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.

Convincing the non-believers

The following article appears in this week’s Australian Jewish News (January 27):

NSW Education Department dumps Mid-East simulation
Mark Franklin

“The NSW Department of Education and Training has dumped a controversial program, developed by Macquarie University, in which students simulate the main players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“In the computer simulation, university students, as well as Year 11 history students at seven NSW high schools, role-played leading figures in the conflict.

“According to Dr Andrew Vincent, the director of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, the simulation enables students to ‘gain an insight into views from all sides of the argument’.

“But a review by the NSW Department of Education, prompted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, found the course to be unsuitable for high schools. However, it will continue at Macquarie University.

“The board said the simulation’s background information on the figures represented was heavily biased against Israel. The seven schools which had used the simulation included North Sydney Boys High School and Killara High School, where Jewish students complained about it.

“Board of Deputies president David Knoll told the AJN: ‘Our community welcomes the government’s continuing commitment to balance, factual accuracy and objectivity in educational programs.’

‘The simulation exercise did not meet the government’s own standards on teaching controversial issues in schools,’ he said.

“The federal member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, said the university’s simulation was an indictment of the anti-Israel bias displayed by its Centre for Middle East and North African Studies.

“He also criticised Dr Vincent over the appointment to the centre’s board of Jewish left-wing commentator Antony Loewenstein, whom Danby previously attacked over his vehement criticism of Israel.

“‘I’d like to know how the vice-chancellor of Macquarie University can justify either Loewenstein’s appointment or the kind of bias the NSW Department of Education’s decision points to’, Danby said.

“‘One wonders what kind of graduates are being churned out by such biased facilities and I think the funding of such one-sided courses at Macquarie University, at the Australian National University, and other places, ought to be investigated by parliament.’

“Dr Vincent rejected charges that the simulation has been biased and defended the appointment of Loewenstein, who hosts an internet blog that deals largely with Israel and is writing a book about the responses to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, scheduled to be published later this year.

“‘We wanted a Jewish person on the board. We didn’t have any Jews on the board and it seemed to be an absence’, Dr Vincent said.

“‘He was a fairly well qualified person who writes extensively about the Middle East…It seems an ideal choice.'”

Meddling MP Michael Danby – who has a history of trying to quash dissent – and the leading Jewish organisation in NSW seem to believe that any reading of the Israel/Palestine conflict that doesn’t subscribe to a strict interpretation of Zionist dogma is biased. This skewed logic also extends to complaints about my appointment to the board.

It is about time that Danby and his Zionist defenders understood that their reading of the conflict – never-ending excuses for a brutal and illegal occupation – is starting to wear thin in the wider community.

13 comments ↪
  • psydoc

    Ant, I just wonder how comfortable you feel about being chosen because they were lacking a Jew? Since when does writing about the middle east qualify you for an position in academia? I mean you haven't actually written any peer reviewed articles have you? Secondly, don't you think its odd that out of all the Jews who may write about Israel and have academic qualifications that they chose someone who was vehemently opposed to Israel? Does this not strike you as an Uncle Tom type proposition?If you are a representative of Jews generally, how do you intend to represent the much larger Jewish contingency that find your views repugnant?

  • Aaron Lane

    Anthony, you say the Danby believes that any opposition to Zionism represents bias. This may be so, but whenever anyone puts forth anything in support of Israel, you quickly write it off as propaganda. You have just as intrasigent an idea of right and wrong in the conflict as the most right wing Jewish group, so please stop putting yourself forth as the lone non-partisan observer of the situation.

  • psydoc

    Ant, the questions above are not rhetorical.It fascinates me endlessly that you seem to require of Israel a degree of introspection that you can comfortably elude.Where is the moral authority for you to remain beyond scrutiny?

  • James Waterton

    Oh dear, the old "Danby was trying to censor me!" chestnut rears its ugly head again. You criticise others, it's exercising your free speech. Others criticise you, it's "quash[ing] dissent". You're about as consistent as an oil and water cocktail, Antony.

  • Progressive Atheist

    In the 70s, I was a participant in a workshop in which such a roleplay took place. One person took the role of Israel and the other person took the role of Palestine. Then they swapped places. Both participants said they had a much better appreciation of the politics involved.I was impressed with the educational power that this roleplay had, and I came away convinced that such simulation games would be an effective tool in the political peace process.I can understand why the Zionist lobby would object to such roleplays – they are effective means of psychological transformation. As evidenced by the many comments on this board, Zionists do not like to put themselves in the shoes of others (in psychological terms, it's called empathy), but this is precisely the way that peace comes about.Lets hope someone goes ahead with these roleplays, despite the objections of the Zionists.Well done, Antony, on your appointment. Perhaps you can be instrumental in introducing role plays and simulations into peace studies in NSW high schools.

