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.

Some lessons in Israeli democracy

It seems like yesterday that Israel was being praised for bringing peace to the conflict. Now, perhaps, the world will realise the Jewish state’s true intentions.

The IDF now advocates collective punishment and the targeting of civilian areas in Gaza. Notwithstanding the failure of such policies in the past, the IDF suggests it may even cut off electricity so that Palestinians understand the meaning of Israeli might.

Seventy U.S. senators are calling on George Bush to tell Palestinian leaders that “Hamas and other groups that the United States wants terrorist organizations to disarm or be banned from upcoming Palestinian elections.” Again, dictating terms of democracy to a fledging state is a sure way to increase public support for Hamas. Besides, since when does the US or Israel have the right to tell the Palestinian people that only certain candidates are acceptable? Perhaps Abbas should actively campaign for the defeat of Ariel Sharon in the March Israeli elections.

Leading Israeli journalist Amira Hass reports on Israel’s enlightened view of dissent:

“Israel Defense Force soldiers confiscated documents belonging to the Committee for the Popular Struggle against the Separation Fence during a nighttime raid on the northern West Bank village of Qafin, a committee activist said yesterday. Apparently, the soldiers located the committee headquarters in a building search and seized documents and NIS 7,000 and 500 dinars from their offices, said the activist.”

Like the US – afraid of truly free elections across the Middle East due to the likelihood of Islamist parties taking power, as is happening in Iraq – Israel is trying to undermine free elections in Palestine. It is destined to fail on a number of levels. Open elections are impossible to conduct under occupation, though Palestinians will try and convince the world that they can while support for Hamas is partly related to the Palestinian Authority’s corruption and inefficiency.

Until the occupation finally ends, Palestinian “democracy” is little more than a smokescreen. Israel and the US must be so proud.

27 comments ↪
  • Ibrahamav

    The IDF NOW advocates collective punishment. So it has been determined that nothing done before was actually collective punishment.Seems to me that if Hamas wins the elections, thereby being the leaders of the Palestinian people, and there is another terror attack from Hamas, the IDF is justified in destroying Hamas.After all, the terror attack is then an act of war. No proportional response required, just war.As most Islamic democracies are smoke screens, why would the Palestinian thugacracy be any different?

  • Melanie

    It was discussed but rejected.."senior IDF officials strongly opposed it, arguing that it constituted collective punishment and would be hard to justify. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz also opposes the idea.As a result, it has been rejected"Considering that the PA pays the families of suicide bombers US$250 a month (thanks to foreign aid) I think the Israelis are entitled to consider all alternitives to discourage attacks that are encouraged by the PA. http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB113520186870828732-lMyQjAxMDE1MzI1MjIyMDIxWj.html

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… The IDF NOW advocates collective punishment. Now it advocates it. Before it just did it.

  • Melanie

    edward, again…they rejected it – read the article. But as I mentioned the PA pays families of suicide terrorists US$250 a month. And suicide bombing is a by far a more disgusting form of collective punishment, yet it is encouraged by the Palestinian leadership.Yet what I am saying, for people like you who see everything that Israel does as evil and every thing the Palestinians do as justified, it will be meaningless.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Melanie said… But as I mentioned the PA pays families of suicide terrorists US$250 a month. How much does the IDF pay its soldiers? Just curious to see the pay differentials.

  • Ibrahamav

    How many oranges fit up eddie's ass? How many apples? No real reason for the querry, Just curious to see the differentials.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav, do you know how much the IDF pay its soldiers? (This doesn't involve Israel's mysterious borderless borders, so it should be okay for you to answer this one.)

  • Melanie

    edward, I couldn't have demonstrated your moral bankruptcy any better than you just did. I assume you also represent Antony's views just from looking through his blog.

  • Wombat

    Melanie,You're view of morality is viewed thorough a prism which you have labelled reality.How can anyone, but a moral cretin, possibly argue that one form of collective punishment is more just than another? They are equally reprehensible, but maybe you see everything that Israel does as justified and every thing the Palestinians do as evil.

  • Ibrahamav

    Poor poor moronic addamo, is it any wonder that his parents out him away?Melanie isn't arguing the merits of collective punishment. She is stating that the tag team idiots, eddie and addamo haven't the foggiest what is collective punishment.And as an example, suicide bombing is collective punishment. Shutting down the entry to Israel to non-resident Arabs is not, as those arabs have no right to enter Israel, yet those Jewish grandmothers murdered by Arab suicide bombers have a right to live.See the difference? Now, can the same number of apples and oranges, which fit up eddies ass, be the same number that will fit up comfortably in Addamo's ass?No real reason for the querry, Just curious to see the differentials.

  • Wombat

    Poor Ibraham,Always making the most completely bizarre and assinine statements about people he doesn't know. My parent's outing me? Hey arse wipe, seeing my mother passed away recently from a brain tumour, perhaps you might want to make a joke about that too?Maybe Eddie and I don't know what collective punichment is, but you have just proven that your concept is even further removed. Collective punishment of Paelstinians is been pretty much the staus quo that you can't even tell the difference.Forcing women to give birth at checkpoints or having people die for lack of access to hospitals is your idea of benevolence I suppose.

