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.

The hidden war

While many in the West campaign against the Iraq invasion, some of us are guilty of forgetting far greater travesties:
“The civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed 3.9 million lives, according to a study.

“It says starvation and disease caused by a conflict, which began in 1998, were by far the greatest killers.”

These kinds of figures certainly cause me to reflect on my own priorities as a journalist and activist. Highlighting transgressions of imperial powers is a key component of responsible reporting, though Africa should more prominently feature in our consciousness.

10 comments ↪
  • orang

    Ant.,Africa is bigger than Beh Hur. Full of poor suffering black people. Old colonial. Belgians, French, colonialists..tribal..very tribal..Don't feel guilty..even Cheney won't go there. Do a deal with yourself – if John Howard goes , you go.

  • Iqbal Khaldun

    Yes it is a travesty, something worthy of shame. It's also worth remembering that present day Congo is a direct result of neglect compounded over centuries. Present day Iraq is a direct result of a positive ambition to conquer a territory through the use of violence. Reducing violence in Congo would require overarching institutional reform. For example, more stringent limitations on small arms manufacture would have a significant effect. Investing in Congolese society, as opposed to merely their resources, would be another. This would require a significant shift in international policy. In contrast, whilst similar shifts would greatly improve conditions in Iraq, ending the American occupation would singularly play a decisive role in helping to end the violence in that country.Of course none of this should detract from the very serious need to reconsider the role and treatment of Africa in the international system. Dare I say it there is a reasonable amount of literature, much of the best from African thinkers, which include a range of conflict resolution proposals. It's somewhat difficult to institutes these however when there is a lack of political will amongst many African elites, the Western elites which still reign above the African elites, and a debilitating international economic system which permanently consigns Africa to poverty. For example, if the international economic system is more concerned with protecting drug patents than alleviating curable illnesses in Africa, it will be difficult for African communities to maintain progress towards developed and democratic nationhood.One last thing I should mention is this. Congo tried to do the sensible, responsible thing. They fought hard for independence from Belgium. They immediately set up a democratic political process. They democratically elected Patrice Lumumba in the early 1960s as their first Prime Minister. But Lumumba was feared by the Western powers, particularly the US and Belgium. Like Nasser in Egypt or Mossadeq in Iran or countless others literally in every corner of the globe these powers feared Lumumba would nationalise the rich mineral deposits in the Congo, thereby stopping Western companies control of these resources. So they assassinated Lumumba (actually two Belgian soldiers/operatives hacked his body into little pieces and burnt the pieces so that no one would ever find his remains and give him a proper burial. The powers that be feared that a martyred Lumumba with a shrine would be a rallying point for the Congolese). The Western powers paid the leaders of the most mineral rich province in Congo to maintain an armed insurrection, and the insurrectionists also assisted in Lumumba's assassination. The US gave military aid to Colonel Mobutu, Lumumba's Army Chief, and ordered him to assume total control of the country. In exchange for unfettered access to the country's minerals, Mobutu was allowed to establish a medieval, totalitarian society which ensured that most Congolese remained desperately poor and illiterate. This dictatorship lasted for three decades. After his ouster only a few decades ago, Congo descended into chaos, civil war, and so on.

  • orang

    Iqbal,do you mean we got rid of a democratically elected leader and placed a tyrant? Oh stop it. What a kidder.

  • Wombat

    So you are for democracy then?

  • Ibrahamav

    Democratically elected? Like Arafat? or like Saddam? or like Assad?

  • Wombat

    So you admit you hate democracy Ibraham?Thanks for clearing that up. Prefer fascims I presume?

  • Ibrahamav

    I admit those were not democratic elections. I admit you're full of addamo.

  • Wombat

    Also, if he were sitll alove today, do you think that Arafat would have lost an election against Mahmoud Abbas?

  • uphillsprinter

    ib,what do you base equating the democratically elected lamumba with saddam or assad?

  • Ibrahamav

    Nasser was feared as a raving lunatic who wanted the 4th reich in the arab land with him as President for life. That was whom the article compared lamumba.I wasn't there.