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.

Congrats Kerry

Rich Australians deserve sympathy and a tax-payer funded funeral. Really.

19 comments ↪
  • captain

    Antony, it was a memorial service, not a funeral. I am surprised you didn't know the difference. Really.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    As Austen Tayshus would say, "Go Anna."

  • Stev

    Captain, I'm surprised you see a difference. Rich guy dies. We pay for all his rich friends to say goodbye to him. Funeral, memorial service, it's all semantics really. Whatever it was, we payed for it.

  • edward squire

    Rich Australians deserve sympathy

    They don't deserve our sympathy – they deserve our praise and our money; our praise because they are obviously better than us and our money as a reward for being better than us.

    Actually, Packer doesn't so much deserve a state-funded memorial service as a state-funded investigation into his family-company tax havens. Now that would be just.

  • orang

    Hate to sound "un-Australian", but this type of thing (idolatry of the rich and famous) is like a national sickness. Howard knows this well, so what that a few lefties squack about it.

  • captain

    I suspect that KP has created more work and paid more tax than just about any other Australian ever. And this is before we acknowledge his personal contribution to our national sport. But of course envy and low self esteem prevents leftists from appreciating this.

  • John Ryan

    Dear Captain, what a load of bullshit,Packer never did anything that would not benfit him,may he and Murdock fry toigether.

  • captain

    There are thousands of people who can contradict John Ryan with personal examples of KP's generosity. Is this the voice of communism that he should "fry"? How disgusting! All people act with self-interest. Why should this condemn KP?

    It is a pretty fucked up view of the world to revile the successful to this extent.

  • Stev

    Captain,

    I'm not going to make character judgements about KP, nor will I speak about his generosity or a lack thereof. Alls I'm saying is if his empire can afford to pay for the grand spectacle otherwise known as his memorial service (which it obviously can – many times over) I see no reason why we should foot the bill.

    If you're such a fan that you want to pay for it then by all means pay. Maybe they could just solicit donations from the KP fan club and they can cover it, but I see no reason that all of us should be forced to pay.

  • captain

    As it happens, I am not such a fan as you would call it, but he was a significant Australian as judged by the leaders who the majority of Australians elected to represent them. I don't know how much was spent, but these kinds of events are for the living, not the dead. I think your whole orientation to the event is mixed up.

    And people hoping that he would fry? This is just disgusting. Its not like he was an Arafat who orchestrated the death of many people.

  • orang

    Or a Sharon. Oh wait, he's not dead yet.

  • Stev

    You don't think the living that were there are rich too? How about a cover charge?

    I'm not saying the guy didn't contribute to Australian society and the Australian economy. It was just a damned extravagant event and I don't particularly want to pay for it. On the extravagance too, from what I know of KP he probably wouldn't have been too crazy about the whole thing.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    The spectacle of hundreds of rich schoolkids swaying to 'Come on Aussie come on come on" was just sickening. Taxpayers' money is wasted on the education of these dregs.

  • captain

    "taxpayer's money is wated on the education of these dregs"?? Is that envy speaking?

    Because they are singing a tribute to KP therefore they are to be derided? Where is the logic in that? Statistically, these are the kids that are going to be paying sufficient tax so that you can get your weekly welfare cheque. I wouldn't bite the hand that fed you.

  • edward squire

    captain said:

    Feb 18th, 2006 at 9:42 pm: I suspect that KP has created more work and paid more tax than just about any other Australian ever. And this is before we acknowledge his personal contribution to our national sport.

    Feb 18th, 2006 at 10:06 pm: There are thousands of people who can contradict John Ryan with personal examples of KP’s generosity.

    [1] Packer paid much, much, much, much less in percentage terms than I ever will. His behaviour when it came to paying tax, while technically legal, openly and flagrantly flouted the spirit and the morality of the law. His accumulated fortune could pay for literally billions of funerals. But no: poor shmoes like us have to pay for his. No matter which way you dice it, it's unjust.

