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.

Solidarity with bigots

The Prophet Mohammed cartoon controversy refuses to disappear. While conservative commentators express “solidarity” with Denmark – solidarity with what, exactly? – the country itself is being transformed. If so-called free speech advocates want to offer true support to Denmark, perhaps they should understand what the controversy is doing to the political landscape:

Stop Islamiseringen Af Danmarks (Stop the Islamization of Denmark) organization says, “Muslims make out only 3 percent of the Danish population, but still they are a threat to the national security.”

The extreme nationalist party in Denmark, the Danish People’s Party, has gained eight mandates during the Mohamed crisis and is likely to become the second largest party in Denmark at the next election.

Almost half of the Danes believe that the leader of the Danish People’s Party, Pia Kærsgaard, displays good leadership abilities.

Denmark is becoming a nation that may shun the notion of multiculturalism. If this is something that Islamophobes believe is a positive thing, let them show all the solidarity they want. This issue has never been about free speech. It is, rather, a convenient excuse to damn Islam and claim the religion is incompatible with the West. A future Denmark may be a Christian wet-dream. Some victory, indeed.

16 comments ↪
  • orang

    Perhaps not the context of the above, but the term Islamophobe used to describe some of these people is a little banal. “Phobia” literally means fear as in claustrophobia. Many of these people, Daniel Pipes for instance are not so much fearers, but haters of Islam. So what’s a better word. Anyone, Anyone?
    Mysomohhamedan?

  • “I seem to recall that the Danish government collaborated with the Nazi invaders.”

    Not so, actually. When the Nazis invaded Denmark, there were approximately 8000 Jews in that country, and most of them were saved by secretly shipping them out, across the waters to Sweden, when news came that the Nazis were about to round up the Jews for deportation.

    Also, for some years after the end of WWll, Denmark had one of the most liberal, progressive governments in the whole of Europe, and it was certainly the country in Europe that was the most liberal in relation to sex and sexuality matters.

    How things change over time!

  • Addamo

    It’s laughable how few numbers have bothered to attend these “solidarity with Denmark” demonstrations. The message is clearly so far out in the fringe that no one can relate to it.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Fair point. And probably true. There must be another term. Muslim/Islam/Arab hater is a little, er, long.

  • Chris

    The cartoons did not appear to target anyone in Denmark. It appeared to target those people living in the areas where terrorism is rampant.

    It appears that the values johd suggested have been adopted by some of the arab nationalist political parties, some which are or have been ruling such states.

  • JohD

    Why get technical, just put an adjective in front -'Malevolent Islamophobe'.

    One wonders exactly what people want when they demand Muslims should assimilate into western society? Are they suggesting that Muslims adopt laudable values such as Nazism, Fascism and other totalitarianisms? After all, 'values' represent more than just the pinnacle of achievement, but also the depths of depravity.

    It is laughable that 180,000 people (the true number of immigarnt Muslims and their subsequent progeny to Denmark (pop.10 million) represent an

    'Islamisation of Denmark'. Still, this is the face of Liberalism in Europe. People with morals, and a social conscience must find some other term to describe themselves, because this liberalism is very specific and narrow

  • edward squire

    Denmark is becoming a nation that may shun the notion of multiculturalism.

    Well, it's not as if the country doesn't a track record. I seem to recall that the Danish government collaborated with the Nazi invaders. Whenever the going gets tough, the Danish government gets going … rightward.

  • JohD

    This ‘appears’ is a weasel word to cover for the fact that you don’t know. The fact is that Flemming Rose is on record as suggesting that he published the cartoons because of the self-censorship imposed by the presence of Muslims in Denmark.

    The truth is that while the Islamic World has produced an assortment of petty tyrants, it has not been hospitable to Nazism, Fascism or Totalitarianism and its organized brutalities. Unlike Christian World (as in Germany, Italy, Russia, Czechoslovakia), Buddhist world (Japan before and during World War II, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea), or Confucian world (Mao’s China). Hafiz al-Assad’s Syria and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq may have been guilty of large-scale violence, but fascism also requires an ideology of repression that has been absent in the two countries. As evidence in Saddams trial is showing, one could lead a relatively uneventful life in Iraq, provided you did not step on the toes of the tyrant even if you did not like him. Unlike Western Fascism which affected you whether you liked it or not.

