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.

Picking a fight with the wrong side

Federal Labor MP Michael Danby – bully and Zionist apologist – believes that cartoonist Michael Leunig was being deliberately offensive to Jews when he supposedly compared Nazi Germany to present-day Israel. Writing to online magazine Crikey, Danby complains about anybody daring to defend Leunig against such charges:

“I am writing to strongly disagree with Charles Richardson’s comment in yesterday’s Crikey (item 17) that only ‘a few fanatical Zionists’ place Michael Leunig’s ‘Auschwitz’ cartoon in the same category as the cartoons of Muhammad published in Denmark. In fact they belong in the same category: both were designed to cause the maximum possible offence. The Danish cartoons were designed to offend Muslims. The Leunig cartoon was designed to offend Jews – all Jews, not just Zionists, fanatical or otherwise. I represent an electorate with more Holocaust survivors and their families than anywhere in Australia. I am myself the grandson of German Jews who died in Auschwitz. To see the Nazi genocide of six million people compared with the actions of the democratic government of Israel in defending its population against terrorism, and to see this comparison made by someone who has never had to face either of these situations, from the comfort of his olive groves in Euroa, is deeply offensive to me, to the people of my electorate of all political stripes, and, I am sure, to the majority of Australians. It is no excuse to say that Leunig was trying to make ‘a serious political point.’

“So was Julius Streicher when he published anti-Semitic cartoons in Der Sturmer. As Streicher’s career proved, cartoons have consequences. That the genocidal anti-Semites of the fanatical Iranian regime thought Leunig’s cartoon was a fine entry in their ‘most offensive cartoon’ contest tells us all we need to know about the category to which his current work should be consigned.”

When anybody, including Danby, seriously compares Streicher to Leunig – or, I suspect, anybody who questions Israeli state policy – one realises that the dutiful Zionist will use any means to avoid discussion of Israel’s shameful record. Note how Danby refuses to condemn the occupation. Indeed, when Sharon recently fell into a coma, Danby rushed to be by his side in Jerusalem (though was already in Israel for scheduled meetings.) For individuals like Danby, it doesn’t really matter who runs Israel. It’s simply more important to be a loyal servant of the Jewish state, no questions asked. A true patriot challenges and provokes. Danby is neither.

7 comments ↪
  • Mike

    Why does the MP think that being the grandson of Holocaust victims somehow gives him an opinion that is better than others? Did he experience the horror? No. I wonder when that stuff is going to end. The Holocaust is 60 years in the past. I hear too many Jew says " I am the son/ grandson/ daughter / nephew ect ect ect of Holocaust victims. To be honest if one were to take it to 3rd or 4th cousins most of of could make the same claim. The only people that have any say are those that lived it. Otherwise I don't want to hear any more rich whiney whiteys that went to the best schools tell me about their suffering.

    Shut up already. I wish I could make them all black. Then they might have something to bitch about.

    Mike

  • edward squire

    Danby – a politician's rhetoric and a politician's principles.

    “I am writing to strongly disagree with Charles Richardson’s comment in yesterday’s Crikey (item 17) that only ‘a few fanatical Zionists’ place Michael Leunig’s ‘Auschwitz’ cartoon in the same category as the cartoons of Muhammad published in Denmark.

    Stop press. Danby Outs Himself: "I'm One of the Few Fanatical Zionists".

    The Leunig cartoon was designed to offend Jews – all Jews, not just Zionists, fanatical or otherwise.

    Read the code: if you weren't offended by the Leunig cartoon, then you aren't really Jewish are you? The Leunig cartoon is not just Danby's test of ideological correctness, it's also his test of racial purity.

    I represent an electorate with more Holocaust survivors and their families than anywhere in Australia.

    Argumentum ad Misericordiam.

    I am myself the grandson of German Jews who died in Auschwitz.

    Argumentum ad Misericordiam.

    To see the Nazi genocide of six million people compared with the actions of the democratic government of Israel in defending its population against terrorism

    A misconstrual.

    and to see this comparison made by someone who has never had to face either of these situations

    Argumentum ad Hominem.

    from the comfort of his olive groves

    Pity the Palestinians can't say that. Ironic that Danby would.

    is deeply offensive to me to the people of my electorate of all political stripes, and, I am sure, to the majority of Australians.

    Argumentum ad Misericordiam and Argumentum ad Populum. (And even the 'populum' rests on Argumentum ad Ignorantiam.)

    It is no excuse to say that Leunig was trying to make ‘a serious political point.’

