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 growing shadow

The BBC reports China’s increasing influence in Africa:

“Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing is sweeping through Africa on a concerted charm offensive – signing economic deals, raising Beijing’s diplomatic profile and highlighting along the way China’s newly trumpeted policy of strategic partnership with Africa. There is no doubt of Africa’s importance in fuelling China’s remarkable growth.

“China’s rapacious energy needs are increasingly shaping its foreign policy, especially in regions like Africa, rich in natural resources and eager for investment.

But what do Africans themselves think of the country’s rapid rise? Nigerian blogger Chippla Vandu remains sceptical but offers this:

“China is surely interested in Africa’s immense natural resources. But unlike Europe and America, China would not be coming to obtain such resources while turning a blind eye to the despicably pathetic poverty that plagues large parts of Africa south of the Sahara. After all, China is a developing country with a per capita GDP lower than those of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.”

US influence is waning on the continent – “forget about America. All it does is buy Nigeria’s oil and nothing more” – but will China be any different?

34 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    Good question.China seems prepared to engage in deals that a mutually beneficial, rather than back their oppnent into a corner to see how much they can screw them.it woudl make a welcome change to see these impoverished sountries getting somethign in return. I guess much of it comes down to whether the country is run by a tyrant or a phylanthropist. That's why the US is so fond of thugs. They are essentially motivate by greed and the paranoid desire to hold on to power – much like most US president actually.

  • Shabadoo

    What makes Vandu think that the Chinese give a damn about Africa? He should check out their rapacious behaviour in the Sudan viz. oil and arms dealing. Let's not go romanticising a bunch of half-reconstructed Maoists, now. (And read the new Mao bio, by the way, for an interesting account of how the "Dear Leader" tried to export world revolution and misery to the continent).

  • Armagnac Esq.

    I think it's as much strategic as anything. Africa may account for a pissant quantity of world GDP, but it's got lots of countries each with a UN vote.

  • rejitex

    The Wall Street Journal – Mar 17, 2002 Terror Advocate Dies in Accident By James Taranto Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old terrorism advocate from Olympia, Wash., died in a bulldozer accident yesterday. Corrie was at fault in the accident, which occurred when she either stood or crouched in front of an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer in Gaza. The bulldozers were part of an IDF tunnel- and mine-clearing operation. The Rafah refugee camp borders Egypt, from which Palestinian terrorists smuggle in weapons and explosives. And according to interim peace accords, Israel has the right to operate in and secure the area. Corrie not only backed anti-Israeli terrorism; she also hated America. An Associated Press photo shows Corrie, her face contorted with hate, burning a "mock U.S. flag" at a pro-Saddam rally last month. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs.) Reuters reports on a "symbolic funeral" that drew some 1,000 Palestinian Arabs. One of them tells the "news" service: "We fly a U.S. flag today to show our support to all American peace lovers, those like Rachel." If she were still alive, no doubt she'd have burned the flag. It's a shame that Rachel Corrie died the way she did. It's shameful that she lived the way she did

  • Ibrahamav

    China's leaders turns a blind eye to the despicably pathetic poverty that plagues large parts of China.It will be the same in Africa. They will buy African leaders, just as other nations did.

  • Shabadoo

    In any case, oil brings jobs and foreign currency to these countries…what's the alternative? Aid to kleptocracies? This all seems very unhinged from reality.

  • Glenn Condell

    Taranto is a prick rejitex, and so are you.

  • orang

    Taranto is a BIG PRICK, rejitex is a small prick.Apologist for murder you c*cksuker.http://www.veteransforpeace.org/Statement_Rachel_Corrie_031703.htmhttp://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=1866&CategoryId=23

  • Wombat

    What do you expect from yet another Murdoch fascist rag? CRachel Corrie will longbe remembered, and James Taranto will be consigned tothe dutbins of journalism history.Even Faux News would not be so extreme to make such a distorted observation.

  • Ibrahamav

    Corrie will be remembered as a great member of the Darwin club. Thank God there will be no little Corries aiding and abetting palestinian terrorists.

  • Wombat

    Your a sick bottom feeder Ibraham.Her only crime was drawing people's attention to the obvious.

  • Ibrahamav

    As long as you run around thinking that aiding palestinian terrorists is not a crime…Regardless, Corrie was a hate filled moron who died because of her own stupidity, unable to get out of the way of a speeding bulldozer moving at 6 miles an hour.A college degree from Evergreen is now being seen as a liability.

  • Wombat

    You stil havent; explained why the bulldozer reversed over the body after she'd been hit. Are Israeli bulldozers bereft of brakes?Just following orders?

  • Ibrahamav

    I don't have to. Read the court transcripts.

  • Wombat

    Of course,the transcripts from a court that regards the actions of the tractor driver to be in accordance with Israeli policy.

  • Ibrahamav

    Regardless of the outcome, the transcripts contain the answers to your questions.They are not the answers that you imagine in your fetid mind. But what can you expect from the truth?

