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.

Just another washed-up Zionist comedian

After my recent TV “debate” with Jewish “comedian” Austen Tayshus (information here), I received this email:

“Mate, I wouldn’t discuss appearance if I were you. Resorting to swipes at my appearance is evidence of how bereft you truly are. You are ashamed of who you are, lacking even the basic knowledge of yiddishkeit. You are a coward and a liar and our history is sprinkled with Nebbishes like you. I challenged you once to a debate and you declined because you are gutless. Lets debate publicly with a mediator, so you ‘can get a word in edgeways’. Tayshus.”

God bless him.

86 comments ↪
  • violet

    stev Understanding and connection, sure, but understanding and connection within one particular race/religion. That's racism I'm afraid. If we're ever going to move forward as a species we need to realise that it's not about understanding and connection between Jews, or understanding and connection between Muslims. It's about understanding and connection within humanity. The first step in that process is realising that there is no such thing as a Jewish Soul, there is only a soul – something we all have. Something we all have…in commonWhere did you learn this?? Honestly it's ideological psycho-academic babble. According to this thesis it's racist to identify with your own culture or religion. Belonging to a religion or culture does not inhibit your ability to belong to humanity.

  • Melanie

    You see David, or whoever you are going to start calling yourself now, it's hard to share with people who quite openly say they want to kill you. The majority of don't want a single Jew on Palestinians soil and they see Palestinians soil as all of Israel. Does this appear racist to you, or is it just Israel that is being racist because they don't want to be killed by Palestinians.

  • Stev

    Identifying with your culture is one thing Violet. Considering that your soul is any different from the souls of other races, religions or cultures is something else altogether. Belonging to a religion or culture does not make one racist. Considering yourself, and those within your culture or religion, to be different from those in other cultures or religions is dangerous. Perhaps it's not racist. Hell, if we're talking about cultures rather than races, it's definitely not racist – but it's certainly dangerous.Sure, people in one culture/religion/creed are often different from those in other cultures/religions/creeds. But at the same time, people within those groups are different from each other. We are all different.And I get that in perceiving the world we see a need to classify things. But when we consider our classification as 'Jewish', 'Australian', 'Gay' – whatever the religion/culture/creed/sexuality may be – when we consider that classification before we consider ourselves as human, it brings us closer to others within that culture, but at the same time it distances us from all other cultures.That distance breeds a lack of understanding. A lack of understanding breeds fear. Fear breeds hatred. Hatred leads to the dark side…ok…so I'm starting to sound like Yoda here, but it's the truth. People within certain cultures already identify with others in those cultures by default. We should be looking to identify with those in other cultures.And sure, it may be ideological. Maybe it's an impossible dream. Perhaps I'm naive for even thinking this. But I do think it, and I think it's the only way we're ever going to stop blowing each other up.By the way, no comment on my clarification of your implication that Jews who criticise Israel lose their souls in doing so?

  • Melanie

    stev, so the Jews are imagining that the Islamist are wanting to kill them? And if you say yes, then I suggest before you start preaching, you should go visit memri.org and watch some footage of sermons. Or maybe follow the case in the courts at the moment in Britain where Abu Hamza's defence for calling for death to all Jews is that it can't be hate speech because it is straight from the Koran. Yes that is his defense.

  • Stev

    I don't doubt for a second that there are many Muslims who call for the death of all Jews. Nor do I doubt (actually I know for a fact) that there are many Jews that believe the only good Arab is a dead Arab.So how does that make either view right? Let's not pretend that the Muslim world woke up yesterday and thought "fuck it, let's set out to kill all Jews". This animosity is built on decades of history. And by the same token I don't expect it to change overnight.But the only way I see forward is through learning to associate, learning to identify with our fellow man before associating with those within our culture. I've thought about it some more and the problem does not come from identifying with those within our cultural group, it comes from identifying with those within our cultural group ahead of identifying with mankind in general. When we see our common ground with those within our cultural group as more important than our common ground with our fellow man, it creates segregation and leads to the Yoda stuff I listed above.One of the best ideas I heard of regarding the whole Israeli/Palestinian situation was a program that sets up an Israeli child with a Palestinian pen pal and vice versa. Understanding, not segregation, is the only way forward.

  • Stev

    And I realise that this all sounds idealistic, but idealism is the only way any of this will ever get anywhere near being resolved. If we're not going to be idealistic and hopeful, then what are any of us doing here discussing it? We might as well just throw our hands in the air and say 'Forget it, they'll always hate each other, let's just let them duke it out and the last man standing wins'.

