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.

News bytes 2

– This story gets stranger by the day: “Lobbyist Jack Abramoff worked with Russian partners to establish a company that envisioned a high-risk plan to drill for oil in Israel, which he hoped would bring him riches and reshape the Middle East.”

– More on the self-censorship of a play about Rachel Corrie.

– Tony Blair is accused of ignoring grieving parents who have lost children in Iraq.

– Robert Fisk tells ABC TV viewers that the Western media is failing to unlock the details behind the civil strife in Iraq.

– On today’s 10th anniversary of the Howard government, the Prime Minister offers this gem: “We are more accountable than we have ever been in the past.” Some are more generous with today’s birthday.

– A lawyer representing some Guantanamo Bay prisoners offers a unique look into the “gulag.”

– The Australian Jewish News celebrates Howard’s birthday:

Howard’s Australia may not be perfect, but in these troubled times, especially in Europe where the “new antisemitism” appears to have become de rigeur among the chattering classes, Australia remains the “lucky country” for Jews. 

23 comments ↪
  • orang

    Abramov raised 5M? For oil exploration? Sounds like he was trying to scam someone. No oil in Israel, (sorry, God picked the wrong place) and any way 5M for the oil business will just about buy lunch.

  • edward squire

    – “Lobbyist Jack Abramoff worked with Russian partners to establish a company that envisioned a high-risk plan to drill for oil in Israel”

    As orang points out, "high risk" is a bit of an understatement, given that the "risk" of not finding oil (and thus of venture capitalists loosing all their money) is about 100%.

    – More on the self-censorship of a play about Rachel Corrie.

    Well, someone was bound to be offended – and that's reason enough to limit free speech these days. The only mildly surprising thing is that it is happening in the US – the land that would let Irving say what he likes.

    – Tony Blair is accused of ignoring grieving parents who have lost children in Iraq.

    Just like Bush. Monkey see, monkey do.

    – Robert Fisk tells ABC TV viewers that the Western media is failing to unlock the details behind the civil strife in Iraq.

    I was left wondering whether Fisk had something more to say and was being a little coy with his insistence that "something very mysterious is going on in Iraq".

    – On today’s 10th anniversary of the Howard government, the Prime Minister offers this gem: “We are more accountable than we have ever been in the past.”

    Well, that's true in a sense. Now that the Howard government has control of both Houses, he is, more than ever before, accountable to the Business Council of Australia. The "Oh but we have to negotiate with a recalcitrant Senate" excuse to the BCA just won't cut it anymore.

    – The Australian Jewish News celebrates Howard’s birthday: "Howard’s Australia may not be perfect, but in these troubled times, especially in Europe where the “new antisemitism” appears to have become de rigeur among the chattering classes, Australia remains the “lucky country” for Jews."

    I take it that the new anti-Semitism refers to the extraordinary increase in harassment and attacks on ordinary Arabs. I suppose Arabs here could have been saying the same thing were it not for the Cronulla race rampage.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Leunig holds another mirror to Israel

    How can you relate to evil, inferior weirdos when tou're so fabulous and good?

    I just can't relate to those crazy Palestinian suicide bombers. No decent person could.

    The bombers I relate to wear nice uniforms with nice badges … handsome, clean-shaven…

    They fly proper planes with proper insignias. Thye drop their bombs on people in an orderly, ethical and successful way

    … then they fly home for a beer, a hamburger, and a good movie to unwind. Yes, I can relate to that.

    How can you relate to evil, inferior weirdos when tou're so fabulous and good?

    I just can't relate to those crazy Palestinian suicide bombers. No decent person could.

    The bombers I relate to wear nice uniforms with nice badges … handsome, clean-shaven…

    They fly proper planes with proper insignias. Thye drop their bombs on people in an orderly, ethical and successful way

    … then they fly home for a beer, a hamburger, and a good movie to unwind. Yes, I can relate to that.

  • Chris

    Why do you consider them inferior?

  • edward squire

    Progressive_Atheist has merely copied the words from Leunig's cartoon. The cartoon is ironic.

  • orang

    Excellent. Sums it up perfectly.

    By the way the link hives you a teeney unreadable image.

  • Stev

    I wouldn't waste your time Edward. An awareness of irony is essential to an operational sense of humour and Chris has proven he has neither.

  • Addamo

    True Steve,

    But he does have a theory about the existence of non-real people that I can't wait to hear.

  • Chris

    I have said nothing of the sort. But it remains that your penchant for making things up remains as strong as ever.

