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.

A strange mix

Efraim Zuroff is one of the world’s leading Nazi hunters. He spends his life searching for war criminals involved in the slaughter of Jews during World War II. During a recent interview with the Melbourne Age, he discussed the motivations behind his work:

“I’ve devoted my life to it. It’s the one way that someone can really actively work against the evil of the Holocaust. Unfortunately, you can’t bring (back) to life a single one of the victims, but what we can do is make sure that those who turned them into victims – these merciless killers who murdered innocent men, women and children – will be held accountable.”

A noble pursuit. But the article reveals Zuroff has lived “in the West Bank settlement of Efrat for more than 20 years.” Efrat is one of the West Bank’s largest settlements, an ever-growing colony on occupied Palestinian land.

The contradiction is intriguing. Zuroff is determined to hunt down perpetrators of the Nazi Holocaust, but is willing to live and prosper on occupied land and deprive Palestinians of their ability to form a homeland. He may see no irony in this, but only a radical Zionist could miss it.

  • Chris

    I would imagine that the majority of people would not see any equivilance. It would take a rather unique individual to work out that particular thought process wherein what many consider the most heinious crime in history has some comparison with a political decision to settle disputed land under control of the nation of Israel.

    Normally this type equivilance is reserved for those trying to prove why the worst football playing school should be #1 based on the “They beat the team that beat the team that beat the team…” so on until the last team to be the #1 team.

    It is also a nonsense exercise practiced by Talmudic students (Scholars don’t play the game) whereing they prove various unkosher foods (Snakes, snails) kosher by manipulating various rulings. Their elders shake their heads when they listen in but realize that it is part of a learning process. And that they also entertained such thoughts when it didn’t matter.

  • Addamo

    On the contrary Chris,

    The question fo numbers is the only thing that sets th eholocaust apart from other actss of genocide throughout modern history. The fact that a people that were onthe reeiving end of such barbarity are now perpatrating similar acts agsinst other people is fast beginning to tarnish the tolerance the majority of the world has towards Israel.

    Your football analogy is clever but completely irrelevant. No reasonabely minded person is going to accept that the Paelstinians deserve their situaito on the grounds that they too are guilty of heniuos acts. After all, let's not forget thet Israel posits itself as a beacon of democracy and decency in the Middle East.

  • Chris

    It is not the question of numbers nor the individual acts of barbarity. Nor are those pushing for an illogical moral equivilancy tarnishing anything. If anything, the Arabs taking up the mantle in what has been describe as genocide in Sudan has alarmed many as to the capability of Arabs elsewhere imitating such in other areas.

    Nothing has been mentioned of anyone deserving anything, merely that the quest for moral equivilance is misplaced in that particular situation, for good reason.

  • Addamo

    The Sudan is more tribal than it is religious. africaz has been a melting pot for genocide (such as the ongoing carnage between Hutu's and Tutstis). Furthremore, one cannot ignore the manipuation in Sudan my outside parties. The government of Israel stands chargeed with genocide, and then the Us government comes along and declares Sudan a partner in the war on terror. Unbeliebvable.

    and to make matters worse, Israel has been implicated in arming the rebels. What is it about Israel and thei fascination with genocide?

    Moral equivilance is an utterly meanigless notion inventied by the right to conter the charegs of moral exceptionalism.

  • edward squire


    In your first post you asserted (and then continued to assert) that: there is no moral equivilance between the illegal settlers and concentration camp officers. That's an interesting assertion, but it is worth little because there is no argument to support it. It has as much weight as the bare assertion: illegal settlers are the moral equivalent of concentration camp officers.

  • Chris

    The post asserts that there is no moral equivilance between the Holocaust and Efriam Zuroof's living conditions.

  • Chris

    And it wasn't even an absolute assertion, just that most would find it hard to see any such moral equivilance.

  • Addamo

    Especialyl seeing as moral equivalence has about has much meaning as cretive destruction. The term was created by those who perceive themselves morally exceptional.