  • Ibrahamav

    Of course the IDF forces palestinian women to give birth at check points. In fact they look for pregnant women and hold them at check points until they give birth. Some have been there 3 months now.Maybe eddie and you don't know? No maybe about it. I'm sorry you're mother died. My mother died. Everybodies mother dies eventually. It doesn't give you the right to spout your nonsense.Now start counting the apples and oranges. It'll take a while because you have a big ass.Without the Israelis, the Palestinians have no hospitals. Their illness is not a mortgage on our lives.

  • Melanie

    addam, the checkpoints are there for one reason only – to try and stop the Palestinian style collective punishment of blowing up Israelis indiscriminantly. The are very successful. They have caught an enormous amount of would be bombers at the checkpoints. But in your warped world, the Israeli right to not being blown up is worth less than Palestinian inconvenience at a checkpoint.If you really want better conditions for Palestinians, start protesting against Palestinian terrorist – the very reason they are such a pathetic situation today. The only people that support their violent struggle are those that want to see Israel wiped off the map – but your not helping the Palestinian people in doing that just.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Melanie said… edward, I couldn't have demonstrated your moral bankruptcy any better than you just did. How so? Don't both of them get paid to kill people in order to obtain their respective political goals? I'll admit, one of them has better weapons and nicer uniforms, but in terms of their tactics, they appear to do pretty much the same thing a lot of the time: i.e. kill innocent people.

  • Melanie

    edward, yes thats another fine example of moral bankruptcy. Intentionally killing innocent people and not intentionally killing them while equally tragic are not at all morally equivalent.That they appear to be equivalent is because seeing Jews defend themselves against death is repugnant to you and more repugnant than Jews being blown up.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Melanie said… Intentionally killing innocent people and not intentionally killing them while equally tragic are not at all morally equivalent.If you look at the methods used to engage in extra-judicial murders of "targets", pretty clear that the IDF has absolutely no regard for the other human lives that they destroy. One could call that manslaughter if they only did these one or two times, but when they do it for YEARS it can no longer be classified as "regretable accidents". It becomes a clear and conscious choice on the part of the state; that is, it becomes systematic murder.That they appear to be equivalent is because seeing Jews defend themselves against death is repugnant to you and more repugnant than Jews being blown up. This comes out of your mind, not mine. I couldn't think of something like this. You, on the other hand…

  • Ibrahamav

    Only an antisemite could look at the overall record and come away with that conclusion. Eddie, why do you out yourself?Hitler didn't write an order "Kill all of the Jews" but we knew what he wanted. We also know what you mean. You're very obvious.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav, let's pretend for a moment you're not a raving looney. Are you even capable of constructing an argument, or are you really that brain-damaged? C'mon. Make an argument. I dare you.

  • Ibrahamav

    Let's pretend that you are not an antisemite. Screw it, lets stick with the truth.

  • uphillsprinter

    we are still waiting for an argument ib.. without reciting the anitsemitic mantra

  • Ibrahamav

    You can wait until the antisemite stops being an antisemite. I suspect you'll have a long wait.

  • Wombat

    "addam, the checkpoints are there for one reason only – to try and stop the Palestinian style collective punishment of blowing up Israelis indiscriminantly."Isn't this really a chicken and the egg type fo argument? I believe that blame falls pretty evenly on both sides here, seeing as this conflict has spanned mnay decades. One could easily argue the IDF is forced to create these check points to prevent terrorist actions that are fuelled by grave injusices inflicted on the Palestinians etc etc."But in your warped world, the Israeli right to not being blown up is worth less than Palestinian inconvenience at a checkpoint."My world may be warped to someone who makes no attempt to aknoeledge that there are two sides to this conflict."If you really want better conditions for Palestinians, start protesting against Palestinian terrorist – the very reason they are such a pathetic situation today."Right, so you have evidence that as soon as the Paeltinians cease with their violence, everything wil be resolved right? Have your parents gotten to the part about the birds and the bees yet?"The only people that support their violent struggle are those that want to see Israel wiped off the map – but your not helping the Palestinian people in doing that just."Thatnk you Melanie for following the typical right wing lunatic script to a T. If someone is criticising Israel for the way they treat Palesitnians, it automaically means they are advocating the destruction of Israel.Way to go darling.So do I guess that by your going into denial about the humanitarian crisis, you are in favour of the outright errdciation of the Palestinian population?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Here's Ibby's latest "argument":Antisemite antisemite and antisemite antisemite thus antisemite antisemite antisemite antisemite and furthermore antisemite antisemite therefore we can safely conclude that antisemite antisemite antisemite antisemite. And if that doesn't convince all you antisemites, might I add antisemite antisemite antisemite antisemite antisemite antisemite.

  • Mannie

    And what about an argument that uses apples and oranges up someone's "ass" – american for arse – which is what those people use who haven't got the ability to argue in a civilised manner without pouring out a stream of abuse – and using the mantra "anti-semite" with every breath they take!Try and argue the points, not produce a chain of obscentities which do you no credit, and certainly don't win your "arguments"!

  • Ibrahamav

    Why bother arguing with an antisemite? It is like trying to teach a pig to dance. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.The antisemitic eddie has already lost. I am just reminding him of it, time and time again.Addamo – the humanitarian crisis is man-made by the Palestinians and their arab overlords. let them invest the money and manpower to solve it.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Mad dog howls at the moon …… again.(I very strongly suspect that Ibby is still in the thoes of puberty. Nothing else explains his inane responses.)

  • Ibrahamav

    You still want to learn how to dance? How pathetic.