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.

Against "pragmatism"

The following editorial appeared in the Australian on January 20 and discussed Indonesia’s role in the attempted genocide of East Timor and Western complicity in the slaughter. Scott Burchill, Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of International & Political Studies at Deakin University, has annotated the editorial and his comments appear in red:

East Timor is wise not to seek revenge for crimes past

“Sian Powell’s exclusive report on atrocities against the people of East Timor during the 24 years of Indonesian occupation, published in The Australian yesterday, was grim reading, detailing anything up to 180,000 deaths, mainly from starvation. Drawing on the previously suppressed report of East Timor’s Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, Powell reported its conclusion that the Indonesians killed and kidnapped, starved and tortured tens of thousands. Adding credence to its claims, the commission also finds fault with independence fighters, claiming members of the resistance committed crimes as well (nice hint at moral equivalence). But the overwhelming impression in the commission’s report is that across the years from the 1975 occupation to the 1999 evacuation, the Indonesian army acted appallingly. For all of Indonesia’s arguments that East Timor was just another province, the military treated it as a battle zone, where every civilian seemed suspect.

“Nothing in the report will be news to the people of East Timor (though it will come as news to the paper’s Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan who consistently downplayed, and in some cases entirely dismissed these claims when they were raised by activists and East Timorese at the time). Nor is it intended as the last word on crimes committed under the occupation (what does this mean?). At its foundation in 2002 the commission was ordered to pass on serious criminal cases to the courts for prosecution. It is hard to imagine how the people of East Timor could accept anything else (one senses you are about to imagine just such a thing). The losses of loved ones are still recent, the wounds of occupation still raw. And even if few trials of East Timorese nationals eventuate from the commission’s work, its report still serves an important purpose as a record of the long and agonising birth of the nation. But acknowledging and honouring suffering under the occupation does not mean the East Timorese can afford to be prisoners of the past (just imagine the reaction if this was said to Iraqis or Israelis) and the attempt of the Dili Government to play down the report is understandable. A bare five years after their ignominious withdrawal, the Indonesians would not dare alienate world opinion by threatening the fledgling state (don’t bet on it), but East Timor is desperately poor and incapable of defending itself.

“Dili needs to be on good terms with Jakarta and has nothing to gain, and a great deal to lose, by denouncing Indonesia. While President Xanana Gusmao is now in New York to present the commission’s report to the UN, that it has been kept under wraps for months until now appears to indicate his attitude. Certainly East Timor’s ambassador to the UN says his country is unlikely to seek the prosecution of members of the Indonesian military implicated in atrocities (whereas Saddam and his cronies must be tried). And on their track record to date, the Indonesians are unlikely to pursue their own with any enthusiasm. The foundations for this pragmatic response (letting those guilty of crimes against humanity in Indonesia is a “pragmatic response” whereas in the Balkans and Mesopotamia it’s a must) were established by the two countries last August with the creation of a joint commission with no power to punish anybody charged with abuses under the occupation.

“None of this will be good enough for East Timorese and their Australian supporters who believe all Indonesians, and their allies, who committed crimes during the occupation should be called to account. And critics of the way the Indonesian army deals with rebels will warn it sends a signal that the international community will ignore (certain) acts of injustice, even crimes committed by members of its military. Certainly supporters of the West Papuans who landed on Cape York on Wednesday will want Australia to accept them as refugees. And so we should – if they meet the criteria that applies to all asylum-seekers. But there is no case for the Australian Government sticking its bib into Indonesia’s business (we reserve that for Afghanistan and Iraq) and accepting them as freedom fighters while we accept its long-established sovereignty over West Papua (since when does the recognition of sovereignty preclude recognition of persecution?). It is never wise to jeopardise international relations – especially between neighbours – with single-issue stances (like WMD and terrorism?). East Timor’s determination to get on with Indonesia makes the point. It is often best to acknowledge past wrongs, while leaving them unavenged (see 2 articles in the same edition on Spielberg’s ‘Munich’ which make precisely the opposite argument).”

5 comments ↪
  • orang

    …i think we’re speechless on this one Ant…

  • Rich Bowden

    Instead of being the heroes of East Timorese independence, Clinton Fernandes' book Reluctant Saviour outlines the desperate record we as a country have in firstly approving, and then being complicit in the Timorese genocide.From Gough to Howard, Australia has appeased the Indonesian thirst for slaughter. Thanks for this post Ant, Burchill's notes make for grim reading.The fact that the recently agreed to compact between the Australian & Indonesian governments not to interfere in their internal affairs means the policy is alive and well and the people of West Papua cannot look to Australia for any assistance in their independence struggle.Makes you wanna spew…

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Rich Bowden said… "From Gough to Howard, Australia has appeased the Indonesian thirst for slaughter."It's the Indonesian government's thirst for natural resources.

  • neoleftychick

    Yeah right. Like we all need to listen to the geopolical insights of some provincial Australian Dawkins-University 1960s hangover.Yawn.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Yeah right. Like anyone cares about an anonymous male neo-Nazi like you neoleftychick.