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.

Being a martyr

Holocaust denier David Irving – still banned from entering Australia – is soon to face trial in Austria over statements that denied the existence of gas chambers in Auschwitz. Having already lost a trial in 2000 against historian Deborah Lipstadt – he was exposed as a Holocaust denier and supporter of white supremacist ideology – he is again facing the courts for his outlandish views. (Interestingly, Lipstadt is calling for his release.)

His current trial is likely to be yet another episode in the sordid chapter of Irving’s life. Loved by neo-Nazis and disliked, though strangely respected, by some historians, Irving is likely to remain a controversial figure. His Austrian lawyer explains his position: “In a free society, it must be possible to be able to say something that is wrong and offensive without being criminally prosecuted.”

I agree and this is why I’ve always opposed both the Labor and Liberal government ban on him entering Australia. His views, while toxic, should not be censored because it merely creates a martyr out of a man who will always appeal to a tiny minority. I understand Jewish concerns over Irving but believe it’s much healthier in a robust democracy to allow such people to enter and remain on the fringes, rather than becoming media “stars” and supposed defenders of free speech.

15 comments ↪
  • Shabadoo

    Amazingly, we're in agreement – I don't think anyone should face legal jeopardy for what are essentially thought crimes.Would be interested to hear your thoughts on the pastors in VIC who are facing the wrath of the anti-vilifcation statutes…

  • Antony Loewenstein

    My views are pretty similar.I know many people in Vic who support the anti-vilification laws, and I can actually see the reasons behind them, but it seems to be a little dangerous. Then again, 'victims' of hate speech should have rights, too.

  • Shabadoo

    As someone who's generally libertarian, I find it interesting that so many attempts around the world in liberal democracies to stifle uncomfortable opinions are coming from supposedly tolerant 'progressives'…not just in Victoria, or even on American campuses with their infamous speech codes, but in England, where disapproving of gay marriage can cause a visit from the cops — look at Iqbal Sacranie! The question is, what is being a 'victim' about? I think the legal bar needs to be far higher than being made uncomfortable or generally offended, otherwise it's a dictatorship of the hyper-sensitive.

  • violet

    David Irving needs to go and live in Iran with his like-minded souls…oh that's right, Iran will not let anyone in who has an Israeli stamp in their passport.

  • Shabadoo

    Actually just thinking about this a bit more I think I'm going to go a bit more nuanced: Austria shouldn't try/jail Irving, but at the same time, we're not under any obligation to let him in, and I'd be perfectly happy if the Australian government said that we as a community find these views repugnant, and please take them somewhere else, thank you.

  • Stev

    Then again if we're going to refuse entry to people on the basis that, as a community, we find their views or beliefs repugnant, there are a few people posting in these comments who would do best to look for another country to live in.Quite frankly, though, as a country we're so diverse that I think it would be hard to find a view or belief that at least a certain subsection of the community didn't find repugnant.

  • Ibrahamav

    Here's to Irving becoming a martyr, Zundel too, in fact all of loewensteins heroes can become martyrs for all I care.

  • orang

    Ant is trying to get them over here so you can fight them Ib – so you won't have to fight them over there.

  • Ibrahamav

    Doubt it.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    violet said… "Iran will not let anyone in who has an Israeli stamp in their passport."Just curious: is that actually true?

  • Ibrahamav

    You can easily find out.

  • Wombat

    Eddie,I would not be surprised. A good friend of mine travelled extensively through the ME and told me that he had to visit Jordan before Israel to avoid trouble at immigration.I am only guessing, but I would expect the opposite to be trueo to some extent.

  • Ibrahamav

    Somehow it seems that most of your beliefs are based on information that you gleened from "only guessing"

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Somehow it seems that most of your beliefs are based on information that you gleened from "only guessing" "Since you're the expert – in your own mind at least – on absolutely everything, why don't you tell us? You do know, right?

  • Ibrahamav

    You need something to feed your antisemitic appetite?Get it somewhere else.