  • orang

    " ….Does this not strike you as an Uncle Tom type proposition?"Uncle Tom sort of infers that Ant. does what he does to ingratiate himself to the white boys. I don't see too much of "Yassuh boss" in his writing. No, what you mean't I think is, "token Nigger". They needed a jew so put him in. But a jew who won't necessarily represent the jews. (at least the ones who think zionism is A-OK)

  • psydoc

    orang: the modern equivalent is dhimmitude. Agreed its a different kind of "yassuh boss", but the boss still understands.

  • David Heidelberg

    Give it a rest James. Danby made explicit statements to MUP in an attempt to stop the publication of Antony’s book.By any definition this is not exercising free speech, its exerting political pressure to squash free speech.

  • Mannie

    Danby has called for Melbourne University Publishing (MUP) not to publish Antony's forthcoming book.Danby has criticised Louise Adler of MUP for accepting the book for publication, and is urging the public not to support the book by buying it.Danby represents the federal seat of Melbourne Ports/Israel, and is vehemently opposed to any views which are contrary to the zionist line in Australia.Danby believes that the number of Jews in Australia who agree with Antony's anti-zionist stand would only fill a telephone booth, so why is he so afraid of having such a book published?This is censorship on a scale that has not been seen in Australia since pre-1975 and reminds me of the terrible days in apartheid South Africa pre-1994, when as much as possible was censored, politically and "racially" and this is creeping in to Australia at this moment.Danby's presence in the federal parliament will come to an end in the next few years, and hopefully the Loewenstein book will be around to remind people that there are allowed to be alternative views to the accepted zionist line pushed as representing all Australian Jews.

  • Wombat

    James,"You criticise others, it's exercising your free speech. Others criticise you, it's "quash[ing] dissent"That's a bit of a low blow mate. Danby is the one who is questioning Ant's qualifications and sutability to hold his position at Macquarie University. And then he went further to imply allude to some conspiracy theory at the NSW Department of Education.It's interesting tha the same charges are brought up by David Horowitz and Alan Dershowitz in the US. Could be the evidnce of the standard Zionist line of defence.I didn't read anythnig about trying the same slime tactic with Danby's job suitability.

  • James Waterton

    It is Danby's right to hold whatever position he wants in regards to Israel – he is elected to represent his constituents, and if that's what they elected, that's what they get. I fail to see why you have some problem with this, Mannie. It's called representative democracy.David Heidelberg – It is Danby's right (as a citizen with full rights) to call for MUP not to publish the book – as it is MUP's right to ignore him and publish it anyway (which they have done). It is Danby's right to try to convince the general public not to buy the book – as it is the general public's right to ignore him and buy it anyway.IF Danby ever used the power of his office or some other form of coercion (rather than persuasion, which is simply free speech), then that would be censorship. However, there is absolutely no evidence of this. DANBY DID NOT CENSOR ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN. Anyone who thinks he did seriously needs to purchase a dictionary.It's not a low blow, addamo. Loewenstein is not being consistent. And since when did questioning someone's qualifications for a position become taboo? And anyway, what's that got to do with the point at hand ie. the accusation of censorship? Danby is a critic of Loewenstein's. Is he not allowed to be? Why not? Why are you being so illiberal? If Antony wanted to, he could criticise Danby – on his past, his qualifications for his position, his lifestyle, whatever. However, he needs to be honest in his criticism, rather than throwing around fallacious accusations.

  • Wombat

    James,Danby can indeed do or say what he wants, but it seems a tad coincidental that AL's critics are colletively focusing on AL's suitability to hold down his position at MacQuarie University, becasue he dares to speak out. People on the NSW Board of Education and MacQuarie Uni made a desision to give him that position, as Danby;s contituents haev with him.Should AL complain to them that Danby is not a suitable political reporesentative, and that they made the wrong choice?

  • James Waterton

    It's not coincidental – and whether it is or isn't is irrelevant, anyway. Danby has every right to criticise Antony for whatever reason he chooses. That's free speech, addamo. If you demand political justification (on top of the fact it's simple free speech), I think the issue is that the simulator created by Macquarie uni was deemed biased by parents of children in Danby's constituency, so it is a matter for him, as representatives of those concerned citizens.Besides, I hardly think Loewenstein is a dissenting voice on the particular board he sits on. In fact, that's the point Danby's making, I believe.Danby has every right to campaign against whoever he chooses. Also, AL is perfectly entitled to campaign against the election of Danby, so the answer to your last question is yes, if he wants to. So – dissent was not quashed, Danby did not censor. Glad we cleared that up.