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

– A Chechen perspective on the Danish cartoon controversy.

– Murdoch’s Australian writes, with a straight face, “The media must not become the tool of propagandists.” Unless, of course, it’s defending the Indonesian military, state terror or Israel.

– Former Age editor Michael Gawenda claims that cartoonist Michael Leunig has an unhealthy sense of victimhood. Frankly, Gawenda has become little more than a Washington insider, more than happy to channel official press releases as fact.

– A new collection of photos from Abu Ghraib can be viewed here.

  • I sent the following letter to the Sydney Morning Herald today regarding Gawenda's article today:

    Your correspondent Michael Gawenda seems to be still attempting to justify his decision not to publish Leunig's cartoon in the first place ("Aggrieved cartoonist's…", SMH, 16/2/06). It might interest Herald readers that in a case of life imitating art, the human rights group Jews against Genocide recently spray painted the Nazi slogan 'Arbeit Macht Frei' (Work Makes You Free) on a sign reading 'The Hope of Us All' at a degrading Israeli Army checkpoint in the Gaza Strip. Why? Not to simplistically equate Ramallah with Auschwitz, but to highlight what they saw as the "many disturbing parallels between the tactics used by the occupation (of Palestine by the Israelis) and those used by the Nazis".

    There is probably little chance of that being published!

  • rhross

    The only reason Gawenda could have had for not publishing Leunig's cartoon was that it hit too close to home. It was subtle and deeply sad and made a point that should have been made.

    No-one is saying that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is equivalent to the Nazi solution, but, what they are saying, as are many Israeli human rights groups, is that Israelis are heading down the same path, with the same attitudes and the same fears and the same sorts of power.

    No, Israel can't carry out genocide on the same level as the Nazis. Times have changed. But, in the current day and age they, come as close to it as they can.

    Israel uses collective punishment on an imprisoned people to maintain an illegal occupation and illegal colonisation. It also seeks to maintain a high level of suffering and misery because it wants to make life so unbearable the Palestinians will leave. They won't of course but many have.

    Fanatics in Israel do call for ethnic cleansing in Palestine and given the level of destruction, violence and murder that Israel has inflicted upon the Palestinians as it is, there is every reason to believe that if they could impose a 'final solution' they would.

    Talking about similarities between Nazi Germany, government and citizens alike, and Israel today, is done only to try to make Israel wake up to what it is and what it may yet become.

    The Nazis may have been able to be more organised but Israel's bombings, shootings, torturings, sonic booms, and sheer wilful and venal destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, homes, orchards and farms is merely another form of the purest kind of evil.

    The Nazis used torture, they used collective punishment, they used humiliation, they used checkpoints and prisons, they used imprisonment without trial, they used assassination, they used home demolition, they used snipers …. they used the things that Israel uses. The only difference is that Israel's concentration camps are not equipped with ovens. At least not yet although the ways of killing are many and varied.

    It's not enough to cry horror because Jews are seen to have similarities with Nazis; it is time for all Israelis and Jews of conscience to know what is being done in their name.

    There are many Israelis and Jews who say exactly the same things that I have said here. The testimony of the dissenting IDF reservists says it all.

    And to try to brush it all away with the fly swat of anti-semitism is moral bankruptcy of the worst kind. Anyone who cares about Israel, anyone who wants it to survive, should be talking more about these things, not less.

    You have to know who you are before you can become who you should be.

  • Glenn Condell

    'The only reason Gawenda could have had for not publishing Leunig’s cartoon was that it hit too close to home.'

    Yes, he's a wingnut Zionist who committed to write a biography of mad settler-supporting gold miner Joe Gutnick and began his carrer as Washington correspondent for the SMH with a panegyric to the 'impressive' Condi Rice who at that stage was being jeered thru Europe. He's an insider, or rather 'on-sider'.

    Gerard Henderson's column yesterday mentions the cartoon as evidence of Leunig's racism without bothering to mention (a) the clear anti-racist intent of the work and (b) the fact that IT WASN'T EVEN BLOODY PUBLISHED BECAUSE OF THE INTERVENTION OF ONE OF HIS COLLEAGUES!

    How is that for rank hypocrisy? He writes a column pretending that the media's new buzzword of 'respect' is really only extended to Muslims and that poor oppressed Christians and Jews have to wear the liberal media's taunts. His evidence being respectively the Age's acceptance of Serrano's Piss Christ and the Leuning cartoon – and he fails to mention that the damn thing wasn't published because a member of the group who might be offended was the editor of the paper!

    How many of Mr Gawenda's co-religionists hold senior Aust media positions like those he has occupied in recent years? And how many Muslims would you find in the same cohort? To most people with eyes and a pulse and a living not dependent on corporate handouts, the 'respect' deficit in the Aust media unfairly targets Muslims and Jews (providing they toe the Likudnik line) do very nicely thank you.

    More issue-evasion from the Little Master. Strong on motherhood statements and the subtle pressing of hot buttons, utterly incapable of addressing fairly any issue that might upset his paymasters.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    I realized Jyllands-Posten’s editor of culture is married to the daughter of a FSB general. And he had been working in Moscow as Jyllands-Posten’s correspondent. I suppose that this scandal is nothing else than another regular provocation of the Russian Special Services.