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.

Letter of complaint

I was recently appointed to the Board of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle Eastern and North African Studies. This was due to a number of board members, and staff at Macquarie, expressing support for my work. I was told they wanted to attract journalists, rather than just academics, to the board.

A fellow board member is Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott (who, I’ve been informed, has never actually attended a meeting.)

The following letter of complaint was sent to Abbott by a Liberal party blogger hack. It should be noted that Abbott has no influence or say over the make-up of the board and is not, as stated, a patron:

“To the Honourable Tony Abbott, Member for Warringah.

“I have noted with great concern the recent appointment of journalist Antony Loewenstein as a member of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, and I am writing to you partly in protest.

“While I respect the right of the Centre to conduct its affairs without censorship or arbitrary Government interference in its academic conduct, I do believe that as a Patron of the board, a prominent figure in the Liberal Party, a member for the people of Warringah, and as an Australian – you have a responsibility to censure the boards’ appointment of Mr. Loewenstein.

“Mr. Loewenstein regularly makes highly offensive or simply inflammatory comments, although I recognise that this in itself is little reason to decry his association with the Centre. One particular statement, however, has stuck with me for some time, which will offer you an insight into the ideological nature of this particular journalist:

“The defeat of America and its allies in Iraq is vital to ensure similiar [sic] acts are not carried out again.”

“While Loewenstein denies calling for the murder of Australian, and American, soldiers, a defeat of the Howard Government’s aims in Iraq will mean not only a defeat for democracy and human rights, but the strengthening of the terrorist movement in Iraq – at the expense of Western forces serving in the country – something he wants to happen in order to change the direction of Australian foreign policy.

“I would like to point out, again, that I agree with the right of Mr. Loewenstein to make any statements in our free and open society – but it is nonetheless upsetting that this journalist has been given such prominence by the Centre, noting his attitudes as well as his lack of formal qualifications – indeed, while he himself states he worked as a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, it has been suggested he merely reviewed books at the paper.

“Furthermore, I would like to remind the Liberal Party that while maintaining power at a Federal level since 1996 and introducing widespread reforms, it has had little achievement in gaining the appointment of either moral conservatives or free-market liberals to prominent positions in Australian academia, or – for that matter- at the ABC and SBS television networks, funded largely by the same tax-payers who have, in droves, supported the Liberal Party and the Howard Government in its elections since (before) 1996. To put it simply, I for one would like to see further returns for my vote, with the Federal Government using its funding power to influence appointments in the academic community, and certainly at the ABC and SBS. For you, Mr. Abbott, to rightly censure Mr. Loewenstein’s appointment, would be an excellent start (or you could try instead to justify it).

“I await your reply, but would be upset to hear the common excuse that ‘diversity’ is required within the ABC, SBS and academic community, and the Liberal Party worries about smothering opposing views, as I believe the current situation goes far beyond a diversity of views, and is no doubt strangling to any individual who would dare support the Howard Government, or share the Liberal Party’s values.”

Isn’t it healthy to see a Liberal party voter supporting the idea of stacking academic and media boards with cronies? It’s just not cricket, this man writes, that such “inflammatory” views are expressed in polite society. Furthermore, calling for the defeat of “Coalition” forces in Iraq has become redundant; circumstances have already seen to it.

  • leftvegdrunk

    "DBO – so you reckon having the most popular blog in Australia counts for nothing, but WOW, coming tenth (or even first) in some shitty blog comp with a left-leaning judging panel is sooo much more indicative?"Not what I said, is it?