    I can't wait to hear why you have been lying on this blog.

  • Addamo

    Of course you did Chris,

    Your memory is letting you down again.

    You said that real people admire Israel and not Palestinians, which implies that there are people (unreal I presume) that you do not regard as real people. You evidently have a theory or some criteria as to waht constitutes a real person. I woudl love to hear it.

  • Addamo

    Oh and yes, where was that proof of my lyig again? About how I satted somethig I knew to be false? You never seem to get around to answerin that do you?

    And I am still waiting for that likn to that Poll about Americans loving Israel. Surely it cant; be too difficutl to find. It's not like you are a liar is it Chris?

  • Chris

    Once again, your presumptions are incorrect.

    Now, why did you lie on this blog? What did you hope to prove?

  • Addamo

    Chris,

    Of course I didn't lie. there woudl be nothing to be gained by lying. You don;t seem to have any evidence that I knew what I was saying to be false.

    But seeing as you are stuyck i none fo your loops, may I ask what it is that fascinates you so much abot hoping that I wil confess to something I did not do? Is tere come catharsis you are looking for? Some closure?

  • Addamo

    Stil waiting for that lnk to the Pol you were talking abotu that provs Americans love Israel?

    Yo realise that until you produce that evidence, that goes down as one fo your many lies Chris. Shame shame shame.

  • Chris

    You may deny lying. It is your right. But that's just another lie that you have told. Seems there is a pattern of denial in your life.

    Now, back to real life: Why did you lie on this blog? What did you hope to prove?

  • Addamo

    I hoped to prove nothing.

    You make false statements and so do I. It's natural when you get your information second hand or third hand.

    For example, you stated that according to a Poll, American's love Israel. Now that might be true, and I’m sure you believe that, but your refusal to provide any evidence or link that buttresses your assertion leads one to believe that you made that up.

    By your definition that was a lie, but I would not. What did you hope to prove?

    You made a comment earlier that real people admire Israel. That too might have some basis in reality, but seeing as you have also refused to explain what you meant by “real people” and refused to provide any evidence of this assertion. I am left wondering, what did you hope to prove?

    You stated that it appeared the Rachel Corrie play in NY was postponed because of financial concerns. You must have based this on some evidence no doubt or where you making that up. What did you hope to prove?

    You repeated the claim that Corrie committed suicide because she was pregnant, but then admitted that there was no way of knowing she was pregnant, given that the autopsy results have not been made public. That is most certainly unsubstantiated. What did you hope to prove?

    So tell me Chris, why do you lie on this blog? What are you hoping to prove?

  • Chris

    Granted: You've proven nothing, except your penchant to make things up.

    Here is the latest on the Liberty:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?it
    Memos show Liberty attack was an error

    By Nathan Guttman

    WASHINGTON – New documents released this week by America's National Security Agency support Israel's version of a long-festering controversy between the two countries: Israel's shelling of an American spy ship, the USS Liberty, off the coast of Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day War.

    Israel has always said it had no idea the ship was American, but conspiracy theorists and anti-Israel propagandists still claim Israel struck the ship in the full knowledge that it was American.

    The documents, originally defined as top secret, were made public by Florida Judge Jay Cristol, who has been investigating the Liberty incident for years and published a book on the subject last year. On Monday, the NSA gave him a transcript of conversations held by two Israeli Air Force helicopter pilots who were hovering over the Liberty after it was hit, and these tapes confirm Israel's claim that the attack on the ship, which killed 34 American servicemen and wounded 171, was a tragic error.

    After the Liberty was bombed by both the Israel Air Force and the Israel Navy, the two helicopter pilots were summoned from their base to assess the damage and evaluate the possibility of rescuing the surviving crew members. An American spy plane, which had been sent to the area as soon as the NSA learned of the attack, recorded their conversations, which took place between 2:30 and 3:37 P.M. on June 8, the third day of the war.

    The spy plane also recorded the orders radioed to the pilots by their supervisor at Hatzor Base, which instructed them to search for Egyptian survivors from the "Egyptian warship" that had just been bombed – thus supporting Israel's claim that it had believed the ship was Egyptian when it ordered it attacked. "Pay attention. The ship is now identified as Egyptian," the pilots were told.

    Nine minutes later, Hatzor informed the pilots that it was not an Egyptian warship, but an Egyptian cargo ship. Only at 3:07 were the pilots first informed that the ship might not have been Egyptian at all: Hatzor told them that if they found Arabic-speaking survivors, they should be taken to El-Arish, but if they found English-speaking survivors, they should be taken to Lod. "Clarify by the first man that you bring up, what nationality he is, and report to me immediately," the supervisor instructed, according to the transcript. "It's important to know."