    I take it then that you have no problem with identifying the violence of the Jews only State as endemic of Judaism, with its biblical animus towards non-Jews, since it does not seem to matter that Muslims in the West on the whole lead peaceful lives and eschew violence? It is enough that some Muslims, somewhere do react in rude and somewhat inappropriate manner towards provocation for you to make general and ridiculous assertions about Islam, Arabs, and Muslims.

    The trouble with malevolent Islamophobia is its irrationality and the propensity of malevolent Islamophobes to generally associate particular Muslim violence with Muslims everywhere.

  • JohD

    Ridiculous assertions?

    “Truth is that it seems that many Islamic nations have been hospitable to Nazism, Fascism or Totalitarianism and its organized brutalities. Iraq certainly comes to mind when organized brutalities are discussed, as well as a regime that resembles Totalitarianism as does Syria, Egypt, and a host of others.”

    Not only is it ridiculous, it disgusting that you consider such patent cant to be acceptable and use it as a matter of routine. Iraq was akin to Nazism and Fascism? The trouble with Malevolent Islamophobes is that their use of specious argument to bolster their extremist views and then foist it on others in the hope that ignorance will carry the day. It does appear that you will have to bone up somewhat on your knowledge if you want to use those tactics here.

  • Nell Fenwick

    It seems to me there are several issues here. 1) The right of a Danish newspaper to publish cartoons Muslims found offensive. 2) The Muslim reaction to the cartoons. 3) The right's exploitation of the Muslim reaction. 4) The desirability of multicultturalism. It is a gross simplification to try to lump all of these together.

    I take it you gentlemen oppose the publication of the really mostly rather bland cartoons.

  • JohD

    What is not to oppose about it? The cartoons targeted a defenseless minority in Denmark. No Danish Muslim has been accused of, or convicted of terrorism (pardoxically the only Australian Muslims convicted of terrorism related offences have been Anglo Saxon converts – clearly it is undesirable that Australian Muslims adopt Australian values, as Peter Costello insists).

    So really, it was not satire ("Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity") since Danish Muslims were being attacked based on a false stereotype rather than any errant behavior on their part. I take it that you support malevolent Islamophobia? (see! these words are accurate and they work!)

  • Chris

    Johd, I don’t no what ‘patent cant’ is, so I can not refute your accusation. You seem to be jumbling the post that stated your other accusations were without basis or truth.

    It appears your trouble with ‘Malevolent Islamophobes’ is an invented trouble. Don’t worry so much about it, it doesn’t appear to exist.

    Few tactics, if any, are required to show you have no knowledge of which you speak. In fact, I don’t know what tactic is required? Surely displaying knowledge is not now referred to as a ‘tactic’?

    The Former government of Iraq certainly resembled totalitariam in full fruit and the regime of Nasser also had such semblance. I understand many of his advisors had German Nazi pasts.

  • orang

    JohD,
    Better to capitalize it. – Malevolent Islamophobia.
    Malevolent Islamophobe, sort of multicultural isn’t it?
    A combination of Latin and old Greek I think.

    How about Malaca Islamophobe! (A wanker Islamophobe) from the modern and ancient Greek.

    Only thing, I’ll bet Israel will claim to be Benevolent Islamophobes.

  • Chris

    "Appears" is a word that is used to signify the better-than-average possibility without having the cold hard facts at your hand.

    Truth is that it seems that many Islamic nations have been hospitable to Nazism, Fascism or Totalitarianism and its organized brutalities. Iraq certainly comes to mind when organized brutalities are discussed, as well as a regime that resembles Totalitarianism as does Syria, Egypt, and a host of others.

    I have not made any general and ridiculous assertions about Islam, Arabs, and Muslims. But your insistance in reading what is not there has led to to make many general and ridiculous assertions.

  • Addamo

    In that case Chris you use “appears” out of context.

    You said "it appears" that the Rachel Corrie play was postponed because of financial concerns, when you provided no evidence or statement to that effect made by the theatre company. In fact, your suggestion defied logic, because if financial concerns would lead to the play being cancelled altogether, it would not be postponed.

    European countries have been hospitable to Fascism. East European states have been hospitable to Totalitarianism. And seeing as the US has supported totalitarian, authoritarian regimes, it could also be argued that the US is also hospitable to Fascism and Totalitarianism.

  • Nell Fenwick

    And since it seems to be spreading, Malignant Malevolent Muslimophobia. Catchy.