  • Chris

    Can you actually prove that? Or is this a fact you wish were true? Destroying something in an unusual way, such as the designed implosions when removing especially large edifices, certainly seems creative. But perhaps it is enough to say it requires a creative mind to destroy something in an usual fashion. Even looking at it that way, I believe the English language can handle the concept of creative destruction. Perhaps it should mean that the destruction was designed in such a fashion that something else was created.

    The act of destroying the bonds in certain atoms creates other atoms.

  • Addamo

    What's there to prove?

    There is not such thinbg as moral equivalnce. Somethign is either moral or it is not. it is either legal or it't not.

    Moral equivalnce is nothing more than an attempt to sugar coat and excuse Western agsression.

    Yes you can get creative with ways to use the term creative destruction, but by and lagre it is a contrditction in terms when it comes to military intervantion. Creative destruction was the term coined by neocon bottom feeder, Michael Ledeen.

  • captain

    you write like a misanthropic, misogynistic bigot.

  • captain

    illegal settlers are the moral equivalent of concentration camp officers

    I think that most people would agree that this comment is both malicious and ignorant. I suspect that Edward knows very little about either concentration camp guards or people living on disputed lands. Edward also seems to know very little about the frailties of making any moral comparison.

    Guards participated in mass murder and genocide. People living in disputed lands have very little to do with the regional arabs that dispute the ownership of the land. For the most part, contact only comes when those same regional arabs try to kill the Jews living in disputed lands. These regional arabs are in fact behaving in a similar fashion to concentration camp guards who tried to eradicate Jews.

    Edward, I wonder if you have actually ever been to visit either concentration camps, visited Yad Vashem or spoken people who live in disputed areas. I wonder if you have ever spoken to the regional arabs. I have done all of these. For the most part there was a very peaceful and profitable co-existence until the PLO and neighbouring states began interfering. The arab have made their own suffer for strategic reasons. They are the moral equivalent of the concentration camp guards.

  • Addamo

    Malicious and ignorant Captain? After that sick comment you just made in regards to Rachel Corrie?

    You are a sick fascist and a biggot. Your reflex response to negate the moral comparisons is truly pathetic and utterly predictable.

    "Guards participated in mass murder and genocide" So do IDF soldiers. How many Palestinians did they pop off this week? Even heard of Jenin? or the 1996 massacre in Quan?

    Your ignorance is a sight to to behold.

    "For the most part, contact only comes when those same regional Arabs try to kill the Jews living in disputed land"

    What about when Israeli's come in to bulldoze Palestinian homes and claim those lands, then use the opportunity to waste more Arabs? Isn't that the MO of the Israeli occupation?

    "These regional Arabs are in fact behaving in a similar fashion to concentration camp guards who tried to eradicate Jews."

    Complete and utter rubbish. You would argue that black was white and that white was black if you'd been taught that at Zionist school.

    Not surprisingly, there is a very obvious comparison that you seem to be missing. In the concentration camps:

    1. The Germans were overwhelmingly in control and better armed
    2. The Jews were the ones herded into ghettos

    In today’s occupied territories:

    1. The Israeli's are overwhelmingly in control and better armed
    2. The Palestinians are the ones being herded into enclaves

    Need you be reminded for the umpteenth time that Israel invaded Lebannon in 1981 (when the world was putting the pressure on to negotiate an agreement) and crushed the PPLO because it was backing a 2 state solution?

    Need you be reminded of the statements by Ben Guiron and Dov Wesiglass about their commitments to peace.

    And you have the chutzpah to call us extreme in our opinions? Grow up dude.

  • captain

    addamo all I can say is that you read and think as well as you type.

  • Addamo

    well Captin,

    It’s pitty you don’t think at all, just repeat the diatribe you have been programmed to repeat.

    Incidently, what is your profession and level of education?

  • Chris

    Israel crushed the PLO in Lebanon because of terroristic attacks of the PLO from that area.