    [2] He employed (directly) hundreds of people? Whoopee doo. Did he do it out of the goodness of his heart? No. He did it so that he could make even more money for himself. If he could make money by sacking people he'd do that to (and he did). Yes, of course employing people (so as to use them) has the unintended consequence of benefiting those people (the wonders of the Invisible Hand of the market), but you don't reward someone for the unintended consequences of his actions! Do we reward Hitler? After all, rebuilding the German army did drag Germany out of the depression and gave work to millions of poor Germans. Some of them were eventually employed to build and man death camps. A state funeral for Hitler then? No.

    [3] His personal contribution to sport was figuring out how to suck as much money out of it as possible by commodifying it as much as possible. Every sport that received the kiss of death by KP has had its soul sucked and flushed down the Packer Rating Toilet; all have been transformed into gimmicky Mickey Mouse "Entertainment Extravaganzas" which you can preserve in memory forever with this maaarvelous framed commemorative dishcloth, autographed in gold texta by the Australian-aka-Packer cricket team for only $2,499.99 (only 45,000 available to ring now with your credit card number ready).

    [4] As for Packer's charity work, the first thing to note is that he gave medical charity to those institutions which affected him. Ailments which didn't affect him – no matter how terrible or needy – got by-passed. It's no defence to say, "Well at least he gave charity." So what?! Everyone gives charity at some point. It's just that not everyone has their own television station to promote their wonderfulness…and so not everyone gets a state funeral. "But he was quietly 'charitable' to his employees (… well, the ones he didn't sack, anyway)". Awww – it's that sweet. That's not grounds for a state funeral at tax payers expense. That is merely grounds for qualification as a human being. If he was so great, why when questioned by a federal Senate inquiry did he openly advocate that all Australians should attempt to minimise their tax? Where the hell does he think the money comes from which pays for the poor's hospitals, schools and housing? The magic money tree? No – it comes from tax. Packer was effectively advocating the destruction of the largest system of charity in the country. If he wanted to do some really impressive charity work, Packer could have given up just a little bit of his time and just a few cents for a phone call … to John Howard, telling him if he didn't start treating asylum seekers with the same degree of decency he shows his own children, he would politically destroy him. Now that would deserve a state funeral. But of course, Packer never did anything like that.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Let's not forget the social harm he did through the promotion of gambling, and the sucking out of millions from his casinos.

    Captain, no, I'm not envious. I was once a GPS boy. I know of what I speak.

  • rapscallion

    Anyone using the 'envy' line is proving himself or herself bereft of arguments. It's the last resort of the politician. Howard and others use it in Parliament when someone suggests, for example, that the well-off should not be the beneficiaries of the biggest tax cuts when low incomes are to be boosted by $4 pw.

    Perhaps captain could show us how imputed 'envy' is connected to the question, 'Should the state fund the memorial service of a very wealthy (inherited) media owner who stated publicly that it was one's duty to pay as little tax as possible?'

    And as for 'And people hoping that he would fry? This is just disgusting. Its not like he was an Arafat who orchestrated the death of many people.' Surely even captain can comprehend a bit of figurative language, or is he a catholic literalist? Packer wasn't one, was he?

    The ultimate irony is that Packer himself, no matter his faults, would certainly have been consistent enough to decry a tax-payer funded service. Just shows what a an arrogant suck-hole Howard really is.

  • edward squire

    rapscallion :

    Anyone using the ‘envy’ line is proving himself or herself bereft of arguments. It’s the last resort of the politician. Howard and others use it in Parliament

    It's a line learned at undergraduate level in that most august of canibalistic cults, the Young Liberals – a place where brains, ideas, policies, and yes, insults and lame-arse rhetorical devices, get set in stone. Everything after this time is just Glorious Recapitulation. (Take Abbott and Costello on VSU … straight from uni days. What about industrial relations reform by Howard? A uni-days idea. The GST? Uni days – only it was callled a broad-based proportional sales tax back then. And so on and so forth.)

  • rapscallion

    thanks, squire.

    Then there's full fee paying students and up-front discounts – more uni days. During which period there were far too many of the hoipolloi in the union cafe and just not enough houndstooth jackets.