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.

Slapping down the West

Journalist and author Dilip Hiro on the rise of political Islam in the Middle East:

“This [Palestinian elections] is but the latest manifestation of the rise of political Islam in the electoral politics of the Middle East, a development that – despite the Bush administration’s endless promotion of democratic reform in the region – is causing deep worry among top policy makers in Washington.

“Last year began with Islamist candidates winning most of the seats in the first very limited municipal polls in Saudi Arabia and ended with the Iraqi religious parties – both Shiite and Sunni – performing handsomely in the December parliamentary elections. The official Iraqi results, announced on January 21, showed the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance winning almost 80% of the seats that should go to the majority Shiite community. Likewise the Islamic Iraq Party won 80% of the places to which the Sunni minority is entitled.

“In between these polls, in a general election held last summer, Hizbollah emerged as the preeminent representative of Lebanese Shiites, the country’s largest sectarian group (which is grossly underrepresented in parliament). And in the first election for the legislative assembly not flagrantly rigged by Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood registered a nearly 60% success rate by winning 88 out of the 150 seats it contested. The Brotherhood certainly could have won many more, but its leadership deliberately decided to contest only a minority of seats in order not to provoke the regime of Egypt’s pro-American president and so create a situation in which he might be likely to strike out indiscriminately against the opposition.”

Sooner or later, the US and its Western allies will have to learn to deal with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. True democracy means accepting the will of the people, without interference or obstruction.

The West should be worried.

68 comments ↪
  • Mike Jericho

    Edward, if you wouldn't mind responding, I have a question for you.Do you believe that Hamas, with the support of the Palestinian people and that infrastructure the PA (and Hamas itself) boasts, it cannot pose any significant threat to Israel?Also, I am curious. Do you personally advocate the destruction of Israel?No distractions, please. Just answer the question.

  • Wombat

    "Also, I am curious. Do you personally advocate the destruction of Israel?"OMG. How boring and repetitive! Tell me Mr Jericho. Is that the first question you are told to ask a Goyim during a debate at Zionist school?

  • Wombat

    insidently, the Tet Offensive, you may recall, did not take place in the US. It took place on foreign soil. As we are seeing in Iraq, occupations are tough business and usually fail.

  • Ibrahamav

    So much addamo, but so easy to sweep away.Why is _01 answering for eddie? can't eddie deal with the same type baiting question your mentor feeds the two of you? Something wrong with tit for tat? Or are only antisemites allowed to play that game?

  • Wombat

    Not answering for Eddie at all. yoiu seem to be having trouble reading properly these days. I was actualy asking a question about a pretty absurd comparison. But I understand that this is all a big complicated for you.

  • Wombat

    As I said, a bit complicated for you. Or isn't kissing Mr Jericho's his ass enough for you anymore? Playing pet fascist?

  • Ibrahamav

    No, you were answering for eddie. Kissing his ass isn't enough for you anymore? Playing pet antisemite?

  • Wombat

    No, you were answering for Mr Jericho. Kissing his ass isn't enough for you anymore? Playing pet fascist?

  • Ibrahamav

    You were 7 seconds too early.Most antisemites are. You have to be a lot faster when you try to keep up with the big boys.Go back to the minors as you're clearly out of your league.

  • Ibrahamav

    Again, your assumption,, like most of your knowledge, is based on guesses and addamo.

  • Rich Bowden

    The election of Hamas – an organization bent on the destruction of the Jewish state – is indeed disturbing for all peace minded individuals both in the Middle East and around the world.However I can't help thinking the best vote-winner for the triumphant Islamist party was in fact the policies of the US and Israeli governments towards the Palestinian people. Just as the US ham-fisted approach in Iraq has driven more and more people into the arms of the extremist insurgents, the ability of Hamas to portray themselves to the Palestinian people as "resistors to the Isrealis" has obviously struck a chord with the electorate.

  • Ibrahamav

    Because you think it doesn't make it true. Your approach is very simplistic and will work well with the younger groups of rabble rousers.But the veterans know superficiality when they see it.But your 'mob' approach is realistic as there aren't enough veterans to make a difference.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Nothing surprising here.

