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.

Paying the price for a crazy war

My latest piece for Online Opinion – one of Australia’s most popular e-journals of social and political debate – evaluates the long-term costs of the Iraq war and the embedded journalism that allows the slaughter to continue:

“Australia is inadequately served by its elected representatives. As [former] minister of defence, Robert Hill told us that “political progress is being made in Iraq” and leaving troops in Iraq was “contributing to [our] own security.” The facts contradict him and yet media interest barely registers. The Sydney Morning Herald still believes – according to its editorial on January 12 – the US ‘hoped to create a stable, secular democracy [in Iraq]’. Readers should therefore presume had US planning been more efficient, the Iraqi people would be living in utopia. The fact untold thousands of Iraqis have been murdered since 2003 and tortured or targeted by US-backed Shiite militias, should be enough to cause reflection for even the most hardened chicken-hawk.

“Such false presumptions are the mainstay of the mainstream media and result in diminished democracy. Our mainstream media has never been more reviled and mistrusted. Why, for example, did a leading journalist from The Age recently travel to the US as a guest of the world’s leading military contractor, Lockheed Martin? Brendan Nicholson filed a report on January 7 about Australia’s role in the US-led missile defence system. Propaganda was too kind a word.”

My Online Opinion archive is here.

21 comments ↪
  • Melanie

    Antony, as for the bit about Jews being their own worst enemy and using Andrew Klavan as a another 'specimen', you might have wanted to do some fact checking.He is baptized and a member of the Episcopal Church.http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006071Now go an re-read what he said and you may find that he is talking about you.

  • Melanie
  • Wombat

    Nice piece AL. Weird about the Age reporter being shouted a trip by Lockheed Martin. What's the deal with that?Melanie, wrong thread swetheart.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Klavan isn't a Jew? Well, strike me down. Perhaps I should have made that a little clearer. A Christian Zionist, rabid Zionist nutter?My mistake. He can still be kicking an own goal, darling. And he did. Only dutiful little Zionists would think otherwise.

  • Melanie

    You knew all along? Perhaps you should have made it clearer? hmmm.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I should have. Point taken.

  • Wombat

    Fair enough Melanie,I wasn't being derogatory. I'm just in an unusally cordial mood. ;-)This wouldn't be the first time we've seen non-Jews trying to out Zionize the Zionists, if you'll excuse the expression. The Democratic leader, Nany Pelosi put on quite a performance at the last AIPAC Convention, when she harped on about the heartache of the settlers being displaced from Gaza. Even Shron, who was there to give a speech, didn't seem nearly as heart broken abotu it as she was.I am impressed by your investigative skills re Klavan BTW.

  • Melanie

    why was my comment deleted? I thought it was fair.

  • Melanie

    addamo: Because any Jew reading it would have recognised that he wasn't Jewish so I needed to prove it.

  • Wombat

    Maybe it wasn't deleted. Sometimes I post and my comment does not appear. Try it again.

  • Wombat

    Melanie said…"Because any Jew reading it would have recognised that he wasn't Jewish so I needed to prove it."Yeah sure. But what gave it away?

  • Melanie

    If you could bring yourself to thinking like a Jew and read it, you'll know what I mean.

  • Melanie

    addammo: "Maybe it wasn't deleted. Sometimes I post and my comment does not appear. Try it again."No it was up there and then it went. I can't remember exactly what I said but I was making the point the whole point of the post was based on this guy being Jewish, and that rather than Jews being their own worst enemies, maybe Antony was his own worst enemy. Maybe my criticism was censored?(this time I'm copying the post before I send it incase it gets lost again)

  • Wombat

    Melanie,Yes I saw that comment. Nothing untoward about it AFAIK.To your credit, you have never posted anything that would warrant being deleted. When posts are deleted, there is a stamp left behind stating so.Yes, copying is a good idea. I have lost some long ramblings of my own from quirks in the system.

  • David

    Ah, Antony, your previously mentioned piece in Online Opinion is a treasure trove of tortured syntax and contorted grammar. And that's not even mentioning your rank hypocrisy. If this is indicative of what awaits us with your book, we're all in for a real treat.A few telling examples:Such was the reality for extreme ideologues that had formulated plans to reshape the Middle East in the hallowed halls of academia and listened to the ramblings of Orientalist Bernard Lewis.Eh, that should read extreme ideologues WHO formulated plans… Last time I checked, ideologues were people, and thus the pronoun who, rather than that applies. And your comment seems to indicate that those devious ideologues intended to reshape the Middle East in the hallowed halls of academia. I know Wolfie & co are pretty smart, but I fail to see how even they could move an entire geographic region into some buildings on a university campus. This is simply crappy writing, and there's even less excuse for bad prose than there is for specious logic. And you claim to be a journalist? No wonder they canned your ass from the SMH's web supplement. Pure incompetence.And then we get to your hypocrisy. You reprove the 4th estate for their failure to engage in the sort of on-the-ground reporting in Iraq that would provide a full picture of the debacle that you believe is unfolding. But Antony, that belief is predicated solely on second-hand evidence. You say:The security situation is precarious, to be sure, but this is no excuse for ignoring the ever-deteriorating lives of Iraqis under occupation.But I don't see you rectifying that lack by hopping on a plane to do a little first-hand reportage from beautiful downtown Falluja. You talk-the-talk real well. But you are more than a bit deficient in the walking-the-walk department.You go on to declare:It is no longer necessary to wish for the defeat of the US and its allies in Iraq; circumstances have seen to that.Well I can't tell you how pleased I am to hear that you no longer yearn for the sight of dead Australian soldiers, Antony. But, of course, even when you did want to see dead diggers, you would never have had the guts to go over to the Middle East for a bit of trigger time yourself. You are very clearly a 'stay in the rear with the gear' kinda bloke. More vintage Loewenstein hypocrisy:The question remains how we can rescue the country [by this you mean Iraq] from the clutches of political leaders with no sense of history or cultural understanding. we? You actually have the temerity to use the first person plural pronoun? Yet I don't see you doing any volunteering to rescue anything from anybody. Last I heard, you were still safe and sound in Sydney, pontificating from afar. And with your Hebrew illiteracy having already been amply demonstrated, allow me to express my profound scepticism as to whether you know anything of the Arabic language or culture. So let me get this straight: Loewnstein, who doesn't speak a lick of any language of the region, wants to save Iraq from indigenous leaders who have more Arab cultural literacy in their fingernail clippings than Antony does in his entire body.There's only one response to that: Ha!

  • Wombat

    Daid,Are you trying to get someone's atention? That's 3 times you poasted your diatribe.We get the message mate. How's you're non existent blog going?

  • David

    Quite non-existent. I'm having too much fun pissing on your leftist parade here.

  • Wombat

    Better improve your aim mate. So far you seem to be shooting blanks. Not your fault. It tends to happen to those who are factually challenged.

  • neoleftychick

    AntonyI am not a Jew either and I support Israel so what does that make me?

  • Wilbourne

    You're getting quite a roasting in the forum for your Online Opinion piece. I look forward to you addressing the many concerns raised by posters there.

  • Dave S.

    neoleftychick said: "I am not a Jew either and I support Israel so what does that make me?"A lefty who at least has SOME decency, common sense, and intellectual honesty?