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.

Arguments, not laws

Peter Singer, Daily Star, February 28:

The timing of Austria’s conviction and imprisonment of David Irving for denying the Holocaust could not have been worse. Coming after the deaths of at least 30 people during protests in Arab and Muslim countries against the Danish cartoons ridiculing the prophet Muhammad, the Irving verdict made a mockery of the claim that in democratic countries freedom of expression is a basic right.

We cannot consistently hold that cartoonists have a right to mock religious figures, but that it should be a criminal offense to deny the existence of the Holocaust. I believe that we should stand behind freedom of speech. And that means that David Irving should be freed.

Before you accuse me of failing to understand the sensitivities of victims of the Holocaust, or the nature of Austrian anti-Semitism, I should say that I am the son of Austrian Jews. My parents escaped Austria in time, but my grandparents did not. All my grandparents were deported to ghettos in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Two of them were sent to Lodz, in Poland, and then probably murdered with carbon monoxide at the extermination camp at Chelmno. One fell ill and died in the overcrowded and underfed ghetto at Theresienstadt. My maternal grandmother was the only survivor. 

21 comments ↪
  • Chris

    It’s a very sensitive subject. Muslims get very upset upon learning that mohamed was just some demon worshiping pedaphile. I don’t know why they are so sensitive about it. Shouldn’t they grow up and realize that 1400 years ago, it was fairly normal for many arabs to be demon worshipping pedaphiles?

  • David Irving obviously loved the attention he got in the early ’80s, after establishing himself as a reknowned independent historian, by denying the Holocaust and citing only a few examples as to why he believed it never happened. He is a tired, old, defeated man now who will say anything to avoid copping more jail time.

    He became an internationally famous Holocaust denier because people couldn’t shut up about him. He became fuel for the anti-and-pro Zionism fights that rage still.

    Three years for stating his view of an historical event, something said two decades ago, about something that happened more than six decades ago.

    Most young people today couldn’t care less about the Holocaust, and the reams of World War 2 video games they consume barely mention it at all. Good or bad?

    Why can’t it be both?

    We don’t have to look six decades ago for truly disgusting examples of the horrors that man can inflict upon man, regardless of the final bodycount.

    Australia and America conspired to help Indonesia slaughter one third of the East Timorese people in about the same time span it took the Nazis to slaughter one third of the Jewish people.

    A city in Iraq called Fallujah lost an estimated 8000 people to the guns of the West in only a matter of weeks, less than two years ago, local businesses destroyed, entire neighbourhoods razed, hospitals bombed, ambulances raked with bullets. If you stayed after the Americans said leave you had a one in five chance of dying.

    Using more weapons built and shipped by western corporations, with the complicity of western governments, millions have now died in the Congo, two to four million, or more, slaughtered with bullets and blades, methodically, ritualistically, endlessly, made in the US, made in Australia, made in Israel, made in China, in Russia, in France, in Germany.

    It’s just business.

    A lot of people got rich off the Holocast, and it’s still making money. Rupert Murdoch wouldn’t be publishing all those books and making those movies and TV shows if they didn’t generate a profit, in the end.

    It’s just business.

    An American called Prescott Bush literally built an empire from humble roots as a US senator and Nazi banker and financial advisor. He spawned a CIA director, two governors and two presidents.

    Hey, it’s just business.

    Is the slaughter of Fallujans and the East Timorse and the Congolese more or less relevant than the Holocaust?

    These holocausts happened in our time, using weapons manufactured by companies in our countries, ingnored by our media (and I don’t mean token coverage, I mean front page, lead story coverage) and with the full knowledge of our governments.

    Australian factories, one in Western Sydney’s St Mary’s, made hundreds of thousands of landmines during the 1970s and 1980s, and they’re still disabling and injuring children today, thousands of children a year. Did you hear that noise then? That was an Australian made landmine slamming a kid’s foot and kneecap through her chin.

    It’s just business.

    “Never again, this is why we must never forget.”

    Well, they didn’t forget, and they’re still developing newer and more powerful ways to depopulate entire countries and regions and the banks will loan the countries, the warlords and the corporations that want to do some killing the money to buy the most expensive weapons in the history of warfare.

    What have we learned? Only how to kill more people, faster, easier, with less evidence left behind, and turn a bigger profit off the bloodpuddle.