  • violet

    stevOne of the best ideas I heard of regarding the whole Israeli/Palestinian situation was a program that sets up an Israeli child with a Palestinian pen pal and vice versa. Understanding, not segregation, is the only way forward.Good on you. I applaud your good intentions. But check out this site and you will see what you are up against. I have met Itmar Marcus who runs Palestinian Media Watch. He is a good and honourable man who would share your sentiments. Take a look at the section about "school books".

  • Melanie

    stev: By far the majority of Israelis have been idealistic as far as aspirations for peace with the Palestinians goes. But when you have a majority of Palestinians not even willing to even consider a compromise – that being accepting Israel's existence – it makes it difficult. But easy for you to talk from where you are.Tell me, what do you think about Dhimmitude?

  • Melanie

    stev, violets link was bad but it was to here:http://www.pmw.org.il/

  • Stev

    Interesting site Violet, I read the schoolbooks section as you suggested, it's obviously worrying stuff. I have no doubt that we're (we being 'people for peace' – important not to perpetuate an 'us vs them' mentality) up against a large battle. But as I say, we can either keep up the fight, or give up.Melanie, you're right, it is comparitively easy for me to talk from where I am, but it's the only place I can talk from, so continue to talk I will. Obviously from here I cannot fairly judge numbers, but I think it's dangerous, if not altogether false, to make generalisations about 'most Israelis' being idealistic about peace and 'most Palestinians' being for the destruction of Israel. I would imagine, even on the ground in the West Bank, it is impossible to judge what the mentality is of a 'majority' of people. I think it's more important to concede that there is a great deal of hatred on both sides and that neither side is without guilt.There is certainly no argument that it is a difficult situation – for those seeking peace on both sides, no matter what the numbers may be.To be honest, I had not heard the term Dhimmitude before your mentioning it, so I will have to read up a bit before I can give you my opinion.

  • violet

    stevAnother site that might interest you is Dhimmi Watch. You may not like some of the stuff Robert Spencer posts, but down the left hand side of the homepage is a description of what Dhimmitude is.

  • Stev

    I will definitely read more of both Palestinian Media Watch and Dhimmi Watch. I also intend to read more about Dhimmitude in general, although I think I have enough of an understanding of the concept to comment.It's an interesting concept. Can't say I agree with it altogether, but then there is much in Islamic culture that I don't personally agree with. Personally I don't agree with any country's government being based around any religion either. But the fact is Islam exists and it is what it is. And it is also a fact that there are countries under religious rule. I know this has been touched on in several other threads, although Islam would benefit from a change, I don't think any of us have the right to demand that change, just as I don't think Islam has any right to demand we change to suit its world view.I guess all we can really do is respect the right of any person to believe what they choose to believe. I can appreciate that as far as cultures go, Islam is – from what I understand – less tolerant of other beliefs than most cultures. But again, we can no more demand they change than they can demand change of us (I'm slipping into 'us vs them' language again, but I think it's unavoidable in this particular context).Islam is no doubt set firm in its ways, but I truly believe if we endeavour to foster a culture of understanding and respect globally, eventually, as new generations grow up in this culture, it will affect their beliefs.So in short, yes, I disagree with Dhimmitude and with much of the rhetoric of Islam, but I think demanding change of Islam is neither right, nor will it yield any results. I believe the only way forward is for each of us to work towards understanding and respect and eventually that understanding and respect will trickle down to all cultures. I realise this is all quite abstract, but I really don't see any other way forward. It's either that, or the rule of an iron fist that forces everyone to believe what a certain culture determines is right, and I think we can all agree that is not in anyone's best interest.(Nice little synchronicity that my word verification for this post is 'jewmr' – when after a long discussion this is the one post that doesn't in any way refer to jews or judaism!)

  • Melanie

    stev: "To be honest, I had not heard the term Dhimmitude before your mentioning it, so I will have to read up a bit before I can give you my opinion."Now that is the problem. Please read this:http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/archives/001535.html

  • David Heidelberg

    Neo,I thought that you were banned from here? I wouldn't take advice from you if you were the last person on earth after your "wipe out the towelheads” comments.Violet, I apologise if you aren't Neo. Your patronising polemic writing styles are virtually identical. The peace offerings that you refer to made NO concessions for a Palestinian right of return and you know it. That's the sticking point.Also, you still didn't address my points about your racist language. Is it really your contention that multiculturalism would lead to the inhalation of the Jewish people? That's quite a claim.As forever left the link to memri.org and pmw.org, I suggest that you visit hereA group of ex mossad agents runs Memri. I'm sure that they're very objective.