    I don't recall any members of the IDF being involved in mass murder and genocide. Please provide the information.

    Exactly which Palestinain homes were bulldozed for Israel to later claim the land? I do recall some border homes that had to be removed for security purposes, but none for the sake of placinf houses for Israelis to live in.


    Mar 1st, 2006 at 7:40 am

    Especialyl seeing as moral equivalence has about has much meaning as cretive destruction. The term was created by those who perceive themselves morally exceptional.

    Please prove the assertion, you made, that the term "Moral Equivilance" was created by those who perceive themselves morally exceptional.

    It seems to me that you made this 'fact' up.

  • Addamo

    "Israel crushed the PLO in Lebanon because of terroristic attacks of the PLO from that area."

    Wrong. In 1981, attack by Israel against the PLO had nothign to do with terrorist attacks agaisnt Israel.

    "I don’t recall any members of the IDF being involved in mass murder and genocide."

    I just spelled it out fo royu. Jenin and Quana.

    Corrcetion. The term "Moral Euqivalence" was not created by the right but has been used as a charge by the right to repell critisism of military brutality inflicted by the West or it's allies. It has been used as a justification for moral exceptionalism.

    Moral exceptionalism assumes that the violence we inflicts is for the greater good while hte vilence of our enemies is motivated by evil.

    10 thousand homes have been bulldozed by Israel. Those plots of land have been used for Israeli developments.

  • orang

    Chris Mar 1st, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Israel crushed the PLO in Lebanon because of terroristic attacks of the PLO from that area."

    Israel "crushed" eh. You like that.


    "I don’t recall any members of the IDF being involved in mass murder and genocide. Please provide the information."

    You are pre-emptively denying the Sabrah Chatilah massacre right?

    Well, you see if a couple of thugs beat up say a paraplegic granny, it is not a defence for one of them to say, "But your honour, all I did was hold her arms, the other bloke did the kickin'". So it's not a defence for the IDF killers to say we just gurded the outside and lobbed a few shells so they could see better.
    "When does a killing become an outrage? When does an atrocity become a massacre? Or, put another way, how many killings make a massacre? Thirty? A hundred? Three hundred? When is a massacre not a massacre? When the figures are too low? Or when the massacre is carried out by Israel’s friends rather than Israel's enemies?

    That, I suspected, was what this argument was about. If Syrian troops had crossed into Israel, surrounded a Kibbutz and allowed their Palestinian allies to slaughter the Jewish inhabitants, no Western news agency would waste its time afterwards arguing about whether or not it should be called a massacre.

    But in Beirut, the victims were Palestinians. The guilty were certainly Christian militiamen – from which particular unit we were still unsure – but the Israelis were also guilty. If the Israelis had not taken part in the killings, they had certainly sent militia into the camp. They had trained them, given them uniforms, handed them US army rations and Israeli medical equipment. Then they had watched the murderers in the camps, they had given them military assistance – the Israeli airforce had dropped all those flares to help the men who were murdering the inhabitants of Sabra and Chatila – and they had established military liason with the murderers in the camps"

  • Chris

    So you just lied about the origination of the term 'Moral equivilance"?

    Neither Jenin nor Quana are examples of mass murder or genocide.

    I think Israel's interest in Lebanon had everything to do with palestinian terror attacks.
    In March 1978, Palestinian terrorists ambushed and captured a bus on Israel's main highway near Tel Aviv, killing 35 Israelis and wounding more than 70. In result, IDF forces entered south Lebanon with the goal of putting a stop to Palestinian terrorism. This IDF intervention known as Operation Litani lasted for 7 days in which the IDF removed terrorists from south Lebanon, and ceased the advance when it reached the Litani River. This intervention led the UN Security Council to adopt Resolution 425, demanding Israel to cease all military action against Lebanon and withdraw its forces. Resolution 425 also called for the establishment of an Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to confirm this withdrawal, to assist in the restoration of peace and to restore the Lebanese government's authority in south Lebanon. In June 1978 the IDF withdrew its forces from south Lebanon and handed over control of Lebanon's southern border region to a Christian-Lebanese militia under the command of Maj. Sa'ad Haddad, known today as the South Lebanese Army (SLA). The Litani Operation resulted in the temporary loss of the PLO's strategic ground to launch operations against Israel. Nevertheless, between 1978 and 1981, 89 terrorist operations were launched against Israel from Lebanon causing the deaths of nine Israelis and wounding 57 including the infamous PLO attack on a children's nursery in Kibbutz Misgav Am.

