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.

News bytes

– Hysterical hack David Horowitz – a man rather fond of a former oil man – has just released a new book, “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.” It promises to be a challenging read. One of his targets, Robert Jensen, has already responded and reminds the rabid Zionist that questioning the Iraq war and US foreign policy is a patriotic duty.

– Sami Ramadani, a political exile from Saddam’s regime and a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University, argues that the mainstream media is deliberately distorting the will of the Iraqi people:

“Only complete withdrawal will satisfy most Iraqis. And if genuine liberty and independence are not forthcoming, the spiral of violence will intensify from Afghanistan to Palestine.”

– Debate over Victoria’s racial vilification laws continues and church leaders are asking for change.

12 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    Jensens measured and eloquent rebuttal really goes to show who is the rabid party in this debate.People like David Horowitz are actually an war critic's best ally.

  • Glenn Condell

    I tend to mix Horowitz up with that Pipes fellow. They look a bit alike, with the faux progressive goatee, and they share professor-hunting tendencies.

  • orang

    I picture them running into a Shia late night get out-of-Israeli-jail Ho Down and being recognised…

  • Progressive Atheist

    Here's an interesting tidbit.Scooter Libby, who got indicted over the CIA Plame leak, thought that anytime anybody used the word 'neoconservative' it was anti-Semitic.http://www.slate.com/id/2129634/&

  • Wombat

    Unless of course, they themselves were "neoconservative".

  • Glenn Condell

    How shrill they are! Reminds me of Christopher Hitchens fulminating about the BBCs pronunciation of Wolfowitz. I kid you not. It's as if they're priests of some sort and their bullshit is holy writ, sacred dogma, and our concerns, even the odd respectful question, is heresy, blasphemy, mortally sinful. We're so imprinted with such an aversion to 'classic' tropes of antisemitism that when we see a cabal composed largely of Jews stage-manages a war which they have been trying to sell on Israel's behalf for a decade, we aren't allowed to call it what it is. The cabal thrives in this aversion, takes advantage of our 'good manners' in ignoring their shenanigans and plans even more Israel-friendly adventures while the iron is hot. They know enthusiasm is on the wane in the US, so they're wasting no time.Scooter and Judy are as he said just two little aspen roots among clusters in the forest, making subterranean connections not for perusal by the likes of us. But Patrick Fitzgerald seems to believe that other people can indeed penetrate that forest, when they have the law, and the future health of their country on their side. Good on him.

  • Wombat

    Nicely put Glenn, but please, don't get me started on Hitch.Mr. Hitchens is author of all he surveys and everything he surveys is the subjective corollary of his own bipolar straddling of all opposites. What fails to meet his delusional projections, he conjures out of the interstices, and by-golly his chimera will anthropomorphize no matter what! If it's a religious nut he needs to make his case, then a religious nut he'll have; if it's a dictator, sure enough one will materialize; and if theocracy's to be the great satan, then every state he designates for ruin will be run by extremist, jihadist fruit-jobs! That's how the Hitchens universe works: Post hoc ergo propter hoc, it doesn't matter if the reality needs retrospective tailoring so long as it can be forced to fit the shape of his cock-eyed vision.

  • Glenn Condell

    And most people just blame Hitchens' weirdness on the drink!There's a slew of inter-related reasons for his apostay. I personally feel he's been compromised somehow; they have something on him and it's bad enough that he'll junk his precious reputation to prevent it getting out. He would not be the only one; most assets become that way thru blackmail or some other hardball option, such as family threat. But there is always a core who will tailor their work according to the dictates of power, simply because it's power. Hitchens' work is shot thru with apparently self-deprecating asides full of name-drops and clues to his regular supping at the top tables. Last, there is the old Trotskyist longing for order imposed ruthlessly in pursuit of some ideological abstraction, in this case world freedom and democracy, courtesy of the USA. The old Hitch would have vomited at the very thought, but he was (ideologically) homeless after Communism collapsed everywhere, and those neocons were so nice to him (there is the added allure of ethnic if not religious affiliation) that he threw his not inconsiderable lot in with them. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall of his soul, always assuming it exists. Regrets, he's had a few? He must know he made a dreadful mistake, a personal strategic blunder comparable to the disaster he lent his name to. And that points to another factor in the conundrum – he was spectacularly wrong and an ego like his is probably just incapable of admitting to others, and perhaps even to himself that 'I was wrong.' And an apology would be light years further away.

  • Wombat

    Good observations Glenn,Fleckenstein wrote the best dissection of Kitchens I have read so far:http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=4&ar=6I tend to agree with Fleckenstein’s opinion that Hitch used 911 as an opportunity to jump ship from the left. I don’t know if this shift has been so much case of him being compromised, as him seizing the opportunity to align himself with the lucrative gravy train that finances right wing think tanks. It’s obvious that a man of his intellect cannot possibly believe half the crap he spits out, but as you say, he has invested far too much in this war to turn back and his ego would never accept such acquiescence. He realises that his position on the war is unsustainable so his more recent columns have toned down his arrogance and seems to be making efforts to engage the middle ground. I suspect that he’s covering his bases in case he needs to jump ship again. I have also noticed he is getting rather lazy in his pro war columns, suggesting he is getting bored with the subject.Not satisfied with mere strawment to knock down, Hitchens has constantly resorted to one of the most absurd rhetorical devices — the "oh, it would have been worse if we hadn't decided to commmit mass murder and fuck the whole damn thing up." In typically disingenuous fashion, apologists like Hitchens invariably portray opponents of the Iraq war as being so petty and mean-spirited as to regret any genuine improvement in the post-war environment there.Using Hitch’s argument, we should have invaded the Soviet Union to prevent all the chaos predicted for them. They had even greater internally disruptive forces that Iraq, yet managed to resolve them without much blood at all. So to pretend that things were going to be so bad as to justify the resultant deaths of several hundred thousand people, is weak. For a person who supposedly dislikes fascism, especially Islamo-fascism, a term for which he credits himself for inventing, he sure looks like one, tastes like one and smells like one. Who else but a fascist put the right of some state over the individual rights of life and self determination of the Iraqis? How the hell does he get to skip over the essential issue of WHAT RIGHT DID WE HAVE TO MAKE THESE CHANGES? I won’t be expecting a apology anytime soon. For now, Hitch resorts to taking any development in Iraq, irrespective of whether it is a positive or negative one for the Iraqi’s, and distorting it to suggest it is all somehow evidence of the puzzle falling into place. It would be amusing if it weren’t so tragic.I used to love to read Hitch, even though I disagreed with him, but as I said earlier, Hitchen’s columns are becoming less and less interesting. He’s descended into being just a pathetic fool with so much blood on his hands that there isn't enough gin in the world to wash it clean.

  • orang

    I thought Hitchens, despite his conversion to the true path of neoconservatism, has remained pretty "lefty" regarding the Palestine/Israel question?

  • Wombat

    He doesn't touch on the Palestine/Israel issue that much, but leans slightly to the left yes. Everythign else, he is most certainly right leaning.

  • James Waterton

    "It's as if they're priests of some sort and their bullshit is holy writ, sacred dogma, and our concerns, even the odd respectful question, is heresy, blasphemy, mortally sinful."Are you sure you're not describing environmentalists?