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.

The blame game

While the over-heated debate continues over Iran, some uncomfortable facts are surfacing:

“The George W. Bush administration’s adoption of a policy of threatening to use military force against Iran disregarded a series of official intelligence estimates going back many years that consistently judged Iran’s fear of a U.S. attack to be a major motivating factor in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“Two former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials who were directly involved in producing CIA estimates on Iran revealed in separate interviews with IPS that the National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on Iran have consistently portrayed its concerns about the military threat posed by the United States as a central consideration in Tehran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

“Paul Pillar, who managed the writing of all NIEs on Iran from 2000 to 2005 as the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, told IPS that all of the NIEs on Iran during that period addressed the Iranian fears of U.S. attack explicitly and related their desire for nuclear weapons to those fears.”

16 comments ↪
  • psydoc

    Indeed a blame game: but the game is one of Antony's making.All totalitarian regimes are paranoid and expect to be attacked. This does not have to be based in reality.

  • orang

    This is true. In addition, when the guy next door has just had his front door kicked in and he's been thrown in jail, his kid's heads have been put on a pike, the place has been destroyed, and it's treasure is being ravaged and all on the basis of fantastic lies, and you figure the only reason those gutless mother-f*kers did this was because they thought there's no way that your neighbour could fight back-it was gonna be a cakewalk. So what are ya gonna do? Especially since you have been put on the axis of evil list.., you're gonna get the hardest f*king Golf club out of the bag for when that c*ksker tries to break into your house to beat the living crap out of him so that he's f8kin dead when the cops come- that's what I'd do anyway.

  • Wombat

    Psydoc,As late as January 2003, most tfo the world didn't believe Iraq would be attacked. You really should start looking for obvious patterns here. Like IOraq, Iran is nto just paranoid, but paranoid while they sit on large oil and gas reserves. They haev every right to be afraid, very afraid.Elloquently put Orang. 😉

  • James Waterton

    "As late as January 2003, most tfo the world didn't believe Iraq would be attacked. "Huhhhhh..? Are you sure you were on earth at that time, Addamo? Iran does have some useful resources, sure. However a military solution to the problem Iran has created with its dishonest nuclear dabbling is a very last resort due to theDoesn't stop idiots like Ritter and (more amusingly) Zhirinovsky sounding off. How many times over what period of time has Ritter predicted that Iran is due for imminent invasion? I do like the way that so many here are referencing Zhirinovsky. Classic.

  • Wombat

    "Are you sure you were on earth at that time, Addamo? In fact I was in New York in early 2003 and most people I spoke to didn't believe there would be a war with Iraq. "How many times over what period of time has Ritter predicted that Iran is due for imminent invasion?"So what? Just because he is getting the time frame wrong, that makes his a cook? In any case, he has said all along that it is going to happen. When it takes place is pretty irrelevant don’t you think? Early 2005, the Bush administration had the wind in their sails and seemed unstoppable. It turned out that 2005 crippled them in the end, but had things gone their way, who knows what could have happened?In late 2002, Ritter was telling the public that the war with Iraq was a certainty. He was dismissed then and the rest is history.I’m glad that you are so amused by references to Zhirinovsky, but history will be the judge of his predictions.

  • James Waterton

    Nice extrapolation there. From "most of the world" to "most of the people I talked to".I really hope you're not a scientist."Just because he is getting the time frame wrong, that makes his a cook?"Well, I guess a broken clock is right twice a day. "He was dismissed then"By whom? I remember many people calling for war, as well as a general expectation of war with Iraq in 2002. Your historical perspective is somewhat skewed. Don't try to paint Ritter as some kind of outspoken (but correct) maverick who predicted the Iraq war before anyone else. That's verifiable rubbish. You should know better than to try to pull that shit with me.Well, he's such an amusing character. I find it more amusing that you've seized him as your latest pin up boy.

  • Wombat

    James,Seeing as I was in the US, in the thick of things at the time, I felt it was a valuable perspective. More that half of the US citizens thought Saddam was behind 911 too.That's not to say informed people like yourself didn’t see the writing on the wall was, and see through Bush’s Bs about diplomacy well into December of 2002. And the media were buying his crap, hook line and sinker, as you might recall What is it about Ritter that has got up your arse in such a big way? Has he offended you? I never said Ritter was the first to say anything, only that what he did say was accurate and the right hate him for that. They are now re-writing history by spreading the false myth that he was wrong on all counts and will be again.The reason I respect the guy is because he has a remarkable insight into what took place, What happened on the ground on Iraq, and especially behind the scenes. I would have though that an empirical thinker like yourself would appreciate those qualities in a person.

