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.

Leading by example

Italian footballer Paolo Di Canio – “a fascist but not a racist” – has been given some appropriate punishment:

“Paolo Di Canio, the Lazio forward who has become the darling of the neo-fascist right with his repeated straight-arm salutes, has been summoned by the mayor of Rome to listen to fellow Italians who survived the Nazi death camps.

“The move is part of an initiative by the mayor that has already brought AS Roma players and officials face to face with Holocaust survivors in the city hall. For almost two hours on Thursday, Francesco Totti and the other members of the Serie A side listened in silence as former concentration-camp inmates appealed to them to stop playing as soon as they saw Nazi symbols in the crowd.”

Di Canio may be ignorant but Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi caused outrage in 2003 by suggesting Mussolini “never killed anyone” and merely “sent people on holiday to confine them.”

9 comments ↪
  • orang

    you mean Silvio-good-friend-of-big-W-Berlusconi?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Why isn't Paolo Di Canio's free expression being protected by the media and the state?

  • Clumsy Birds

    I don’t see how di Canio's free expression is under threat. I certainly don't recall the world's Jews burning Italian embassies in protest over the offensive attitude of this soccer player, and demanding he be killed and freedom bought to an end in the Western world, as happened following the publication of certain cartoons. Then again, we probably have to wait 5 months for a Rabbi to run around major Jewish centres with a video and/or pictures of di Canio doing the Nazi salute.The parallel you are clearly trying to raise here is blatantly unfitting, Edward.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Clumsy Birds said… "The parallel you are clearly trying to raise here is blatantly unfitting, Edward."I'm not sure which parallel you think I'm drawing.If a footballer is to be sent off to learn about why his public gestures are offensive, then perhaps the editors of the various newspapers should also be sent off to mosques to learn about why their publishing decisions are sometimes offensive.What if each refuses – the footballer and the editors? Should they be allowed to continue on their way under the protection of the right to freedom of expression? Perhaps they should. And perhaps the rest of the press when praising their fellow editors for "defending" their right should also, to show they are in fact committed to this right, praise the Nazi footballer for his "defence" of his right.Just trying to see what happens when we are consistent in upholding our principles.

  • Wombat

    It seems to me that the world's Jews don't have to do to much when they have the wetsrn media to do it for them. Anyone remember the scruitiny given to Mark Bosnich when he responded to a crowd in London that were jeering him, by doing the Nazi salute and the Hitler moustache? Burning of buildings and the like is the tactic of those who feel disempowered. No need to resort to such tactics when you sit on the sidelines and get your proxies to do your bidding.Much has been made of Iran's effort to comminssion a cartoonist to mock the holocaust. If they turn to Eurppean cartoonists, there are at least 7 countries whom are off limits due to laws against Holocaust denial and hate speech.