  • Wombat

    So are you saying that brutality and murder is sanctioned by Israel?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Another hi-jacked thread. What a surprise.Re China, the issue is not one of nationality. (That is, will the Chinese act differently to the old European colonial powers?) It's one of class. (Yes, class.) Who is setting China's agenda, and for what purpose?Political economy, folks.

  • Ibrahamav

    I am saying that _01 continues to strew bulladdamo.Yes, I believe it was hijacked by an accidental posting by rejitex. Both myself and shabadoo attempted to place it back on track, but you know when the antisemites on this blog get their teeth in something, you can't shake them off.Glenn, the ape man, and _01 started throwing addamo every which way in an attempt to further their personal agendas. That ended all attempts to right the thread and what was left was just trying to contain the addamo before it got out of hand.Thank you for steering it back to the China syndrome. It is indeed political.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ibra,You appear incapable of mounting any argument without resorting to name-calling or 'anti-Semitism.' Your paranoia is astounding.Perhaps it's time to take this attitude elsewhere. Stay on topic, and drop the abuse…

  • Edward Mariyani-Squire

    Ibrahamav said…
    “It is a favorite tactic for those who glean their info from white supremist and islamofascist sites.”

    I’ve never seen one. You on the other hand seem to be VERY familiar with them … a little TOO familar if you ask me. You are indeed the most suspicious sludge to ooze itself across this blogsite. No one but a deeply committed neo-Nazi would portray Zionism the way you do. Everyone knows your just a neo-Nazi troll, so just be done with it and come out of your cave.

  • Wombat

    There was no need for you to come to the rescue Ibraham. You probably fancy yourself as some laptop bombadier who's defending Israeal against evil, but given the freaquency of the altercations you get into, it all seems pretty fruitless don;t oyu think?All you are doing is creating noise and bringing hatred to the list. I can't see how any of this can be rewarding to you. Maybe you should take AL's advice and move on to another forum of more like minded people. Surely you can find more than a couple.In all honesty, it would probably be best for everyone concerned.

  • Ibrahamav

    Wiping the addamo off this blog is not fruitless at all. Every time your particular lies are exposed, some one else sees the light.I feel pretty good about that. Tough titty for you though, in all honesty. By the way, are you tired of kissing eddie's ass and are moving on to AL's?

  • Wombat

    Ibrahamav ,It's typical of a paranoid loser that you see opponents of your agreeing with each other as some homoerotic advanture. So much easier than admitting that you are on your lonesome at he end of a plank, wawing your keyboard in defiance and pretending that you are winning.You have become the lughing stock of this forum without a doubt. In fact, I welcome your slander. Given how consisntely off base your arguments are, it makes me look good.Even those who hold similar views to you roll there eyes at your diatribes.

  • Ibrahamav

    Since I haven't lost anything, your little speech was worthless. But since you've already been outed, there is no telling to what lengths your delution will grow.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav, there is one person here who is attempting to present Zionism in the worst possible light; someone determined to make "defenders of Israel" look like morally repulsive blood-lusters; someone totally committed to making it appear that advocates of Zionism are religiously bigoted, racist, fascistic sociopaths. That's you. Only an anti-Semite would consciously choose this path. That's you.

  • Ibrahamav

    Since you have failed to come up with anything resembling a point, you have been reduced to spam?It is a favorite tactic for those who glean their info from white supremist and islamofascist sites.

  • Wombat

    Ibrahamav said…"It is a favorite tactic for those who glean their info from white supremist and islamofascist sites."Comming from a white supremist neo nazi as yourself, that's useful to know.You posting much on those sites these days?

  • Ibrahamav

    Never expected to to actually admit to it. But your writing reveals that you actually do. How's your buddy Zundel doing?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "How's your buddy Zundel doing?"You see? I have to do a google search to find out who the Zundel character is, while you appear to be his intimate. Waaay too suspicious.

  • Ibrahamav

    Thanks for letting us know how ignorant you are. But you're not ignorant, are you? Hmmm…..And how's your buddy Irving?

  • boredinHK

    DBO, Who is setting China's agenda and for what purpose ? You mentioned class and I think by this you mean class as in class struggle ? Not entirely sure how this translates into forcasting China's actions internationally but I would like to know what your thoughts are on this. The comment I would make is that the government here wants to ensure they can access raw materials . If a country can supply these materials they will have a reliable customer in the chinese but generally I don't think the Chinese government will take sides in another countries internal political struggles. China is a secular state and usually unwilling to state which side it supports ( if indeed there ever is any support ) in other country's religiously based conflicts.They are for example a major customer of Iranian oil and also Israeli arms and technology .They are customers of Sudan and avoid actions which could be assumed to indicate support for either side. The blogger cited mentions that they are sceptical of Chinese investment in Africa and I think this is reasonable. Roads, rail and ports are all great infrastructure to have and undoubtably help the recipient of such construction work . If they are built by chinese state owned construction companies and from aid money from China which is tied to the use of chinese companies the transfer of technology is more limited and the local population will perhaps view the investment as a different form of exploitation.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "And how's your buddy Irving?Kristal or Berlin? Neither of them are my "buddies".

  • Ibrahamav

    Your mentor, david. Like you, someone who twists the facts in order to support an antisemitic agenda.