  • Stev

    Melanie,True, it is a problem. Any lack of knowledge or understanding is a problem. And perhaps there is a wider lack of understanding of the concept of Dhimmitude among those discussing politics in the region, but I don't know that I'm particularly indicative of that – my knowledge of Middle East politics in general is fairly limited.But I have to wonder exactly what point you are trying to make with regards to Dhimmitude. Are you saying that Islam is a bad belief structure and should be outlawed or modified to something that is more acceptable to the Western world?As I have said previously, understanding and tolerance is needed on both sides. Again, as I said, I don't personally agree with a country's politics being governed by religion, but the fact remains that the tenets of Islam do exist and there are countries that are governed by Islam and I don't see this changing any time soon. Unless you want to bomb those countries until they submit and accept Western politics, I don't really see what option we have other than to attempt understanding and tolerance.I'm sorry, but I just don't understand what point you're trying to make. Are you suggesting we should outlaw Islam? I can't believe you really think that's an option. Are you suggesting we force Islam to change its tenets – again, even if you do think that's what we should do, surely you don't believe that the beliefs of a people or a cultural group can be changed by force.Yes, Dhimmitude needs to be understood and there are probably a great many people who need to learn about it and take it into consideration when discussing the politics and attitudes of people in the region, but surely you can't really be saying 'Look, the Israelis, Jews and Zionists understand, respect and tolerate all of Islamic/Arab culture – it's those stupid Arabs, Muslims and anti-Zionists who need a better understanding'? Again, greater understanding, respect and tolerance is needed on both sides.

  • Melanie

    David "Your patronising polemic writing styles are virtually identical." Are you stealing lines now from those that outed you?And what of your total hypocracy in your accusation in the first place? David the right of return is a no go. Everyone know it means the end of Israel. Anyone that pushes for it makes their agenda pretty clear.Memri links to the actual articles and real video footage so what is the argument.

  • Melanie

    stev, I agree that understanding and tolerance is needed on both sides. That is exactly my point. There is so much that is missing in trying to fully understand the situation.

  • neoleftychick

    DavidRead My Lips. There never has been, is not, and never will be a "right" of return to Israel for the "Palestinians." Good lord, even Jordan either killed them or kicked them out. And the rest? Jordan revoked their Jordanian citizenship!! NICE.

  • Mannie

    "With due respect, you miss the point. I intend to publish, like Norman Finkelstein, a large collection of the hate mail I receive. It is important, I believe, to show the public what kind of individuals are fighting in the Zionist corner."I couldn't agree more!Gutman has shown himself incapable of debate – he knows how to shout and drown out the person who is trying to discuss issues with him.He is typical of so many on this blog, who think that by abuse, they will win arguments. These tactics are called bullying, and it is very interesting how many on this blog like to bully – shout your opponents down and believe you have answered them.Those who have all the answers show they are not too keen to go and live in the reality that is Israel today, and Gutman does not seem to be on his way there permanently either.Is it the compulsory military service or the dark glasses?? or a lot of other things they don't want to be part of?"A mediator, which has been suggested by Austen, would mediate the event. A debate is something Antony is terrified of — because he knows he couldn't defend his discriminative views in the public space. He's a coward, plain and simple.Rhoss, you are right about this:In the scheme of things he is hardly important A more accurate description of Antony, I couldn't find."Why do these people stay on this blog if they are so bored – in the greater scheme of things they haven't got anything to offer except abuse. Just go away and do your important things like going to Israel and fighting with the IDF.

  • David Heidelberg

    Melanie,No body 'outed me' so I don't know what you're talking about. If it's about Mushtaq, I outed myself once I proved my point. Having said that, I regret the whole incident.I agree that there needs to be dialogue on both sides. Also I'm not advocating a right of return for the Palestinians, merely pointing out why peace talks failed.And Dhimmitude is a furphy spoken of rarely, and then only by fanatics who should be ignored. If you want hard core zionist opinion of non-jews, have a look at comments made by Chabad-Lubavitch. No there's religious tolerance for you – NOTmemri has been shown to provide false translations, and cherry pick stories. They should be ignored. Even Fox news would provide a more balanced view.

  • Melanie

    A fuphy? Sure it's rarely spoken of but that is the problem. Hamas have already stated that they will introduce the Dhimmi tax if they win.http://www.chiesa.espressonline.it/dettaglio.jsp?id=44202&eng=y

  • Wombat

    Violet,I have a questino for you. Do you think Michelle Malkin is lame for publishing hate mail she receives on her web site? d oyou think she is lame for writing a whole book on the subject? Do you think bill O'Reilly is lame for bringing up al the hate mail he gets and talkig abotu how extreme and bangerous the left are?Do you think a woman who is sexually harassed (via e-mail or messages left on her phone) is lame to use this as evidence that she is a victim of sexual harassment?

