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 head-start

Back in early December, I was a runner-up in Smartyhost’s best Australian blog competition. The top prize of $10,000 passed me by, but I received a reward nonetheless. Worth $120, I was given the following for one year:

– 50 megabyte hosting package
– blogging software
– domain name registration

I’ve long wanted to assist aspiring, young journalists in the difficult first years. Jobs in the industry are notoriously hard to find, degrees in the field often lead to PR and idealism is rarely rewarded in the corporate media.

Let me make a small contribution. I’d like to offer the above prize to an Australian citizen under the age of 25 who is keen to start his or her own website and display their writing to the world. You may be interested in domestic issues or international events. You may just need a kick-start to find your unique voice. Maybe we can find the next Robert Fisk or Seymour Hersh.

In my early days, I was assisted by many established journalists – though never financially – and this brought much-needed confidence and contacts.

So, if you’re under 25 and fit the above criteria, write to me with a small example of your work before February 1 (antloew[at]gmail.com) and I’d love to make this humble contribution. I’ll select the person I believe is the most enthusiastic, curious, gutsy and best writer.

I’ll announce the winner on this blog and provide whatever assistance I can.

Good luck.

UPDATE: If any reader knows of a young, hotshot journalist in waiting, please pass this message along.

31 comments ↪
  • Pete's Blog

    Dear AntonyI'm over 25 you bastard.But Happy New Year nevertheless.Pete

  • Shabadoo

    $10,000? That wouldn't even keep Webdiary going for a fortight!

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I'd love to offer more, but alas…In time, I hope I can.

  • Rich Bowden

    Aaah Ant….it's the thought that counts!Great to see someone encouraging independence and putting something back into Australian journalism. Congratulations!By the way, tell me when you get around to offering a prize for cranky old wannabe journos!All the best in '06 mate!

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks Rich,Many 'cranky old wannabe journos' probably need the money too, but alas, gotta support the up and comers, yes?Best wishes to you for the year.

  • Shabadoo

    Sorry, not to be a cynic, but I'm not quite sure what the value of this prize is given that anyone can set up shop on blogspot essentially for free. The cost barriers for entry are virtually nil for this sort of writing/journalism.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    The prize includes internet usage, setting up a domain name etc. Blogger is free, true, as are many other blogging sites, but this is very different. Hosting a website, up to 50mb, ain't free.

  • violet

    AntonyWhy not offer this as a scholarship at Mt Scopus?Gosh, wouldn't they be proud of you now? Old boy!You could name the scholarship: The Antony Loewenstein Betrayal Scholarship or Scholarship for the Promotion of GenocideBy the way Antony, how do you feel at school reunions?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Er, I didn't go to Scopus or a Jewish school.Not feeling threatened at all, are you, little wilting Violet?

  • violet

    No Antony, I'm having more fun than I've had in a long time!!And so nice to see you read my posts!By the way, since I've devoted a day of my life to you and your blog, I should pass on what I have discovered.Actually, I should give credit where it's due. Tim Blair found this one. It's called Stockholm Syndrome and the patient feels an unaccountable sympathy for abusers. Kate Burton is suffering from it — the girl who was recently kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. She is so overcome with empathy she can't believe her kidnappers to be anything other than misunderstood victims.

  • David Heidelberg

    Congratulations on discovering the Stockholm Syndrome, Violet (neoleftychick) That must make you what, 14 years old?

  • violet

    I guess you have a little trouble with big words david. Tim Blair wrote about it, and I picked up the link.Is laughing at being called leftychick, t'is quite amusing and does save me from having to expalin who I really am. So, thanks for that.

  • violet

    AntonyTim Blair is promoting your scholarship !Hey, whatta nice fella!

  • James Waterton

    I'll have a crack! Look, I just wrote a tops China analysis that surely qualifies me for hotshot status!http://itneededtobesaid.blogspot.com/2006/01/thoughts-on-chinas-future.html Just out of curiosity, is the internet package refundable, by any chance? No reason, just askin'.

  • James Waterton

    Oh, and prior to that, I posted a rather funny photo of two slags shagging in the front seat of a Hyundai Excel whilst their kid was still in the back. Surely I'm a shoo-in. All your web domain are belong to us.

  • orang

    Oh god…violet=neolefty=Tim Blair in drag??

  • anthony

    "All your web domain are belong to us."Aaaaah, the sub-culture that is the computer nerd ;)BTW, James- I did read your post on the Chinese economy, it challenged everything I've ever been told about China. So I cried and ignored it.Orange- no.

