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.

Working together

A sad indictment on American society is revealed:

As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavourable views of Islam, and a majority now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The poll found that nearly half of Americans – 46 percent – have a negative view of Islam, seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when Muslims were often targeted for violence.

There are some, post 9/11, who have tried to understand, challenge and soothe, while others, sensing a chance to be needlessly provocative, have raised the temperature and used demonisation as a weapon. We all know what to lay the blame.

19 comments ↪
  • Put this down to a highly succesful 'Muslims Are Terrorists' marketing campaign that has been running at full steam for decades, and was heavily backed by Hollywood in countless action movies.

    It kicked into super-high gear after September 11 and has been cranking ever higher ever since.

    Sickening. Seeing as the original meaning of the word 'semite' also included 'arabs', (according to my 1920s dictionary) doesn't this mean the US has been encouraging severe anti-Semitism? Just a thought….

    In other news, a stunning outbreak of anti-Howardism on the talkback board at Tim Blair's notoriously Howard-worship chockers blog.

    The issue that kicked it off is Howard's anti-American comments about their "almost drooling" love of guns, or something like that.

    Very strange to see such Howard hating comments at Tim Blair's blog. Times are certainly changing.

  • Chris

    The shi'ites and sunnis have succssfully marketed themselves as merchants of death.

    Semite is a language group, not a people. All the US is guilty of, regarding this marketing campaign, is allowing the press to print whatever they wish of the actual murder and mayhem between muslims that is happening.

    The Arab world seems to have the desire to show themselves in as bad a light as possible.

    Remember the story where they allowed several school girls die in a fire rather than allow them to escape death in the wrong clothing?

  • Addamo

    Rule number one for Chirs,

    Always open with a corker. The marketers here are those who control the media good fellow. Accordinng to Iraqi's ont eh groupd and unembedded reporters, the Sectarian violence is completely hyped.

    More and more people are akakening to the malevolence of the Iraelis. The mere fact that Israeli leaders are reducing to accusing their own human rights organisations for being insuportive to Israel is evidence they are losing the PR battle. Marketing onyl goes so far before your product is eventually exposed as a fake.

    Why else would school teachers in the US risk losing their jobs just for questioning US supoprt for them?

    As for PR whoppers, the story of an IDF soldier emptying a clip fo bullets into the dead bidy of a 13 year old Palestinian girl was enough to turn the stomachs of most muman biengs.
    Rememebr the story about Rachel Corrie or

  • edward squire

    Darryl Mason Mar 10th, 2006 at 12:19 pm

    In other news, a stunning outbreak of anti-Howardism on the talkback board at Tim Blair’s notoriously Howard-worship chockers blog.

    Maybe it simple reveals that the denizens of Blair's blog are not really Howard supporters per se, but rather are US supporters. Their support for Howard is contingent on his support for the US in everything it does and is. How seditious of them.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 10th, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    The shi’ites and sunnis have succssfully marketed themselves as merchants of death.

    Yeah – just like those bloody (literally) Ro9man Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Oh, wait – we can't generalise from historically specific political conflicts to entire religions. Only a moron would fall for that sort of irrational inference.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 10th, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    Semite is a language group, not a people.

    It certainly is! Aramaic, Arabic, Ethiopian and Hebrew are all semitic languages.

  • edward squire

    Darryl Mason Mar 10th, 2006 at 12:19 pm

    Put this down to a highly succesful ‘Muslims Are Terrorists’ marketing campaign that has been running at full steam for decades, and was heavily backed by Hollywood in countless action movies.

    Jack Shaheen, Professor of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University, the author of the book Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, has bothered to do the hard yards on Hollywood's representation of Arabs to the North American public (and the world).

    Of the over 900 Hollywood movies from 1896 to 1999 that have Arabs in them, only 5.5% present Arabs as being pleasant, good or normal people. In the other 94.5% of the films, they play evil villains.

    Of these films, 45 of them (most of them made after 1980) show Palestinian Arabs. Every single one of them represents Palestinians as terrorists – none as ordinary human beings, and most certainly none of them living under military occupation.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 10th, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    The Arab world seems to have the desire to show themselves in as bad a light as possible.

    Chris, you posts are not so much an analysis of the current perceptions as merely a reflection of them. They serve as the raw material for analysis.

    For example, look at your sentence. "The Arab world" … all Arabs at all times in all places – one doesn't get a broader generalisation than that. "the desire" … it's what they really, truly want, deep in their hearts; and it is no mere 'preference' or 'interest' – it is a desire, a passion, a motivating force beyoind the rational, an unstoppable primative, animalistic drive. And to what extent? "in as bad a light as possible" – that is, to the greatest extreme imaginable.

    Now, what is the appropriate response to an entire race of people – every last one of them – that has a irrational drive to extremism? Well, violence is the only answer of course. As the pettlers of hate always say, "These people don't understand anything else."