  • captain

    You are a sick fascist and a biggot.

    Coming from you, that is a badge of honour!

    But honestly, you haven't substantiated either statement. Further, ad hominem argument is merely a reflection of your paucity in clarity.

    You never answer my questions only to respond with boilerplate PLO propaganda. Jenin was a great example. It was complete propaganda to suggest that there was a massacre. palestinians lied about it continuously until it was fully investigated. It has still reached a mythological status with Israel-haters like yourself.

    addamo, you have to learn to be more termperate and accept that are opinions that differ from your own. These should not provoke the kind of reflexive hatred that you spew forth.

    orang, as usual your hatred gets the better of you. I don't suppose you wonder what efforts the Lebanese or Syrians went to to actually catch and punish the Christian phalangists who murdered the palestinians at Sabra and Chatila. Once again, you seem to care more about them than they do about themselves. The massacre there was terrible and it was a reflection on the morality of Israel that there would be some soul searching and investigation about the activities of Israeli allies. But I don't hear you calling the phalangists to account for the massacre. Your bias and hatred won't let you.

  • orang

    Well "Jenin was a reat example" of Israel's ability to squirm. Who made the invsestigation-Kofe Annan by phone? You haven't convinced me . Jenin was a massacre.

    I've heard this "why don't we go after/count the Phalangists re; Sabra and Chatila…" Which page of your Standard Responses Handbook is this on? We're not talking about a bunch of cutthroats who raped and knifed, and bludgeoned to death, we're talking about those who enabled it. Those who announce they are noble and claim purity, the ones who tell us how civilised they are. We know a cutthroat when we see one.

  • captain

    Yes we do, orang.

  • orang

    fffft, you hit like a girl.

  • Chris

    I'm surprised you have not been convinced that Jenin was not a massacre. The debate lasted a long time and in the end, all official sides concluded there was no massacre. Of course, extremist Palestinians and their supporters don't believe it, but when have they ever backed down from a proven lie?

  • Addamo

    Much of Jenin remains undisclosed and unresolved. Another Israeli propaghanda success.

    Quana was undoubttably a massacre. Perhaps Chris and Captain get a warm fuzzy feeling at the fight of mutiliated bodies, but mos f humantiy find that utterly repulsive.

  • captain

    why would you think I would find mutilated bodies warm and fuzzy? That is known as 'projection' and makes me concerned about your mental health.

    Funny how you see the turth as a propaganda success.

  • Addamo

    My mental health is perfectly fine. It was you who describes the story of Rachel Corrie as amusing after all, were you not?

    What was the truth abotu Quana? 100 dead Palestinins at the nad of the IDF. Yes, I can see how you woudl regard that as a success.

    You keep harping on abotu Iran this and iran that is regards to the statements of their leader, yet you never once mentioned the million plus Iranians who came out is a demonstratino of solidarity towards teh US after 911.

  • Chris

    Jenin is unresolved? I guess it is the same case as whether not Rachel Corrie was pregnant when she possibly committed suicide. And whether the father was a fellow ISMer or a Married Palestinian.

    The accidental shelling of a UN compound could hardly be called a massacre. There was certainly no intention to kill harmless people.

  • Addamo

    When 100 peoepl are killed, it is indeed a mssacre. and 100 deaths is not an accident.

    But then again,when you factor in the USS Liverty, it certainly appears that Israel seemextremely accient prone doesn't it? Maybe theyu shoudl have those nukes put in the hands of comeone responsible to avvoid another one of those accidents.