  • Clumsy Birds

    If a footballer is to be sent off to learn about why his public gestures are offensive, then perhaps the editors of the various newspapers should also be sent off to mosques to learn about why their publishing decisions are sometimes offensive.Opposition to this fascist loving soccer player didn't lead to thousands of Jews rioting and threatening to kill him and his coach for his right to free speech (which I don’t believe is yet outlawed in Italy, as it is, and as you note, in other European states).The editors of various newspapers can criticise Islam all they like, and raise connotations of Mohammad and Islam as inherently violent, or- my favourite- point out the number of suicide bombings undertaken by adherents to Islam is leading to a shortage of virgins in Paradise (although they're supposed to get sultanas or some such). If this insults Muslims, because of the publication of illustrations of Mohammad, then tough. Limiting free speech to appease a religious group is not necessary in a market economy.Likewise, a soccer player can express pro-fascist beliefs- but expect the privately owned soccer team and privately owned (?) stadium to come under fire for allowing a pro-Facist time to salute and insult millions of Jews.No one is going to defend the pro-fascist views of this soccer player, primarily because they haven’t been attacked (at least in the same sense that the right to free speech in Europe has been attacked by violent rioters). In any case, there is nothing particularly worthy of defending, unlike the publication of cartoons of Mohammad.Just trying to see what happens when we are consistent in upholding our principles.I consider my self as consistent as I can be, although I give some room for my ever-differing political beliefs.I have certainly not been inconsistent. If a neo-Nazi magazine starts in Australia tomorrow, spits on the Holocaust, and the worlds Jews threaten to kill the editor for his free speech- and Australians who are overseas, visiting Israel, Boston, or France, I would find it appalling for Australia to give in to such pressure and shut the magazine down.Addamo,It seems to me that the world's Jews don't have to do to much when they have the wetsrn media to do it for them.The politically correct term to use, in order to hide such anti-Semitism is 'Zionist'- not Jew, not that I want you to jump up and down crying 'i cant criticise Israel without you labelling me that'- it's just inappropriate to imply as you do, Jews control the Western media.Anyone remember the scruitiny given to Mark Bosnich when he responded to a crowd in London that were jeering him, by doing the Nazi salute and the Hitler moustache?No. No I do not. I don’t even know what a 'Mark Bosnich' is.Burning of buildings and the like is the tactic of those who feel disempowered.Interesting theory. Muslims, mostly from the worlds richest area- i.e, Arabs- feel disempowered, even though Muslims make up- what is it these days, half the worlds population? I really can’t remember, but it's a lot.I reject your theory, and would remind you that Australian Aboriginals would definetly fit in the disempowered class, and have yet to commit the atrocities we've seen in the Middle East or in the West.Much has been made of Iran's effort to comminssion a cartoonist to mock the holocaust. If they turn to Eurppean cartoonists, there are at least 7 countries whom are off limits due to laws against Holocaust denial and hate speech.I believe this was discussed in another post on this blog, in depth. While I do not subscribe to theories that the Holocaust is a lie, or the damage was exaggerated, I do not believe we have the right to limit any-ones free speech on the matter. Private organisations, businesses, education facilities, websites, etc, and individuals should use all their power to condemn and out Holocaust deniers, who can easily be defeated in rational debate should they choose to engage in such a thing.We should also not allow funding to go to Universities that employ Holocaust deniers, seeing as it is disgusting, sickening, to allow my tax-dollars to go to some anti-Semite for her or his next research project on the matter.Anti-Semites, and anti-Mohammad's can fund their work themselves.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    [1] "Opposition to this fascist loving soccer player didn't lead to thousands of Jews rioting…." Argumentum ad ignoratum.[2] "The editors of various newspapers can criticise Islam all they like… Limiting free speech to appease a religious group is not necessary in a market economy."I assume you link free expression to a market economy because if people don't like something, they can "vote with their dollars" and boycott the insulting entity. Is that right? It would certainly make sense in the context of the following:"Likewise, a soccer player can express pro-fascist beliefs- but expect the privately owned soccer team and privately owned (?) stadium to come under fire for allowing a pro-Facist time to salute and insult millions of Jews."So, for example, you would support the right of Muslims worldwide to boycott Denmark's export goods for whatever reason they liked (after all, it is a matter of personal preference expressed in a free market). Further, you would support the right of Iranian newspapers to publish cartoons about the Nazi's holocaust? After all, they're just running a for-profit business. The market speaks, they respond.Just trying to find the contours of your opinions."No one is going to defend the pro-fascist views of this soccer player, primarily because they haven’t been attacked"He hasn't been criticised in public? Why on earth all the furor over the salute then? Why has the footballer been requested to listen to holocaust survivors? The footballer has of course, been condemned for his views. (Your argument looks desperate if you are pushed into denying this.) MY question is: while the editors of newspapers might condemn his actions, why is no-one cheering on the footballers right to express himself as he sees fit? I am merely pointing here to the eerie silence when it comes to championing free speech about many topics (bar ones that demonise Muslims)."In any case, there is nothing particularly worthy of defending, unlike the publication of cartoons of Mohammad."Besides free expression (which incidentally – and this is apparently a little known fact – is not abrogated if one decides to behave decently), what is "worth" defending about them? Their artistic merit? Their political insight? Their humorous nature?

  • Clumsy Birds

    So, for example, you would support the right of Muslims worldwide to boycott Denmark's export goods for whatever reason they liked (after all, it is a matter of personal preference expressed in a free market). Further, you would support the right of Iranian newspapers to publish cartoons about the Nazi's holocaust? After all, they're just running a for-profit business. The market speaks, they respond.Yes. Muslims are consumers, and if they want to, they can boycot Danish products as some kind of punishment for insulting a Prophet. Likewise, we're seeing the opposite effect from Westerners who support Denmark, and are buying Danish with their dollars.I'm not saying either view will win out using the market as a tool here, but it's a much more peaceful protest- and more effective- than burning your local embassy.If you’re against this, then I’m sure you’re also against- say- boycotting Roberts for its support for the live animal trade.The issue of holocaust denial in Iran is a more difficult one. Clearly there is no exercise of free speech within the current regime, just a theocracy continuing its Jew-hate habit. I support the right of Iranian newspapers to publish what they want- but this is just another example of the leadership dictating what the papers can do.Of course di Canio has been criticised for his actions, his views aren’t making any other point than 'hey look at me I'm a neo-Nazi', It's not like di Canio has a PhD and publishes a history magazine dealing with the Holocaust. No one is defending his right to free speech, because it is not seriously under attack (although free speech is under attack in many parts of Europe, justified unfairly by the Holocaust). Wanting di Canio to visit victims of fascism is hardly putting a stop to his free expression. When the police pick him up, chain him to a chair and literally force him to listen to Holocaust victims, it will be a clear breach of his individual liberty. If his company says to go and do it, he has the option of leaving his job. Considering his public position, the latter would hardly be an unfair request.The Mohammad cartoons are worth defending because they present, in what many consider a humorous way (I only found one funny), a disproportionate number of suicide bombers as being Muslim. The issue is not off topic.As I've been saying, Danes should not be threatened by Muslims because a private paper pokes fun at a Prophet, and as I’m sure you’ve heard many times by now, Jesus and the Jews take a hell of a lot more than Mohammad has.Using Mohammad to represent suicide-homicide bombings should not end simply because Islam doesn’t want Mohammad portrayed at all in illustration.

  • Wombat

    Clumsy Bird,Please excuse my comment about the world's Jews having the media doing their bidding for them. I meant to put put the word jews in quotations to quotes another post.I make it a point nto to talk about Jewish people when making comments about Israel or Zionists. I don't believe it's any more appropriate to blame Jewish people for the conduct of Israel than it is to blame American's or Brits for the conduct of their governments.