    He'd right there. It is no excuse. It's a damn good reason.

    “So was Julius Streicher when he published anti-Semitic cartoons in Der Sturmer.

    So was Ben-Gurion in his autobiography. Does that make Ben-Gurion a genocidal anti-Semite too? Lord, how did this guy make it through uni?

    As Streicher’s career proved, cartoons have consequences.

    He's right. People who see the Leunig cartoon may come to think to themselves that a state policy of cruel oppression is Bad – and we don't want dangerous ideas like that floating around because that could undermine Israel's 35 year Occupation and Dispossession Policy.

    That the genocidal anti-Semites of the fanatical Iranian regime thought Leunig’s cartoon was a fine entry in their ‘most offensive cartoon’ contest tells us all we need to know about the category to which his current work should be consigned.”

    Fallacy of Guilt by Association.

  • Aaron Lane

    Hey Antony, Danby has simply written a letter expressing a point of view different to that of a previous letter writer. This, I think you will agree, is his right. Why, then, do you disparage him for exercising this right by saying that "Danby [is] complain[ing] about anybody daring to defend Leunig against such charges", and call him a "bully"? You make it sound as if he had sent a squadron of secret police around to assasinate the man with whom he disagrees. How can you claim to be an advocate of free speech when, whenever anyone says anything you disagree with, you belittle their right to say it?

  • edward squire

    Aaron Lane:

    Why, then, do you disparage him for exercising this right by saying that “Danby [is] complain[ing] about anybody daring to defend Leunig against such charges”, and call him a “bully”?

    There is no disparagement of Danby's right to express his views. There is disparagement of his views. It's a pretty obvious analytical distinction – and is clearly manifested in A.L.'s post.

    You make it sound as if he had sent a squadron of secret police around to assassinate the man with whom he disagrees.

    What on earth are you taking about? It doesn't sound like that at all. All A.L. is doing is here is pointing out and criticising Danby's dogmatism.

    How can you claim to be an advocate of free speech when, whenever anyone says anything you disagree with, you belittle their right to say it?

    Where in the post does it say: "Danby should be prevented from publishing ever again." Where does it say: "I have had very strong words with the publisher of Danby' writings and I have demanded that the not allow the public to see them." You won't find anything like this. (You will find that Danby himself is certainly not above trying the latter approach, but that's a different matter.) There is only a disagreement with what he says. There is no denial of right to say it. (Now look what you've made me do: resort to cliché to make things as clear as possible.)

  • Addamo

    Aaron,

    Unlike AL, Danby is an activist who has demonstrated an overt willingness to use his position in office to further his agenda.

    he proudly boasts that he represents an electorate with a high number of holocaust victims (or families of) and claims to be acting on their behalf. What is hypocritical abotu this is that is a Muslim were to boast about the same thing, they would be criticised for placing Isal before Australia and refusing to assimilate into Australian society.

    Of course, Danby constinues to spread the nonesense that Israel is dedending itself against a menace that has no reason for being, otehr than an irrational desrire to inflict harm on the poor Israeli population.

    " To see the Nazi genocide of six million people compared with the actions of the democratic government of Israel in defending its population against terrorism"

    Zionists like Danby go start raving mad at the excercise of drawing parallels between these two issues. Their argument is that is is an insult to holocaust victims, but there is never a willingness to actually have a rational debate about these parallels.

    In WWII Germany, there was a democratically elected leadership also, who convinced their peopel that they too were defensing the homeland aginst a threat. What is the harm is this discussion?

  • rhross

    The 'holocaust' legacy is tedious when it is personalised. I do not hold myself responsible, nor ultimately formed … although doubtless influenced … by the experiences of my parents or grandparents.

    The 'holocaust' has become a 'flag,' to be waved like ethnicity, various forms of abuse and even at times, homosexuality and lesbianism, in order to gain 'brownie points' which can be converted to leverage.

    This is not to deny the reality of, and the lessons to be drawn from the holocaust, nor experiences of abuse or discrimination, but rather to enable them to retain their intrinsic power by not diluting and belittling them.

    Anything that we use to define ourselves as a victim becomes an excuse for our behaviour. It is a blame game which prevents healthy psychological functioning.

    Yes, bad things happen to people and some people are discriminated against because of who they are, or how they live, but none of these things are an excuse for what we do.

    The holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis was terrible, but it was not solely a Jewish experience and it was not the first such genocide, nor sadly the last, nor even the worst in terms of the numbers who died. Human beings have created a rich holocaust history from which to draw and many millions have died because of it from Russia to Armenia, to Rwanda and Cambodia and beyond.