    BTW. The official Israeli version of Corrie's death was that she was killed by falling debris, not by suicide, so it looks liek your lame theory is all washed up. You must be getting depressed at how your theories are like balloons that just pop.

    What is your obsession with whether Corrie was pregnant or otherwise? Would it have made her death any more or less significant?

  • Chris

    Leave your petty insults at home.

    100 people were not targeted by snipers, or taken out and shot one at a time or lined up and killed. They died during the accidental shelling of a UN compound. Not classified as a massacre.

    Why do you think that Corries possible suicide attempt is an official version? Just a theory since the autopsy hasn't been made public, as far as I know. I don't know why you think its an obsession, just a plausible scenerio as to why she might have wanted to die. Her death was rather insignificant. Didn't change a thing except on her parent's taxes. They lost a deduction.

    As for the Liberty, the only thing that can be taken from that is your penchant to make up 'facts'.

  • Addamo

    100 people were not targeted by snipers, or taken out and shot one at a time or lined up and killed. They died during the accidental shelling of a UN compound. Not classified as a massacre.

    100 people were killed by Israeli artillery and another very big mistake on Israel’s part. As I said, they seem to be very accident prone- if indeed it was an accident. It’s not like Israel has a soft spot for the UN is it?

    "Why do you think that Corries possible suicide attempt is an official version?"

    How else did the investigation conclude that the death was an accident?

    Your "plausible scenerio" for Corrie's death is the mother of all tin foil hat arguments. How in the world do you conclude that a woman's pregnancy is a plausible scenario for wanting to die? Does that happen in your world a lot? Women becoming pregnant then committing suicide? Why are you so quick to ignore that Corrie was an activist who took up the Palestinian cause and believed that placing her body in front of the tractor would force it to stop?

    Her death is far from insignificant, unless you consider all deaths to be insignificant. If it was indeed so insignificant, then the play in New Your would be proceeding would it not?

    Or perhaps it's insignificant because she was on the wrong side in your opinion? Seems her death is enough to worry the heck out of pro Israeli’s when the play comes to town, is it not? Either way, it makes your attitude to death pretty distasteful. Your trivialization of her death, by reducing it down to a tax issue, suggests you are a bitter and twisted individual.

    “As for the Liberty, the only thing that can be taken from that is your penchant to make up ‘facts’. »

    That is pure and utter exaggeration on your part Chris. Are you going to keep harping on about something I admitted to or give me an explanation as to what a real person is and why real people admire Israel?

    You just made up a number of plausible scenarios about the play not being financially viable without providing any evidence whatsoever. Seems when it comes to Israel, you run around like a banshee making up the most pathetic “plausible” arguments you can think of to divert attention from the issue.

  • edward squire


    Mar 1st, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    I think that most people would agree that this comment is both malicious and ignorant. I suspect that Edward knows very little about either concentration camp guards or people living on disputed lands. Edward also seems to know very little about the frailties of making any moral comparison.

    Read my post again. You don't seem to have comprehended its one and only point. An assertion (or denial) of moral equivalence is worth nothing without an argument in support of it. Chris made the assertion without argument, therefore, Chris's assertion, in itself, was worth nothing. If Chris had asserted the opposite without argument, I would have said the same thing.

    As for knowledge of concentration camp guards, I have probably about the same about of knowledge as you do: none of it first-hand.

    As for knowing "very little about the frailties of making any moral comparison", that's simply an unfounded assertion on your part – in which case, the comment I made to Chris applies equally to you here. Feel free to raise your standards.

  • Chris

    Your penchant for making up facts is pure and utter exaggeration on my part? I beg to differ. And I quote:

    1. Addamo Feb 22nd, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    They even tried to sick the USS Liberty because they were trying to prevent the US getting wind of their plans to commence the attack.

    This was not stating an opinion, but a fact. There is no escaping the charge of deliberate falsification.