerequisite of reasoned opinion would be a foundation of factual accuracy, something that AL quite demonstrably lacks on the most basic issues.If a conservative commentator made a similar factual error, I suspect that you would be all over him like a bad suit. Thus allow me to postulate that your curious tolerance for AL's factually challenged state is largely due to your personal affinity for his politics.

  • Stev

    Jimanga,Let me just see if I'm understanding you: to be sufficiently qualified to discuss the Israeli/Palestinian, one must understand the intricacies of the Hebrew language. Is this what you're saying?That's like saying to be qualified as a WW2 historian, one must be able to speak German.I appreciate that any error leads to at least a partial erosion of credibility, but to extend it as far as to completely negate all consideration of Ant's views is quite specious indeed.

  • Stev

    Jimajanga even…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Yes, mistake made. Apologies all. No excuse, except that it was rushed. Mistakes do happen. Shock, horror!

  • Wombat

    jimajanga,What "issue at hand" requies any familiarity whatoever with Hewbrew to understand? How do political developments have anything to do with this issue, or should those of us less familair with Hebrew step aside every time any disucssion a Israel and Palestine is raised?And what was that about chastising conservative commentator making a similar factual errors? NBJHUY&^ Sorry — I just went face first into the keyboard there with caps-italic on. Bit of a blackout but I'm back. Where was — oh yeah, you sure you want to go there?

  • Bernard

    AL may have made some minor errors, and may know less about minutiae of Israeli politics than some others, but what he is writing is valuable because he is telling the truth. I disagree with one point, however: "There are small signs that the Arab world is starting to accept the Jewish State." They would be rather big signs by now. 'Small signs' would have started with Sadat in 1971, and by the late 70s even the PLO was prepared to recognise Israel on the 67 borders. Israel could have made peace anytime on those borders, but instead has been determined to pursue a 'facts on the ground' land grab policy. I think AL is right is suggesting that if Israel doesnt make peace on the two state model soon, then they will face the demand for a binational state, which would of course ironically spell the end of the 'Jewish state.'

  • Wombat

    BTW. I came across this article reviewing a book by Stephanie Gutman. It argues that contrary to the commonly held belief that the media is biased towards Israel, evidence suggests other wise.The book is called The Other War. Has anyone read it and have any comments about it? http://www.lewrockwell.com/reed/reed85.html

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Nope, havn't read it, heard it's very interesting, though.Researching for my book on the subject – aside from spending time in the region – requires ridiculous amounts of reading. Can't read everything, though trying to nonetheless.

  • orang

    Addamo_01 said… "BTW. I came across this article reviewing a book by Stephanie Gutman. It argues that contrary to the commonly held belief that the media is biased towards Israel, evidence suggests other wise."Frankly, this is bullshit. As an example:"Well and good – except that for perhaps fifteen years I had never heard anything good about Israel from the media. The Israelis were always deliberately shooting little Palestinian children, bulldozing houses from sheer vindictiveness, reducing Palestinians to poverty, murdering Palestinian leaders, torturing all within reach, and intimidating the press. The Palestinians were noble freedom fighters, just like Davy Crockett, or hapless victims."This may be from the leftie articles he reads in Common Dreams, or something on SBS/ABC but is not what we see in the "Media" which is more like, "Three Palestinian militants shot in gun battle with IDF". Does this tell you the IDF is in occupied territory? In assassination squads?Why doesn't he give us a couple of examples of all the good things Israel has done for the Palestinians to counter the "never heard anything good about Israel from the media" – There's a start. Fukin Wanker.

  • Wombat

    I can't even imagine what an undertaking that will be. Especialyl given how water tight you have to formulate your arguments, given how much they will be scruitinised.

  • Clumsy Birds

    Why doesn't he give us a couple of examples of all the good things Israel has done for the Palestinians to counter the "never heard anything good about Israel from the media" – There's a start. Fukin Wanker.Nice Orange, your making the same mistake Antony recently made, confusing men with women.Of course, I could have misread your silly post.

  • orang

    Stewie said…" Nice Orange, your making the same mistake Antony recently made, confusing men with women. Of course, I could have misread your silly post. "Well, you could be right Stewie, the article is written by Fred Reed – so this could be Frederika I suppose. Maybe I should do more research on this. If it turns out to be a woman, could she still be a Wanker? I suppose so, but in that case it sort of loses it's impact don't you think? Or it might still be by a bloke called Fred.

  • orang

    Ugh…Stewie, pls give us a warning clue to your link…..RWDB!!!! The bells the bells..