  • James Waterton

    Yeehaa, someone read it! It is quite a lengthy piece – most blog lurkers don't have much of an attention span. Anyway, don't fear – just minimise your China exposure investment-wise and get a job in the public service. If I'm right and China goes to the wall, you should have an income and your assets will still be intact! Okay, now I'm dispensing financial advice. Give me the prize, already.

  • Wombat

    Hey James,Happy new year mate! I look forward to reading your article sometime today. Cheers

  • Wombat

    James,Just read your article. A fascinating read indeed and well argued. If your worst predictions come to light, I would be interested to see what the reaction/intervention would be from the US and EU. Surely, neither copuld allow this to happen, in fact as you say, the intrenational community in general coudl not absorb this outcome.BTW. I foudn this interesting. Jual Cole's predictionf for 2006.(scroll down)http://www.juancole.com/I would be intersted to hear your thoughts.

  • orang

    Interesting Cole's prediction 4. "The Iraqi government, on which the US is placing its bet, will limp along with less than $19 billion a year in petroleum income because of sabotage and guerrilla war, along with long-neglected fields and dilapidated plants and equipment. Most of that money will be absorbed by the need for internal security, reconstruction and paying off past reparations and debts, as well as by large-scale corruption and embezzlement (billions of dollars went missing during the government of Iyad Allawi in 2004)." With Chalabi being the Oil Minister, can't see any turn around there. Interesting also that Bush has reduced the funding for Iraq reconstruction – I guess they don't need it, they're free already. Another job well done.

  • Wombat

    Don't you just love how elections guarantee instant democracy?You're in good form today Orang.

  • Human

    That is very nice of you Anthony. The envy and jealousy exhibited by some is a compliment that lays in their lies.btw- What site won 1st prize?Peace.

  • Wombat

    Jeames,

    Yes indeed I read your article. A fascinating read indeed and well argued. If your worst predictions come to light, I would be interested to see what the reaction/intervention would be from the US and EU. Surely, neither copuld allow this to happen, in fact as you say, the intrenational community in general coudl not absorb this outcome.

    BTW. I foudn this interesting. Jual Cole’s predictionf for 2006.

    (scroll down)
    http://www.juancole.com/

    I would be intersted to hear your thoughts.

  • James Waterton

    My site did, Human. The Hyundai pic clinched it. I'm enjoying $120 worth of domain-hosting goodness as we speak. Mmm. Peace to that. Addamo – happy new year to you, too! Did you like the China piece? A bit long winded, I know …

  • James Waterton

    It would be catastrophic for both the US and the EU in the short-medium term, it's true. Problem is, what on earth could they do about it once it's happening? Once the mobs and the tanks are on the streets (which could happen very quickly), the crisis has reached a critical mass and there's not a goddamn thing an outsider can do short of occupying the country.Also, a downturn in the American economy could very well prove the breaking point for China's economy. As I said, China is only powering along thanks to the confidence of outsiders – to a large degree American corporate investors. If the American economy hits the skids, China's will tank too, but with far greater consequences.

  • Wombat

    But what about America's reliance on China for cheap product, manufacturing and borrowing? Who does America turn to fill that gap and could it sustain the holes left by China indefinitely?Excuse my ignorance, but is there any similarity between the clouds hanging over China and what happened to Argentina not long ago? Of course her is the matter of scale, but Argentina seems to have come out of a possible disaster pretty well.

  • anthony

    Hey, Loewenstein- when are you announcing James the winner of your prize?

  • James Waterton

    It will certainly be difficult. America may have to start sourcing its goods elsewhere. China isn't the only place in the world that makes cheap crap. If there are things that only China makes, prices for certain goods will rise. China's collapse will most probably also mean a fall in the value of the USD against other currencies – China will no longer be in a financial position to intervene massively in currency and bond markets to keep it artificially expensive. This will dampen consumer confidence markedly, as the cost of imported goods rises. However, it will also close the trade deficit, as American exports look more attractive to foreigners. The difference between Argentina and China in economic crisis mode is the way the authorities in China will deal with the ensuing social upheaval. For starters, when Argentina was unravelling in 2001, it was quite obvious that the de la Rua administration was doomed. He quickly fell on his sword in the face of massive protests. The democratic process allowed the people to vent their frustrations at the ballot box soon after. In China there are no such freedoms – if the leadership senses popular discontent spiralling out of control, they will do whatever it takes to suppress it. This will be their undoing because the popular tide will be too strong, and this is what I mean when I say the political system in China is brittle. Argentina's democracy is flexible and can absorb financial upheaval.

  • Wombat

    Interesting analysis James.

  • neoleftychick

    ALI'm gutsy and have potential for fame and infamy; however I am over 25. Are you prepared to drop your vile "ageism" and extend you offer to MOI? :))