  • Melanie

    and david, you didn't out yourself. You weren't trying to prove a point unless the point was to prove that you could pretend to be someone else until you got sprung – well then you proved it. You got caught out.

  • Ibrahamav

    Mannie said… "Why do these people stay on this blog"Because exposing the run-of-the-mill antisemites here is so easy. It's like target practice. It hones us for when we go after the real players.This is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • Wombat

    If it;'s easy then you must be getting bored. Haven;t you outgrown this blog Ibby?When do you think you'll be ready to crawl out from under your rock and go after the real players?

  • Ibrahamav

    The rock you're hiding under? I stay away from rocks. Too many Palestinians collect them for weapons and it's wrong to pick them off so easily without giving them a fighting chance to commit suicide.

  • James Waterton

    You did not "out yourself", David Heidelberg. Is your nickname Goebbels? You came clean once you realised the game was up. Andrea Harris at Tim Blair's outed you with the following comment. You later on admitted your deceit. Follow this link here to find out how Heidelberg destroyed his credibility. There was no act. The man is utterly two faced – as his recent attempts to claim the contrary prove.Goebbels, don't try to pretend you were on some moral crusade. You were deceitful, pure and simple. You absolutely should regret your actions – your credibility is indelibly and rightfully tarnished due to your dishonest behaviour. You should and will remain a laughing stock. If I were you, I'd disappear from the blogosphere. If I couldn't resist the lure, I'd assume another name. Your copybook is blotted for good and you are a joke. Don't forget that – because no one else will, either.Your blatant lying and attempts to whitewash your embarrassing history are quite disgusting. You need to take a good hard look at yourself.

  • Ibrahamav

    Thank you James. And I loved the zeppenwolf comments on the Corrie incident.

  • violet

    addamoI have a questino for you. Do you think Michelle Malkin is lame for publishing hate mail she receives on her web site? d oyou think she is lame for writing a whole book on the subject?Do you think bill O'Reilly is lame for bringing up al the hate mail he gets and talkig abotu how extreme and bangerous the left are? Yes, I do and Yes, I do Now, I'm disappearing from this silly blog. The owner does not contribute to discussion, does not mediate and is a raging self-promoting antisemite who makes outrageous claims in one-off posts and then behaves like a coward when he is asked to stand by his own words. This is not a blog but a self-promotion machine run by an absentee owner who is only interested in using his audience to further his own presence in the public community.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ok bye bye.

  • David Heidelberg

    I've just deleted the above comment as I wrote it in anger, and as a result it was far more abusive and inarticulate than I intended.All I say to James is that I emailed Andrea and outed myself as Mushtaq because I wanted to be allowed to comment as myself again. Instead of responding, she chose to post on the forum that she 'discovered' my identity. This was a complete fabrication of what had really happened, and a continued sore point for me.As for the whole Mushtaq saga, I've posted numerous times that I regret the action I took, but there's little I can do about it now. It lasted for a week and finished almost a year ago.

  • Ibrahamav

    Sorry to see you go violet, but you have posted one of the best descriptions of our antisemitic host .

  • Ibrahamav

    And leave this place festering in addamo? That would be a sin.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ibrahamav, never fear. Your beloved Violet, like Waterton before her, will return with time. These "I am never coming back" things are just further efforts to grab attention, methinks. We'll see, I spose.

  • Wombat

    It is a shame to see her go. I never agreed with her, but she was cool to debate with. Hey Ibby, why not join her?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    A final comment on Yet Another Debate:Stev got it right. Addressing himself to Violet:"Seriously though Violet – what do you hope to acheive through this debate? It's not going to change your views. It's not going to change Ant's views. It's not going to change your right wing academic Zionist Jew's views. All it will be is entertaining."IF the objective is to increase understanding or knowledge of the cases "for" and "against" Zionism, then a public debate is pretty much a waste of time. A debate – the attempt to persuade an audience via dialectical engagement – would not PERSUADE anyone who would turn up. Persuasion is only ever possible when the conditions for doubt exist. I strongly suspect the only people who turn up to the kind of debate envisioned are people who already have their views on these matters pretty much set in stone. Thus: waste of time.Even if members of the audience didn't have well-estblished views on the matter, a debate is an ineffective means of gaining information and understanding. That's what books are for.IF however, the objective is to ENTERTAIN the audience (really the only other possibility), then as long as the participants want to achieve that objective, sure, why not have one. The opponents can yell and scream at each other, wear funny hats, and then decide the winner based on, say, the outcome of a jelly-wrestle. No-one should be so disengenuous however, as to call a mere public spectacle a genuine debate.