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.

Lacking equality

A shocking figure from a rising superpower:

“More than 10m female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years, according to medical research.

“Researchers in India and Canada for the Lancet journal said prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girls a year.”

Pickled Politics blog takes a look at the issue and concludes:

“Asian women have a long, long way to go in the fight for equality. What’s more upsetting is that the perpetrators of crimes against females are often female themselves. Society has managed to convince men and women that females are inferior.”

17 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    How do these figures compare to those in China, which have undoubtedly been affected by the 1 child policy?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Don't have the figures to hand, but I remember reading recently about horrific figures on discarded female babies and aborted babies.

  • Shabadoo

    Are we gonna start to see you out at the pro-life rallies, Anty? Is an un-PC abortion (killing a unborn girl infant) somehow worse than a PC abortion (killing an unborn infant so that it won't interfere with grad school)? I'd like to think they were both morally wrong, and you, who likes to style himself the defender of all the weakest members of society, would agree..

  • Wombat

    Shab,You really should put that quesriob to the people it affects the most, women. I think ther is a wolrd of diferrence between a child being arborted because it cannto be provided a future and one that is killed becasue it was born the wrong gender.Personally speakibg, life is enough of a struggle without being born unwelcome into the world. There are far too many unloves and unwated children i teh world as it is. Wh in their right mind would suggets we have more?It's ironic that most pro-lifers are also in favor of the death penalty. Which are you?

  • Shabadoo

    The death penalty is a separate question, and is generally introduced as a straw man to muddy the waters of the abortion debate. However, note that the Catholic Church, which is probably the foremost opponent of abortion, is also completely and unreservedly anti-death penalty. Read the writings of John Paul the Great for further confirmation of this. I'm honestly very muddled myself on this issue; I don't like the idea of the state taking a citizen's life from a libertarian perspective, BUT when I see a scumbag like Tookie Williams get his comeuppance, I think good riddance to bad rubbish. But again, this is a side issue.Interestingly, Anty is making the case that there is something deficient about a non-Western culture, i.e., that it devalues women, but again that's a side issue: the question is not just about women, but the unborn children…what's the difference of being born "unwanted" because mum lives in India where girls are less-than-valued, or in Australia, when mum is half-way through a cultural studies degree? What we often call "not being provided for" is generally the result of a very narrow imagination and a great deal of selfishness. Just because a child is unexpected or inconvenient doesn't mean it should be killed, any more than because she has the wrong equipment between her legs.

  • Wombat

    Shab,You don't think you are suffering from an over active imagination? You think all abortions are the result of some women putting their ambitions before the welfare of a child? Do you have statistics to prove that abortions are predominantly brought about by lifestyle decisions?Perhaps you should reserve the judgment for a woman who is finds herself as a sole parent with no one to turn to. Or a 14 year old girl, who has no hope in hell of being a mother. Not everyone has a support structure to help them raise a child.The children being killed in Indian are born for a start, which makes a big difference from aborting a fetus that is a few moths old. There's no point into getting into a theological debate about what point a fetus becomes a human being, suffice to say that it is a very ugly choice to have to make.You’re derogatory reference to a women’s genitalia seems devoid of the fact that the responsibility for such decisions primarily rest with women. I’m not advocating that such decisions be taken lightly, but one thing is for certain, the choice cannot ever rest with the state on this matter.

  • Wilbourne

    Is it reasonable of me to suggest that mothers in Australia who have abortions because they can't provide a 'future' for the child can indeed provide a better future for that child then a poor Indian mother who's culture values male children more. Are we to believe that the majority of abortions in this country are anything but a lifestyle choice? Poor as they may be in Australia, the government and other welfare oriented organisations ensure babies are looked after. The same cannot be said about many children in India, even if the actual reason for that abortion is gender related. So is India's case any worse then Australia's? 10 million may seem like a high number to us, but from a population nearing one billion, what is the proportional rate relative to our population, I wonder?

  • James Waterton

    FYI – China's problem is far worse. I think at present there are 117 boys being born for every 100 girls. 80% of all abortions are of female foetuses. It is currently illegal for a doctor to inform the parents of the sex of their child, and it is also illegal for a medical practitioner to perform a prenatal scan to determine the sex of the foetus.

  • Wombat

    Are there any studies you are aware of James in relation to China?

  • Shabadoo

    I stand by what I said before, in that I believe that the vast majorities of abortions are terminations of convenience – the knocked-up 14-year-old is the exception, rather than the rule. In fact, given the numbers of terminations every year in this country, one sees that it is a fairly routine procedure done, presumably, under fairly routine circumstances, including that it would inconvenience study, work, travel plans. I know anecdotally of an awful lot of these cases, and I'm sure if you're honest you can say the same thing.How was I being derogatory to women's genitalia? All I was stating was that that was the deciding factor in what we were discussing.

  • Wombat

    Yes it is a deciding factor. Women aren't just incubators.I respect your belief in this matter, but I don't know of any woman who has ever taken the descision lightly to have an abortion. Having a baby is much much more than an incovenience. It is probably the signle most important and demanding job a person can have, and I believe it's fair to say not all people are up to the task.

  • Shabadoo

    Sure, which is why there should be plenty of other options available as well – including adoption, which is ridiculously hard to do for parents who would like to adopt. For all the money we spend on IVF, couldn't we bring these two parties together somehow?

  • Wombat

    That's a great suggestion. Anyone can get pregnant but the hoops people have to jump through to adopt a child are unbelievable – and forget all about it if you're a single woman wanting to adopt.

  • Shabadoo

    Yes. Absolutely. It's scandalous. In the US there are huge numbers of private adoptions where infertile couples link up with a girl who's pregnant but (a) doesn't want to have a baby at that stage in her life and also (b) doesn't want to have an abortion either, and while it's not perfect and there are hiccups, it saves lives and increases the sum total of happiness. Who could argue with that?Look, everyone's always saying that it's a woman's choice, but so many times there's really serious and unfair boyfriend pressure involved, and maybe the girl would like to keep it but he doesn't want to step up, and so it's a choice between keeping the kid and keeping the boyfriend. There should absolutely be more support at every level of society so that abortion is not just seen as the best of a bunch of bad options.

  • Ibrahamav

    Next you'll want to end honor killings. What is wrong with you people? Leave their cultures alone! Do you want them to fly a plane into one of your buildings, killing a few thousand?

  • leftvegdrunk

    The most insightful remark I have seen on this topic was over at JF Beck's blog where Mine Host said… "This may be more a case of men being in control of women's bodies. Women have exactly HOW MUCH say in major decisions in Indian society?"I support a woman's right to decide, but this is of questionable value without gender equality in society at large.

  • orang

    leftvegdrunk said…"The most insightful remark I have seen on this topic was over at JF Beck's blog where Mine Host said… "This may be more a case of men being in control of women's bodies. Women have exactly HOW MUCH say in major decisions in Indian society?""I think it's more than just men being in control. Think about dowries (the bride's family have to pay to the groom's family for the marriage)The arguments over this are incessant. Even after the wedding there are complaints about more money. The term "kitchen deaths" is something you should investigate. Where the groom/groom family are disatisfied with their deal so get rid of the bride with an "accident" in the kitchen. My point is , this is not merely a case of a man's choice being paramount over a woman's , it's the reality of long term economic hardship with a girl baby vs a boy.