  • Clumsy Birds

    Well, I apologise. You're not confusing the sexes- your post looked like it was referring to Guttmann's book, not the article referred to by Addamo.There's nothing wrong with Blair- feel free to go and argue with his mates in the comment section- I'm sure we'll all appreciate that.More evidence of my poor comprehension- wtf is 'RWDB'? I'm guessing RW is right-wing…Oh, and Andre- *Gutmann, not Gutman. I'll forgive you, though.

  • orang

    Right Wing Death Beast.You're using a classic Blair site arguement style to leftie post…."Waaaaaaa you spelt Gutmann wrong…wahhhh you SUCK!!!I've been banned by whats her name ……but thanks for the invite.

  • Clumsy Birds

    Not at all Orange. I just think spelling someone's name correctly is the polite thing to do if you're going to discuss them.If Addamo, sorry Addamo_01, took offence at me correcting her/his spelling- then I apologise.

  • orang

    (Hmmmmm. thinks….this arsehole thinks he's being real clever…."Orange…heheh.. Wait 'till I tell my wanker buddies at Timbo's site when we get together with our circle jerks how hilariously clever I am.." I think I should just ignore the cunt. – Good idea, Be civil. Remember it'c close to Christmas, goodwill to all men and all that. Quite right, just ignore the cunt.)

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    jimajanga said… But Loewenstein's knowledge of Israeli politics is so superficial that he erroneously describes Tzipi Livni as a man.That's the best you can do? Pffft. Talk about a lack of substance!

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Stev said… Jimanga,Let me just see if I'm understanding you: to be sufficiently qualified to discuss the Israeli/Palestinian, one must understand the intricacies of the Hebrew language. Is this what you're saying?Well of course. To understand the TRUE nature of Israeli politics you must have an in depth knowledge of what G=d has commanded in the Torah …. and absolutely nothing else, because nothing else matters. (Note: there is no reference to occupation in the Torah. Lots of references to genocide however.)

  • jimajanga

    Ah, Ed:Once again Judaic/Hebraic illiteracy rears its empty head, this time tainted by a none too subtle tinge of Judeophobia. Ah, those evil Jewish practitioners of genocide. But Judaism has evolved and moderated over the centuries. And your bloodstained biblical references do little more than dredge up ancient themes of anti-Semitism. What's next, accusations of blood libel or host desecration? Margo Kingston-esque assertions that the Jews run the media? In point of fact, the references to which you refer appear in the written Torah, true enough. But reliance solely on the written Torah, as you do, presents a distorted picture because it ignores the other half of the Halachic equation – the oral Torah, AKA the Mishna/Gemarah, AKA the Talmud.The Talmud functions as a modifying factor that, for example, moderates the draconian Levitical code by establishing evidentiary requirements that are almost impossible to meet. Thus while the Levitical decree that rebellious sons should be put to death stands on its face, the Talmudic sages made it a dead letter item of law in practical fact by establishing impossible-to-meet standards of evidence required for conviction.And Steve: Yes, I am establishing that conversance in the vernacular is required for an in depth acquaintance with a given culture. This is reflected in the language requirements for post-graduate education. At any tertiary institution of any quality, fluency in a given tongue is an obvious and irreduceable prerequisite for the granting of a doctorate in area studies or the study of history. One would be hard pressed, for example to find any specialists in Russian history or politics at Ivy League institutions who don't speak Russian. To be a serious historian of the Second World War, one would have to speak the languages of the combatant nations because serious academic research relies on material garnered from official archives, letters home, and the like. And if you don't speak German, for example, then you won't be able to make much sense of Nazi archival material.This is all self-evident

  • Wombat

    "jimajanga said…"In point of fact, the references to which you refer appear in the written Torah, true enough. But reliance solely on the written Torah, as you do, presents a distorted picture because it ignores the other half of the Halachic equation – the oral Torah, AKA the Mishna/Gemarah, AKA the Talmud."Of course the same could be said of the Koran, yet how often do our pundits in teh media point to these texts as a smoking gun that we are up against an irraional and murderous race of beings?Pitty there is no equivalent term to anti-semitism in reference to Muslims.Excellent post by the way.

  • Ibrahamav

    Islamaphobia will do. There is no equivilant Talmud in the Islamic culture. Fully half of the hadaths are considered fake.While the Torah is full of "Do this now to these particular people" edicts, they don't have a language that calls it to be taken further except for Amalek.The koran is all future tense in regard to killiong Jews and others.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    jimajanga said…But Judaism has evolved and moderated over the centuries.Oh, there is no doubt about it – the exile did wonders for helping to create a more tolerant vision of Rabbinical Judaism. (Although some weird version of Karaitic Judaism seems to be on the rise again in Israel.) But of course, all this is inherently subject to the wonders of "interpretation" – code for "coming to the conclusions you want based on the vagaries of the Torah, the "oral" Torah and the ever hilarious Midrash". Alas, this means the more insanely right-wing the Rabbis become, the more insanely right-wing the interpretations of Gd's will and the messainic destiny of the elect. As usual, religion is pressed into the service of politics. There is nothing new under the sun(Ecclesiates/Kohelet, 1:9, I believe).