  • Stev

    It's all well and good to talk about how terrible Hamas is. And yes, it is terrible. But what are Israel's practical options here? Hamas exists. Just as the Palestinian people who voted it into majority exist. The way I see it, there are basically three options:1. Seek the destruction of Hamas and the people who voted it into power2. Seek to change the views of Hamas and the people who voted it into power through dialogue, negotiation and compromise (on both sides obviously)3. Seek to change the views of Hamas and the people who voted it into power through force.Now every rational person should instantly realise that it is impossible to change a person's views through force. It just doesn't work. So that cuts Israel's options down to two.If Israel is to go with option 1, how does that make them any different to Hamas? If they are seeking the destruction of their opposition, isn't this the same intent as Hamas? If you feel Israel should take that route, you're welcome to your opinion, but don't pretend you're taking the moral highground and don't pontificate about the Hamas charter because if you're advocating this option you're no better.I'm not pretending that dealing & negotiating with Hamas is by any stretch of the imagination an easy task. Far from it. But I simply don't see any other option.

  • RHRoss

    It beats me how people can defend the abuse of Palestinians and the resultant social dysfunction that must entail, and then demand that those people are paragons of virtue.It's okay for Israel to use the worst kind of violence and aggression against Palestinians to maintain the occupation and its colonisation but it's not okay for the Palestinians to respond aggressively. Personally I wish they wouldn't but human nature being what it is generally when people are maltreated they hit back.It's like chaining someone to the fence and kicking them every day and then condemning them for responding aggressively to you.The dysfunction exists on both sides of course and I am hoping to see Hamas say they will stop violence if Israel stops its violence. That would mean dismantling all checkpoints, removing all soldiers from the West Bank, disarming the settlers and controlling them, ending torture of Palestinian prisoners and basically ending Israeli aggression.Israel won't of course but it demands Hamas does. I'd like to see UN peacekeepers brought in but there's probably a snowballs chance in hell of that too since Israel does not want anyone knowing what they have been doing and what they continue to do.The irony is that it was Israel which kickstarted Hamas in the first place. And now it has turned around to bite it. Just like Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and the Americans. We human beings are slow learners.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Mike Jericho said… "Edward, if you wouldn't mind responding, I have a question for you."Sorry for not responding to you quickly enough, O captain, my captain."Do you believe that Hamas, with the support of the Palestinian people and that infrastructure the PA (and Hamas itself) boasts, it cannot pose any significant threat to Israel?"Could HAMAS kill a couple of dozen Israeli citizens every six months or so? If they are able to get themselves organised, then maybe. THAT in no way could be construed as having the ominous tones of a "significant threat to Israel", however. Statistically, HAMAS is a SMALLER "threat to Israel" than heart disease.This is NOT Germany in the 1930s or 40s. There are no more gas chambers. There are no more race-based European military states hell-bent on the destruction of Jewish people. Those days are gone. All Israel faces is a rag-tag bunch of children who have grown up under a brutal occupation that they believe the Israeli government has no intention whatsoever of ending. They know they aren't a serious threat to the Israeli state. That is the pathos of the suicide bomber: it is not an attempt to "destroy Israel" – no matter what the rhetoric; it's the most extreme form of protest possible. The only people who think a suicide bomber is a "threat to Israel" are those spin-doctors who try to motivate the masses by conjuring the dark times of 20th century Europe (and of course the sheep who believe them). Wake up to reality. Israel is a military state that is armed to the teeth and beyond. For G+d's sake, it has NUCLEAR WEAPONS to protect 6+ million people! No other nation of comparible size could even dream of being the military dynamo that the Israeli state is. It isn't just capable of "defending itself", it is entirely capable of destroying other nations and peoples in the region. This is in no shape or form 1930s Germany with the Jews huddled in ghettos, facing a genuine threat to existence.**I find it interesting that you rely on fantasy scenarios and bizarro analogies rather than focusing on the reality of the occupation."And when has it exercized that tremendous, ruthless muscle?"I'm talking about whether it's CAPABLE of defending itself from a few Palestinian militants with its armoured vehicles, tanks, helicopter gunships, fighter jets, and missles. I think it can. You don't seem to be capable of seeing that. That's called "delusional"."Ah, yes, I recall. When it is invaded on all sides by massive Arab nations hellbent on its annihilation."Two questions. (1) And how did that turn out and why? (2) Have there been any developments in the geo-politics of the region since then that would suggest to even a half-wit that this is unlikely to occur again – e.g. long-term diplomatic treaties, economic ties, etc?"True, also, was the advantage the Americans enjoyed over the North Vietnamese."I take it you have completely lost your mind now. We are not talking about the invasion of Vietnam by a military force in unfamiliar territory. We are not even talking about an invasion per se. The invasion occurred over 30 years ago. We are talking about an OCCUPATION WHICH HAS ALREADY OCCURRED and has been going on aaaaaall that time. More specifically, what you' talking about here is the "management" of the pesky invadees who refused to bugger off after the successful invasion."They don't need to achieve parity with Israel, you see. Not in numbers, weapons or technology. They only need the will to act, to destroy as many Israelis as possible."Remember the scene from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" when King Arthur progressively lops off the limbs of the Black Knight, and yet the Black Knight keeps defiantly replying (even with no arms or legs) that he is a serious threat to Arthur. You seem to be the sort of person who would actually believe the Black Knight."Not soldiers, but civilians."30 years of careful testing in the occupied territories has revealed that civilians are very suseptable to 'death by hot metal'. That's one of the reasons the occupation has been so successful."And they will. How many Israelis will then flee for America and other, safer lands?"You swing from the language of absurdist possibilities, to the language of mapped-out prophesies so quickly.