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you construct, legitimate and institutionalise barbarism.

  • smiths

    chris you have demonstrated yourself to be muppet,
    your brain is not doing any work of its own because your back end has been infiltrated by someone else,
    your thoughts words and actions are corrupted and worthless,

    i feel deep exasperation towards you because you represent everything that i think is contributing to the suffocation of creative and positive thinking and living in humans at this time,
    and i feel sadness for you because you will probably continue through your life with this shit in your brains, overflowing from your mouth,

    and these are not petty insults, they are serious ones

  • Chris

    Leave your petty insults at home, Smith. What you feel is not really important.

    Squire, I am not analyzing the perception, merely stating why this is the perception. As for the term 'arab world', I am merely reflecting the american mind set regarding the massive number of news stories concerning such.

    I did not know the arabs were a race. I thought they were just a group who spoke arabic.

  • smiths

    the thing is chris, however much fact you are assaulted with you still keep thinking and writing rubbish, that is why i end up just insulting you,
    every post is full of propogandists sound bites they you just recycle,
    take this one,

    All the US is guilty of, regarding this marketing campaign, is allowing the press to print whatever they wish of the actual murder and mayhem between muslims that is happening.

    this demonstrates a breathtaking naivety about the way the US operates,
    more than any other country in the history of the world they use information warfare to its absolute maximum, they are permantly in the process of trying to 'create' reality which they then project,
    there is not a shred of truth in any of thier pronouncements,
    the idea that the press prints whatever they wish is so ridiculous that it astounds,
    have you read any of the legitimate blogs from iraq?
    the iraqis do not want civil war
    the iraqis are not trying to foment civil war
    there are very few foreign fighters in iraq
    most leaders in iraq are attemting to calm the population and dissaude them from violence

    dont believe the hype chris, or else you have blood on your hands as well as them

  • Chris

    Leave your petty insults at home. The blogs of Iraqis represent a tiny percentage of Iraqi thought. Whether or not those few want a civil war, it appears they are headed towards one.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 10th, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    I did not know the arabs were a race. I thought they were just a group who spoke arabic.

    I agree. The only reason I use the term is because most people think in those terms. I got sick of making the qualifications over and over again.

    The same goes for the th English "race", the Jewish "race", the Indonesian "race" and so on and so forth. They are all redundant myths with no basis in reality.

  • Addamo

    Chris,

    Smiths has hit the nail on the head. The US still admits to paying for news to be written in Iraq. During he assault on Fallujah, Rumsfeld said that any pictures showing US brutality are propaganda. What exactly is that supposed to mean? Don't believe the pictures you are seeing, believe us?

    Everything Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration have told us has been proven wrong and contradicted by unembedded reporters on the ground. Surely you realize this?

    And this statement really takes the cake "allowing the press to print whatever they wish of the actual murder and mayhem between Muslims that is happening."

    So I take it you are advocating propaganda and censorship? Need you be reminded that were it not for the "liberal media", Bush and his band of merry men would never have been able to get this was to first base.

    You can only lie and bullshit for so long and pretend that things are going well in Iraq so long before reality catches up wit you.

  • Addamo

    Incidently Chris,

    You might want to take a look at these quotes:

    NeoCon allies desert Bush over Iraq http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/arti

    Even the architects of the war are turning on Bush. Incidently,you seem to be of the opinion that we broked Iraq but it's up to Iraqis to fix it.

    Yes, excellent idea Chris.

  • Chris

    Squires, unfortunately, using the term 'race', allows some to consider discriminatory behavior to be racist, which carries a much darker tone than bigot. Even though all racists are bigots, it does not follow, using the old definition of race, that all bigot are racists.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 11th, 2006 at 12:29 am

    Even though all racists are bigots, it does not follow, using the old definition of race, that all bigot are racists.

    Yes, I'm aware of the set-theoretic distinction. In the case of the portrayal of Arabs in Hollywood movies however (my original point), it is worth noting that most people who make and watch these films do not make such subtle distinctions or recognise race as being, at best, a social construct. For them race is real.

  • Chris

    Perhaps we should not use that particular term. After all, don't most people think that way only through repeated usage?

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 11th, 2006 at 7:06 am

    Perhaps we should not use that particular term.

    A better – although not perfect term – is "ethnicity" because it tends to capture cultural phenomenon that often serve as 'common' features of a particular grouping; features such as language, music, art, literature, food, key features of a moral code, and so on. It's vagueness is a weakness in some cases (a person might 'hold to' some features but still be classified as a member of the ethnic/cultural groupin), but its vagueness is also useful because it enables one to, say, talk about overlapping spheres of groups (e.g. the Sundanese-Indonesians are distinct from but overlap with the Javanese-Indonesians).