  • Ibrahamav

    Antisemites considering the Midrashes to be hilarious.No, there is nothing new under the sun

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Hey Ibrahamav, what do you think of the neo-Karaite movement in Israel?

  • Ibrahamav

    Why don't we discuss your antisemitism?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Do you even know about the neo-Karaite movement? Do you approve of the fact that they don't recognise the authority of Rabbinical councils?

  • Ibrahamav

    Funny. I thought we were discussing your antisemitism.

  • uphillsprinter

    ib claims:
    “The koran is all future tense in regard to killiong Jews and others.”

    Now we all know you are full of shit…

    also said
    “Fully half of the hadaths are considered fake”

    amazing… i wonder how you quantified it.

    not even sure if these sentences make sense.

    feel free ib to point out references in the koran to substantiate your claims…

  • uphillsprinter

    that is offcourse if you can contruct an argument.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… Funny. I thought we were discussing your antisemitism.1. No antisemtism here, and2. You seem to be congentially unable to "discuss" anything.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Oh no, no, uphillsprinter. You judge Ibby too harshly. He is an expert on Islamic theology (although it is a pity such an eminant scholar couldn't even SPELL "ahadith" correctly. Pfft.)

  • Ibrahamav

    uppy, why bother, look at your writing and tell me you are anything but a moron trying to pick a fight/Is there some reason an antisemite cares how haddath is spelt? I understand it is purely arabic and we merely use phonetics such as in the 20 or so ways that qaddaffi is spelt.Casual search reveals this site. I don't vouch for it. For all i know, it is fake itself:http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/000849.htmlAmeer wrote: I don't find things in the Qu'ran objectable [sic] but many Hadiths are objectable [sic], so I don't really follow Hadiths. Firstly, there are so many fake ones. And even if they were true, if they go against Islam's teaches, they are still wrong. I think the best thing to do is just not take Hadiths seriously.

  • Ibrahamav

    And this:http://mb-soft.com/believe/txw/hadith.htm An extremely thorough researcher, Ignaz Goldziher, studied the Traditions from around 1870 to 1920, and those studies are still considered among the best research ever done. Goldziher, with absolutely impeccable research, including extremely solid documentation, showed that a vast number of hadith contained in the six collections were outright forgeries, which meant that the meticulous isnads supporting them were also forgeries and fictitious.Since Goldziher's documentation is so compelling, Islamic historians began claiming that legal traditions and historical traditions were entirely distinct, in order to maintain their absolute trust in the validity of all hadith. Goldziher's results seem to imply that the majority of hadith are NOT valid, and so only a minor fraction of hadiths are.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Despite the fact that Goldziher went on to say"I truly entered into the spirit of Islam to such an extent that ultimately I became inwardly convinced that I myself was a Muslim, and judiciously discovered that this was the only religion which, even in its doctrinal and official formulation, can satisfy philosophic minds. My ideal was to elevate Judaism to a similar rational level. Islam, so taught me my experience, is the only religion, in which superstitious and heathen ingredients are not frowned upon by the rationalism, but by the orthodox teachings."The main interest in Goldziher's studies now is as examples of the well-meaning 19th century orientalism. The 19th century orientalist approach has been well and truly superceded now.

  • uphillsprinter

    ib,how are those koranic references doing? Still waiting…

  • Ibrahamav

    Finished. You must have missed in in some stupor.

  • uphillsprinter

    where are the koranic references ibby?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Casual search reveals this site. I don't vouch for it. For all i know, it is fake itself:http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/000849.html " Ibby, Ibby, Ibby. "Research"? The site you supply is nothing more than a brief demented blogsite-rant by a uneducated twit. It doesn't even cite a single hadith, let alone show that any of them are "fake". The blogger just doesn't seem to know anything about Ahadith.Let me help you. The first thing you could have done is to note that Muslim scholars themselves regard the Ahadith compilations of Darimi (titled "Sunan"), b.Hanbal (titled "Musnad") and Malik (titled "Muwatta") as "da'if" or weak and unreliable. The next thing you could have done is refer to the work of contemporary sceptical orientalists such as Schacht and Bell. (Go look them up…in a library.)See, now that would have been the basis of a half-decent response.