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.

Reality on the ground

Just another day in the occupied territories:

“Illegal permits were issued retroactively for a new West Bank project while buildings were being constructed or even completed, according to documents Haaretz has obtained.

“The project is the Modi’in Illit settlement neighbourhood of Matityahu East, which is being built on land belonging to the Palestinian village of Bil’in.

“An eyewitness reported that the illicit construction is proceeding, despite recent instructions from the settlement’s planning and construction committee to stop the work.”

This is what happens: Israel builds illegal homes on occupied land, Palestinians complain and are ignored, the world offers little or no condemnation (afraid of offending the Zionist state), and the occupation continues to expand. Meanwhile, Ariel Sharon is hailed as a peace-maker.
23 comments ↪
  • violet

    AntonyIf you really care about the Palestinians why don't you complain about the way they are treated in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan? Why don't you criticise the Lebanese government for the appalling manner they treat these people. No civil rights, limited gas and electricity; they are banned from most occupations. Why Antony, do you only criticise Jews?And why don't you question where the $440 million in international aid goes each year? Why don't you ask why UNWRA is the only UN agency that employs its staff directly from its own client base? Why don't you ask why Hamas has infiltrated UNWRA? And why the UN does nought about it?Why don't you ask the UN to dismantle the temporary agency it set up 55 years ago and question why they perpetuate the right of return to over 1.2 million Palestinian refugees — when 70 % of them were not even born in Palestine? Why don't you ask the host countries to absorb these refugees?Why don't you question why Gaza has the highest birth rate in the world? Each woman there is having an average of 7 babies — the war of the womb. Arafat ordered this. Once again, women are being abused.There are so many questions Antony, and you ask all the wrong ones.

  • orang

    Yes Antony, why don't you ask the right questions? Israel my be treating the Palis badly, but so is everyone else.Holy shit, 7 babies per woman, we've got to put a stop to this. How about sterilization?

  • Clumsy Birds
  • Pete's Blog

    Well AL Even though "violet" has an irritating tone she's made some good points.Reckon it deserves a considered rebuttal.Pete

  • Ibrahamav

    iolet, you know why no one complains. Because the Syrians, Lebonese, Egyptians and Jordanians don't care. They treat their own people like garbage.As a civilized nation, Israel is held to a higher standard.Regardless, how were the permits illegal? Because they were issued retroactively? That happens all of the time in non-nazi civilized nations.A village owns the land? That means it is public land and the State of Israel can do what it wants with it. Legally of course.The world is afraid of affending the nation of Israel? Have you ever been to the UN? Are you that stupid?

  • Wombat

    Violet,Do you care abot the Palestinians? Or have ytou decided that they are expendable vermin?Woudl you care to explain why, if as you say, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan are responsible for the plight of the Palestinians, have they not been held to accoutn by the interntainal community? Why has the US not held their feet to the fire over the issue, rahter than just Israel? After all, it is the Us that is pretty much footing the bill right?And why don't YOU question where the $3 billion (7 times $440 million) in aid to Israel goes each year – not including the military aid that goes largely unreported? Especially for a country that supposedyl has a thiriving economy?Why should the right of return for Jews not born in Israel, not be extended to Palestinians not even born in Palestine? Oh that's right – we don;t want those evil Arab men stiking up the place do we?Finalyl, why is tit that you fail time and time agin to provide any links to verify your arguments?Questions are only wrong when you don't like the answer to them.

  • Melanie

    addam_… most people that pretend they care about the Palestinians really don't. Their leadership doesn't, the Arab countries don't the Left doesn't and neither do their own communities. Ofcourse I'm generalising but I don't think by that much. There is no doubt that by far the majority of Israelis are reaching out for peace. All above groups I mentioned are not – not even trying – to reach some compromise. I have never read on a Palestinian or left site an attempt to understand the other side. Yet I personally don't know an Israeli that has not tried to consider the mindset of the Palestinians.Too easy for Lowenstein to criticise just one side of the debate. I used to protest weekly in Israel as part of 'Women in Black' against the occupation. Only problem was you had to really have a blind eye to what was going on.

  • Wombat

    Melanie,I take your point and I think it has some veracity. I dipute the notion that all vocal critics of Israel are using the Palestinian issue to their advantage. "I have never read on a Palestinian or left site an attempt to understand the other side." That may be true. But is it really surprising that the oppressed struggles to consider the side of the oppresser? I know it's a distatesful example, but how many memoirs from Jews in the concentration camps showed empathy for their captors?"Yet I personally don't know an Israeli that has not tried to consider the mindset of the Palestinians."Again, I do not pretend to undertsand what it is to be an Israeli, living under conditions of perpetual insecurity, but seeing as their situation is imeassurably better than that of the Palestinians, is it that difficult fathiom why this would be the case?Furthermore, as Ibraham pointed out, Israeli Jews are by an large much better educated. With education and quality of life comes a greater capacity for empathy.

  • Melanie

    addam, how can you compare Israel to Nazi death camps. My father was in Auschwitz aged 15. His sister aged 10 was gased on arrival as was most of his extended family.

