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.

They said, he said

In light of the Iranian leadership’s views towards Jews and the Holocaust, a German Muslim group is hitting back:

A Muslim cultural institute in Germany on Monday criticised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for disparaging the Holocaust, daring him to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“In this place of horror he can again deny the Holocaust, if he has the courage,” a spokesman for the Islam-Archiv-Deutschland Central Institute told the German Catholic press agency KNA.

In recent statements, the hardline Iranian president has dismissed the Nazis’ systematic slaughter of mainland Europe’s Jews as a “myth” used to justify the creation of Israel and called for the state to be “wiped off the map”.

By denying the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad not only denigrated the Jewish victims of the genocide but also the 200,000 Roms and Arabs murdered in the “gypsy camp” of Auschwitz-Birkenau and other camps, the institute spokesman said.

The fact that the president of an Islamic state repeated Nazi anti-Semitism was harmful to the image of Islam and “a disgrace for all the world’s Muslims”, he added.

The article, published in the European Jewish Press, concludes with the following:

A controversial contest for cartoons of the Holocaust was launched in Iran on Monday in a tit-for-tat move over European newspaper publications of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that have angered Muslims worldwide.

The first entry was said to be from renowned Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig, according to the website organising the competition with Iran’s biggest-selling newspaper Hamshahri.

As we know, Leunig’s “entry” was a hoax. The Murdoch press is happy to continue the controversy, however, with an article in today’s Herald Sun that says Jewish groups believe Leunig’s cartoon “identifies Israel as a Nazi state.” Leunig, meanwhile, tells the Australian Jewish News (February 17) that his views on the conflict are not directed at Jews themselves:

“I admire what the Jews have done for the world. I have no problems with Jews, or with Israel, not even a problem with the Israeli Government – just one aspect of their policy.”

It seems self-evident. Not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionist are Jews. An individual should be able to criticise the Jewish state’s actions without fear of being labelled an “anti-Semite.”

  • Hey great new website mate! Thanks for putting me on the blogroll too, am very flattered.

    Glad to read this post. It's an important point to make. Yes there is a double standard between the Holocaust and the Danish cartoons. But seriously, two wrongs don't make a right.

    If Iran is so concerned about vilification and disrespect there's a very easy way to do something about it. It could start, for example, by starting to respect and uphold the rights of Zoroastrians and homosexuals in Iran.

  • rhross

    Iranians are poorly served by their leaders as Israelis are.

  • rhross

    Two wrongs don't make a right.

    Moslems are also hypocritical in regard to the Danish cartoons given the appalling sorts of cartoons they published about Jews.

    If Moslems don't want their religion villified because of how some of their followers act they can hardly turn around and villify Jews because of what they do.

    Hypocrisy is a skill that knows no religion, no race and no borders.

  • Need to be careful when using the term 'Moslems' so loose. I deliberately referred to 'Iran' instead of Iranians or Muslims per se. This is because I was referring to the geopolitical entity, which is in truth the sum of the centres of power within the country (eg the theocratic and political elite, etc).

    Similarly, criticism of Israel should not be understood as carte blanche criticisms of Jews per se, or all Jews.

    That people cannot maintain such distinctions reveals a great deal about our conceptions of those who we perceive fall outside our own identity ('the other').

  • rhross


    I did not mean all Moslems, by the use of the word and neither do comments about Israelis mean all Israelis. But you are right, maybe we need to specify.

    I should have said, those Moslems who are happy to print venal cartoons about Jews have no right to complain about the Danish cartoons.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    A writer for The Chaser has now admitted impersonating Michael Leunig to send one of his cartoons to the Iranian paper.

    A group of Israelis have launched a competition for Jews to see who can make the best anti-Semitic cartoon.

    Via Andrew Bartlett