    After all, the manufacture and the distribution of the means to slaughter and maim humans is the biggest business in the world today.

    Never again? Are you kidding me? It’s still happening right now.

  • Stev

    If my evidence is anecdotal, yours is nonexistant – at least so far.

    And it’s not just my family. Though I may be offering up more about myself personally than most do on these kinds of sites, I spent the first 17 years of my life in a number of different christian communities. I have a great deal of experience with varying christian mindsets outside of my family. All of them exhibit at least a certain level of denial and none of them have once acknowledged the pagan influences on their religion and certainly not the reasons behind it.

    And since leaving the faith, just about every christian I have met has fit with the median mindset I have established from my experience. So while it may be a median determined from anecdotal means, it’s been proven true so far.

    But hey, if you have some real evidence that you want to offer to the contrary, I’ll happily hear it.

  • orang

    Truth Hater,
    great post.

    You gotta be kidding;
    “Australian factories, one in Western Sydney’s St Mary’s, made hundreds of thousands of landmines during the 1970s and 1980s, ..”

    Fuck!!!!

  • Chris

    Only some feel it is a criminal defense to deny that the holocaust occured. Cartoons about it seem to be allowed everywhere.

    Germany and Austria are particularly sensitive, being the people whom the holocaust apparently originated. I guess when all the actual victims say its okay for Germany and Austria to give up on trying to cleanse their souls, they might attempt to give up those laws.

  • smiths

    its so fascinating the way the debate plays itself,
    even peter singer, a world renowned philosopher and thinker feels the need to display his credentials to comment on the issue because it is the holocaust,
    his 'credentials' or 'right' should i say, being that he is the son of austrian jews,
    and if you dont have those 'rights' then keep your mouth shut

  • Addamo

    You make a good point Chris,

    It seems pretty evident Australia and Germany probably feel compelled to compensate for their complicity in the holocaust.

  • Stev

    Chris,

    As murky an area as it is defining the 'soul', I think we can all agree that countries don't have them. If such a thing exists, it's something that belongs to concious, aware beings. So how is it that Germany and Austria need to have their souls cleansed? If you're talking about the people in the countries rather than the countries themselves, why do their current inhabitants need to bear the punishment for the crimes of their grandparents? Why do their souls need to be cleansed?

    And do you really believe that it is up to the victims to determine whether a soul is cleansed? Getting into deeply philosophical/theological waters here, I know, but take this example:

    Let's say you've killed my brother. I was very close to my brother and loved him dearly and so I hate you with a passion for killing him. You have apologised for killing him, it was in the heat of the moment or whatever. At any rate, you are deeply apologetic. You spend years trying to make it up to me, you do kind things for me, help me where you can, devote time to me and to my family. You even devote yourself to being a better person, serving manking, giving to charities all that kind of stuff. You do basically everything that one could reasonably expect would earn my forgiveness and more. But I'm an unforgiving person. I hold on to my grudges and I refuse to forgive you. Does this mean your soul is not cleansed?

    Repentance is important to the victims. And it is important for the victims that they forgive (bearing a grudge will eat away at you). But ultimately forgiveness is between you and God – or whatever higher power you believe will consider your 'soul' as 'uncleansed'.

  • Addamo

    All faiths have a dark past to some degree. Christians get very upset at the notion that their faith is basically a pagan religion. Zionist'sget upset when their Kazar lineage is mentioned.

    Of course all of these a subject to debate.

    The issue of Austria and Gemany;s colective guilt is a different matter though.

  • Chris

    The soul of a country is merely a figure of speech. A comment on the collective morality. I'm sure most Zionists are fully aware and have no problem with approximately 5% of Jews have Khazarian ancestry. I also understand that most Christians recognize the pagan influences in amny of their practicies and fully understand why that is so.

  • Stev

    Figure of speech it may be ('Soul' is basically a figurative concept anyway), but you do seem to be saying that these countries have to act to cleanse their souls. This is what you seem to consider to be the justification for Holocaust Denial laws. Do you think these countries/their inhabitants need to make up for the acts of their ancestors? Can you confirm or deny this for me please?

    Also, I don't know how many Christians you know, but I know a lot. Namely, my whole family. Christians are in denial about a great many things at the best of times. I can assure you the great majority are unaware of the pagan influences behind their practices as well as the reasoning behind that.