    The 'holocaust' experience has been turned into an industry to push the Zionist cause. There is no doubt about that. Few informed and reasonable people would claim that it was a myth. Many though might believe it is possible that it has been exaggerated …. however, the refusal to allow freedom of speech in this regard means that there is no way of knowing. It probably does not matter anyway.

    The Jewish experience of 'holocaust' should stand for itself, along with all of the others, as a testament to the barbaric nature which resides in all human beings, and as a warning of what we might become if we do not heed the lesson.

    The word holocaust has been so milked, debased and betrayed that it has long lost the meaning it might have had and long lost any capacity to stand as a 'lesson' for humanity.

    Even worse, the greatest betrayal of this suffering has come from Jews themselves in allowing Israel to become what it is and in allowing the same sorts of barbarity to be perpetrated on others in the name of the holocaust and Jewish 'suffering.'

    And perhaps, at the end of the day, that is for the best. Perhaps it is the only way that the culture can move beyond victimhood and find the freedom it needs to become a fully functioning, healthy society and a truly democratic State.

    Beyond the walls of denial there is a real and lasting freedom.

  • Leo Braun

    Ensuing an opportunity to come across the unravelled thread, courtesy of Antony Loewenstein canvassed protest topic, pertaining to the notorious bully tactics onslaught by the Zionist apologists, I am compelled to comment as to the tip of an iceberg reflected the common denominator of the Jew dilemma. Concerning the utmost controversial issue in question on the planet of earth. Tough vital resolution of (for the humanity sake), to remain insurmountable without resolving the principal lingo essence as what kind of JEWS, we were talking about?

    The analysis dilemma as such inspires to quote the principle, which is quite true in itself, that in the big lie there is always some sleazy force of machiavellian credibility. Naive populous has often fallen for, because gullible masses are always more easily swayed and corrupted in a deeper strata of their emotional nature (than consciously or voluntarily). Where in a primitive simplicity of their idle minds, they more readily fall victims to the big lies (than little fibs). As they themselves often tell small handy lies in little benefit matters but would be held back to resort to a large-scale falsehoods. Hence would never come into dopey heads the realisation that the 'almighty chosen' supremacists do fabricate so colossal untruths.

    Thus sheepishly desensitised minds couldn't ever grasp consequently that ZOG governed establishments worldwide, courtesy of a cuckoo nest incubated leaders (likewise as the religiously cultivated preachers), could have had such a bloody chutzpah to distort truths so incredibly. When even clear-cut facts, exposing heinous fraud perpetuation by Johnny Howard, Thick Bush and Teflon Tony … to be brought clearly to dill flock's attention, amazingly the careless sucker heads still to doubt, waver and continue to think that there may be some other explanation.

    Because so grossly impudent lie leaves always its smeared trace behind it (even after it has been nailed down already). This is the fact … which was known extremely well to all Jewanderthals expert liars in this world. Who conspired together worldwide in the supremacist art of the most incredible, immaculate lying. Perpetrated as a matter of fact, throughout the millenniums, courtesy of devious charlatans ingenuity knack. Who knew only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes, then never ever to admit any wrong.

    Synonymous with the racist ashke-Nazis, who have known better than any others on earth, how falsehood and calumny can be exploited. Isn't their very existence, was founded on one GREAT LIE? Namely that JEWS are a religious interbreed. When in reality, JEWS are a RACE. And what a unique race, preset since time immemorial to deal with any alternative ideologies notion (ever to rise from the grass roots of conscientious souls). Perpetually filling even the vacuum cells via adhered supremacist rule motto: "Should anyone be ever absent from us … he will be then against us"!

    Thus having aristocratic echelon masters throughout the millenniums firmly to place their bets each way … they always scored their steadfast incubated Jew winners worldwide. Impersonating an exclusive tyrant entity breed of the limitless significance. Assuring thus global apartheid via fait accompli elimination regimes. Starting right from a kindergarten via compulsory schooling and cultivated universities buffers, it to yield an ample of disposable Jew puppets.

    Accompanied over the years with connived referees issued clandestine dossiers as norm. No wonder the imbeciles lot to be nurtured with a carte blanche, whilst incorruptible souls of the genuine mortals to endure devious wrath. Still, so many of ill informed minds failed even to realise what hit them indeed. Without expecting in the wildest dream to face such a nightmare of the utterly insidious act to be unleashed on us.