    Then, at 3:12, one of the pilots informed Hatzor that he saw an American flag flying over the wounded ship. He was asked to investigate and determine whether it was really an American ship.

    This is not the first time such transcripts have been made public: Israel gave its own recordings of the pilots' conversations to the British television station Thames in 1987. But conspiracy theorists charged that Israel had doctored the tapes before handing them over to the station in order to hide the fact that it struck at the Liberty intentionally. No such imputation can be made about these new transcripts, as they were never in Israeli hands.

    Israel has always said it attacked the Liberty, which America sent to the region to gather intelligence on the progress of the war, because it believed it was an Egyptian supply ship ferrying supplies to the Egyptian troops that Israel was then fighting. When it discovered the error, it immediately informed the Americans, apologized and paid compensation to the victims' families.

    The incident was investigated by inquiry commissions in both Israel and the United States, and both concluded that it had, indeed, been a tragic error. Nevertheless, the controversy never died. In 1979, one of the survivors, James Ennes, published a book accusing Israel of bombing the American ship deliberately. Ennes claimed an Israeli spy plane had hovered over the ship all morning and had surely identified it as American, since the American flag was clearly visible. A later book, written by James Bamford, charged that Israel hit the ship in order to keep America from learning of its plans to attack Syria, and further claimed that the NSA had tapes of conversations among Israeli pilots that not only confirmed this, but also proved that the tapes released by Israel had been doctored.

    Another claim that appears frequently on the dozens of Internet sites devoted to the affair is that Israel hit the ship to conceal a mass murder of Egyptian soldiers on the Sinai peninsula.

    In its letter to Cristol, the NSA stressed that, contrary to the claims that often appear in such books and Web sites – that the agency has tapes from both the Liberty and from a nearby American submarine that confirm Israel's guilt – the only tapes that exist were those made by the spy plane and given to Cristol this week.

    "It's the last piece of intelligence that remained classified, and every rational person that will read it will understand that there is no truth in these conspiracy theories against Israel," Cristol said yesterday. But he added: "Those who hate Israel, who hate Jews, and those who believe in conspiracy will not be convinced by anything."

    Cristol, a former U.S. navy pilot and legal officer, began investigating the Liberty incident 14 years ago. Since publishing his book, which vindicates Israel, he has received threats and been accused of being an Israeli agent. "I take this lightly, but I am saddened to learn that there is this kind of hate toward Israel," he said.

  • Addamo

    Thanks for the article Chirs,

    An interesting read.

    It also reminds me where I mistakenly got the idea that the USS Liberty was struck prior to he 6 day war.

    "A later book, written by James Bamford, charged that Israel hit the ship in order to keep America from learning of its plans to attack Syria, and further claimed that the NSA had tapes of conversations among Israeli pilots that not only confirmed this, but also proved that the tapes released by Israel had been doctored."

    So I was mistaken in my recall of this statement that Israel struck thUS Liberty to prevent the US listening into plans of Israel's priro to the six day wr. It was in fact the belief that israel struck the ship "in order to keep America from learning of its plans to attack Syria"

    See, an easy mistake.

    Now, if onyl the USS Liberty survivors could be allowed to give their side of the story, we could put this whole issue to bed, right? Surely their recollection of events will confirm these conclusions once and for all.

  • Chris

    Surely they won't be able to accurately confirm or deny the conclusions. In the heat of battle, in which your life is on the line every millisecond, your ability to recall what actually happened around you will be dim.

    40 years later, even dimmer.

  • Stev

    I hope you don't think I'm just being contrary, but I would think those are the situations that would stand out with clarity in one's memory. Except in the cases where the memories are completely repressed of course.

  • Chris

    I don't think you are being contrary, I just believe the cacaphony involved in an attack of this nature leaves one unable to recall exactly what they saw as the ability to focus on anything but saving your life and the lives of others leave any other details hazy.

    I have been through many drills of this nature and it is amazing how much detail is lost.

  • orang

    You have been through..DRILLS!!? and you have a secretary…Hmmmm.

    By the way that crap you posted above in an attempt to vindicate the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was pretty pathetic.

    Give it up. You're fucked on this one.

  • Chris

    Give up on the truth? Surely you jest. I apologize for stating earlier that your sense of humor was primitive.