  • Wombat

    Melanie,As I said, it was a poor example and I sincerely appologise for any offence that exaple may have caused you. I have close friends who's entire families were exterminated in the death camps, so I would never triviliase the tragedy of the Nazi death camps.What I was trying to point out is that it is much more difficult for a victim to empathise with their oppressor than it is the other way around. Surely, you cannot contend the fact that Israel is very much in the driver's seat as far as the balance of power in concerned.

  • Melanie

    true. But is it really surprising that the oppressed struggles to consider the side of the oppresser?"The problem is that it is so hard for most people to consider the Israelis as anything but the oppressors. Yet had they not been totally surrounded by enemies determined to kill every Israeli, things would be very different. Everyone tries to understand the Palestinians but no-one bothers with the Jews. To most Jews, there is nothing more sacred than Life. Jews always say "L'Chaim" -"To Life". And as Hamas always says the Israelis love life and we love death. You say that the Israelis should naturally be more empathetic because they are more eductated. Firstly, most Israelis think that they always wanted peace yet were continually attacked so give them credit for repeatedly forgiving those that want to exterminate them. I think this is wrong when you don't take certain goups to task because they are not as well educated. Should we accept honour killings for this reason?

  • Wombat

    Melanie,It is easy to cite the worst examples of either side when forming an argument. It would be difficult to prove that every Palestinian wants to kill the Jews and visa versa, but it is easy to focus on the extremists on both sides of the debate to generalise.Citing the extremist ramblings of Hamas is no more significant that citing the extremely offensive quotes attributed to famous Israeli leaders throughout the 20th Century.I accept that Israeli's want peace, however, they continue to elect leaders that speak from both sides of their mouths. While the camera's were rolling, we were treated to a spectacle of Israelis leaving Gaza, yet the fact remains that the IDF never left.

  • Melanie

    addam – About Hamas loving death, I'm just guessing your surprised about that. I need to head off otherwise there are too many links to it but just go to Hamas's own website and read their charter.

  • Melanie

    OK you answered too soon. Hamas is about to win the elections – if they happen in Gaza – they are not extremist but mainstream. According to the latest polls 65% of Gazans want Europe and America to be blown up. Their biggest donors. Gee – forgive them for they are uneducated.If only they spent as much on education as they do on brain-washing their children to become cannon-fodder – with EU and US and ME funding

  • Wombat

    No I am not surprised about Hamas loving death. Bravado and empty rhetoric go hand in had with politics. Just listen to one of George Bush's assinine speeches and you'd think he'd just stepped off the place from a trip to the Middle East where he'd been fighting Al Qaeda single handedly.

  • Wombat

    "If only they spent as much on education as they do on brain-washing their children to become cannon-fodder – with EU and US and ME funding"If only American's took your advice.As for Hamas becomming mainstream, it is possible that this may actually serve to moderate their ideology, rather than normalise extremism. Extremism usually goes hand in hand with being marginalised. Being validated and given a stage tends to introduce dilaogue and negotation. It worked Gadaffi.

  • Ibrahamav

    How many times must addamo prove his ignorance?1. I dipute the notion that all vocal critics of Israel are using the Palestinian issue to their advantage. – Get real!!! Do you actually believe this bullshit?2.And why don't YOU question where the $3 billion (7 times $440 million) in aid to Israel goes each year – not including the military aid that goes largely unreported? – Unreported? Where the money goes is pretty much out in the open.3. It would be difficult to prove that every Palestinian wants to kill the Jews and visa versa> There are POLLS!! EVER HEAR OF THEM??? They prove that the majority of palestinians approve of killing Jews. They don't prove that the majority of Jews approve killing Palestinians.

  • Wombat

    "1. – Get real!!! Do you actually believe this bullshit?"Try as you might to deny it Ibby, but there are a grat many that regard destruction of any human life distatesful. You have made it clear long ago you are not one of them."2.Unreported? Where the money goes is pretty much out in the open."Military aid is largely under-reported in the MSM."3. It would be difficult to prove that every Palestinian wants to kill the Jews and visa versa> There are POLLS!! EVER HEAR OF THEM???"I said EVERY Ibby, not most or some. get a dictionary. Othewise, get your eyes checked.

  • Ibrahamav

    Every and all. Those are not the terms that are ever meant. The vast majority is what is meant. And you know it.

  • Stev

    You do know that the word 'every' is derived from 'ever' right Ibrahamav? So what you're actually saying is that the terms 'every' and 'all' are not meant in 'the vast majority' of cases.I've got to stop now. I'm getting a paradox headache.

  • Ibrahamav

    Sorry about your headache. In most heated arguments when one say "the Arabs" or "the palestinians" or "the Jews", it is understood that "all" is not inferred. But the majority is.Polls show that the majority of Palestinians agree with violence directed towards Jews, including suicide bombings which target children.Not all, but who gives a shit about "all" when over 65% do agree? The "all" becomes rather meaningless.

  • neoleftychick

    I cheered, shrieked with delight and threw streamers when Yasser Arafat took his express camel to Hell. I will totally understand if others around the world do the same when Sharon dies.

  • Ibrahamav

    Just as most antisemites do when any Jew dies.Just as many palestinians dance in the streets when they hear Jewish children were killed.I didn't dance when Arafat died. I knew it would change nothing. The Palestinian death cult continues without a head.