  • James Waterton

    The last paragraph in my previous post refers to Zhirinovsky. Sorry – I must have forgotten to post the quote.

  • James Waterton

    I thought in 2002 that there was a reasonable chance of war, given that Saddam was unlikely to accept the diplomatic demands placed upon him. I personally think that the Iraq war has and will bring positive human benefits for the people of Iraq, despite the professed motivations for war of the Americans. Real outcomes are most important – this is a point lost by many. I think the Americans will eventually defeat the insurgency in Iraq, and I believe the Middle East will be in a better state by the time the Americans leave Iraq. In hindsight, I don't think the war was a good idea for the American people, despite the number of people its prosecution have assisted and will assist in the future. The Americans have expended a great deal of resources for what tangible benefits? It seems like a remarkably bad deal for them. I don't think they'll be repeating a war with such quixotic outcomes any time soon in the future.Regarding Ritter – I don't like him because I perceive him to be a purveyor of convenient perspectives. I could be wrong regarding this – I look forward to reading his opinions in 1999. Then I shall make a final judgement on the man.

  • Wombat

    Fair enough James,As I said before, most informaed people, who get their information outside of the MSM would also have seen the war as a foregone conclusion.I don't share your optimism for Iraq, but I would be delighted to be proven wrong.If you do a search of Ritter's speeches in 2002, you will find a number of interview and talks he gave ,refuting the WMD claim and arguing against the war. He also gave a spech a few days after Powell's adress to the UN refuting it entriely, so he certainyl didn't wait until after the invasion to become vocal about it.

  • Progressive Atheist

    The right don't like Ritter for the same reason they don't like Chomsky – because has hasn't "cashed in", to use Finkelstein's term. In other words, because he's telling truth to power.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    1. If one dismisses the underlying theory because it gets its particular predictions wrong, then you have to dismiss every theory in economics.2. One can make the argument with respect to almost anything that it brings beneficial outcomes to mankind. (e.g. it's the excuse for the stolen generation).

  • James Waterton

    "If one dismisses the underlying theory because it gets its particular predictions wrong, then you have to dismiss every theory in economics."Huh? The level of muddle-headedness exhibited in this quote is heroic. For starters, the primary role of economics is not to predict the future. The veracity of Ritter's "underlying theory" is based unfolding events supporting his predictions. If the predictions turn out to be incorrect, his theory is incorrect – or at best irrelevant. "One can make the argument with respect to almost anything that it brings beneficial outcomes to mankind." So what? Sometimes it's a justifiable argument and sometimes it isn't. Ostensibly, what you've just said in your last comment sounds terribly clever. Scratch the millimetre-thick veneer and it dissolves into a vacuous, meaningless non-event.

  • Wombat

    Progressive Atheist,I agree.The president and his merry men are allowed to lie, flip, sidestep, and be repeatedly wrong on all counts, yet are still held up as the ultimate source of inromatino. When critics of these people are even slightly wrong, they are crucified.Take Powell and Condi's comments from January and June 2001. Both said that Saddam was no threat to anyone and was being contained. Six months later, they changed their tune completely,. This is in spite of the fact that no new information about Saddam's WMD had become available sicne 1999.There is always a verry high price to be paid for speaking truth to power.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Stop the presses:Luminary of the economics profession, unergraduate student of international standing, James Waterton, sets second-rate Nobel Prize dullard Milton Friedman straight: "For starters, the primary role of economics is not to predict the future."I'll write to Milt immediately.

  • James Waterton

    Edward – you do that, squire, you do that. Why'd you pick on Friedman, anyway? I bet I know why – he's the only laissez-faire economist you've heard of, right?What are the primary functions of economics? Explain to me how and where Milton Friedman (a man whose writings I'm pretty well versed in) suggested that the primary role of economics was to predict the future. Go back to your pretentious Socratic delusions of grandeur…gadfly *chortle* You remind me of a schoolboy who takes himself oh-so-terribly seriously – hell, I've certainly been there done that – difference is that I grew out of it eight years ago. You're a further eight years older than me and you're still in the thick of it. Tragic, but if it helps you sleep at night…