  • Stev

    That Monty Python analogy was beeeautiful Edward. Kudos to you!

  • Wombat

    When the Israelis voted in veterans of terrorist militias like Yitzhak Shamir, Menachem Begin, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon, men not only committed to war and territorial expansion, but also opposed to recognizing Palestinians as human beings, much less as equal negotiating partners, I don't remember many people suggesting that this proved that Israelis as a whole were devoted to state terrorism, or that Jews as a race reveled in war and endless bloodshed. And what about those fine Americans? Aren't they responsible, as a people, for re-electing Bush and thus endorsing his war and torture doctrine? There are plenty of people worldwide who believe this and think, should they get hit again by a terrorist attack, that they had it coming. But try saying that in the Australian and American media and see where it gets you. Yet when it comes to the Palestinians, few flinch when comparable arguments are made.Amid these and other outbursts, some rather relevant history is being studiously avoided. Much is being said about Hamas' past, but no one is reminding us that Israel helped Hamas take its first serious steps as a political alternative to the PLO. Faced with a moderating Fatah that was calling for mutual recognition and mutual security guarantees, Israel, while continually rejecting these offers, began pushing and funding Hamas, which grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, in an effort to weigh down the PLO's secular nationalism and hopefully drain some of its support in the territories (as a US government official put it to UPI's Richard Sale in this 2002 piece, "The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place . . . Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the United States to deal with"). This, combined with corruption in Fatah and its relocation to Beirut, worked incredibly well, as we now see. Factor in Hamas providing social services in some of the poorest areas of the territories, as well as being seen by many powerless and brutalized Palestinians as standing up to Israel, and what happened in these elections is really no surprise. There are those, like former Saddam supporter Daniel Pipes, who are calling for Hamas' destruction, claiming that Hamas is the same as al-Qaeda and therefore must perish. Apart from the fact that al-Qaeda is not a fixed political/religious party that runs candidates in open elections, and that unlike Hamas, which derives what power it has directly from its own people, al-Qaeda is parasitic, as seen in Afghanistan and Iraq, attempting to destroy Hamas would be largely impossible, and would result in a massive death toll, given its deep support in the territories. Plus, it would lead to more terrorism, which death cultists like Pipes would welcome since he could then call for more violence against the Arab/Persian world. As it stands, Hamas has declared that it will continue to honor the cease-fire it negotiated with Israel in February 2005, so long as Israel does the same. Why would you attack someone who is holding up their end of a cease-fire? Again, in Pipes' case, the answer is obvious.