    Great post TH by the way, a really good read.

  • Chris

    I'm not saying they have to, they are acting as if they have to, for whatever reason they choose.

    It is they that justify those laws, they wrote them, they enacted them.

    Your family's denial is termed anecdotal, they do not portray the mindset of the median christian, or do you have polls suggesting they do?

  • Stev

    What, no mountains of polls to disprove me Chris? Where's your wealth of evidence to support your outlandish claims. Don't tell me you were just talking out of your arse? I'm shocked and appalled.

  • Addamo

    Yes, Chris the beacon of factual informatioon has lket us dwon again.

    Imagine my surprise!!

  • Chris

    Let you down? I didn't think it was worth replying. Not every opinion expressed is worth bothering with. Perhaps you like to list the polls stating how ignorant christians are about their religion. I don't feel the need.

  • Stev

    Chris,

    My claim was worth replying to when you were blowing steam, but when I clarified the extensive personal experience on which this claim is based and requested you provide proof of your own claim, all of a sudden the claim's not worth bothering with? You'll forgive me if I find this a little convenient.

    It's nothing to do with listing polls stating the ignorance of christians. It's about being willing to support your claims with evidence. Something you seem to demand of others but something you yourself seem to be unwilling to do.

    Perhaps one day you will learn the importance of holding yourself to the same standards as those to which you hold others. Until you learn that, I think you will struggle to get people to take you seriously.

  • Chris

    It is not my concern that you feel most christians are ignorant. My understanding is that most christians are aware of the pagan background of many of their rituals.

    If you wish to list polls showing the majority of christians to be ignoramuses, do what you will. It matters not, to me.

    I don't seem to be struggling. Based on the comments received, it appears I am taken very seriously.

  • Stev

    What a surprise, you're completely missing (or ignoring) the point once again.

    -I make a claim and back it up with evidence based on extensive personal experience.

    -Anyone else makes a claim and you demand proof.

    -You make a claim and you don't see the point in bothering with proof.

    I would ask if you see anything wrong with this picture, but it's pretty clear you don't. I've no doubt others would, regardless of what side of the political fence they happen to be on.

    I don't wish, nor do I see any need to list polls supporting my claims. I have substantial personal experience on which these claims are based. You can call that anecdotal if you like, but personal experience will always provide a better picture of reality than polls. The contradictions in your Palestinian poll proves that. I suggested you post polls because a. you obviously have no personal experience with the subject and 2. you seem to like polls.

    By the way, the fact that you believe Christians consider their actions, gatherings & services 'rituals' shows your complete ignorance on the subject.

    Of course, once more, I invite you to prove me wrong. If you have evidence that your claims and beliefs are correct, feel free to provide it. I am more than happy to consider it.

  • Chris

    You don't seem to have a point, just a petty arguement in which you insist that chritians are ignorant, and I say they are not.

    I invite you to post all the polls you'd like showing the christians to be stupid, lazy, oafish, ignorant, blind worshippers of a long forgotten creed, and the like.

    I see no reason to do so.

  • Stev

    You don’t seem to have a point, just a petty arguement in which you insist that chritians are ignorant, and I say they are not.

    How much more simple can I make it? I made a claim, provided evidence for said claim, you made a claim and refuse to do so – despite insisting others do the same on numerous occasions. Even if you don't consider my personal experience sufficient evidence to stand as proof, at least it gives you some idea of where the claim originated. As far as I'm aware, your claim is just something you decided one day.

    And your method of expanding my claims when paraphrasing is childish at best. My claim was and is that most christians are unaware of the pagan origins of much of their dogma. When you repeat it, though, it becomes a claim that christians are generally 'ignorant', 'ignormamuses', 'stupid', 'lazy', 'oafish' and 'blind'. What is the point to this?

    You are realling tying yourself in knots with words though. How could anyone worship 'a long forgotten creed'? If they're worshipping it (nevermind in droves) how could it possibly be long forgotten?

  • Chris

    You provided no evidence of your claim. Expanding your assertions just showed how ridiculous you assertion is.

    But it is interesting that you have now inserted the word 'Dogma" for "practicies", atering your original baseless assertion.

    I would tend to agree that most christians are ignorant when it comes to their Dogam being essentially pagan in origin.