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.

Fighting for what?

The true cost of the Iraq war is becoming apparent:

British veterans of the Iraq war are suffering a “Vietnam effect” after returning home to face a hostile public, according to one of Britain’s foremost experts on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Chris Freeman says the increasingly unpopular decision of the government to ignore public opinion and go to war has placed an additional burden on servicemen.

Freeman, who has treated nearly 20 Scottish veterans at his Edinburgh clinic, said: “Gulf War Two has changed society’s attitude to soldiers. It has become our Vietnam. There have been no heroes in this war. Two-thirds of this country didn’t want [Iraq] to happen and that has a massive effect on the men who come home.”

When the will of the public is ignored in many countries around the world and governments still send troops to fight an illegal and immoral war, the consequences can be devastating.

  • Don't be fooled by the illusions of history. Troops returning home from WWI, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War and now the Iraq War have copped plenty from a public sick and tired of war, particularly lengthy war.

    In Australia we have this fantasy that ANZAC soldiers were treated like Gods when they came home from WWI in 1918. There was plenty of dissent and few wanted to honour anyone for the goddawful carnage that claimed a fat percentage of an entire generation of young Australian men. This is clear when you review newspapers from the early 1920s.

    ANZAC Day as we know it now is a fairly recent creation, and the marketing of it gained a massive head of steam through the mid-1930s when the idea of another World War seemed utterly incomprehensible.

    There are plenty of stories in the history books of soldiers from WW2 who said they disagreed with the celebratory nature of ANZAC Day, and many never took part until encouraged to do so by their children.

    War is like a fever, like a poison, that spreads back to the homelands of the fighters. The soldiers want to believe that they will be honoured and treated with respect when the come home, as they should be, but life goes on when they're away, and it takes many, many years before most people feel comfortable giving any recognition to the most recent major conflict. This was the case with WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and so it will be the case with this war.

    Of course, the politicians who send the young men to fight and die and get brutalised usually get re-elected, and then they cut the benefits to the soldiers they sent to fight.

    Again, another cycle of history we're seeing unfold right now in Australia, in the UK and in the US.

  • Glenn Condell

    Good comment Darryl. There have always been jingoes but there has always been an independent streak of dissent too. I know which one I think is unAustralian. My grandpa (ex Gallipoli) used to disdain the use of words like 'guy' because of the Yank connotations; can't see he or his mates falling over themselves to help Dubya and deputy.

  • One of my father's fondest memories of his WW II experience is that of sailing southwards in the Pacific, out of harm's way for re-supply and being re-fitted by the people of Australia.

    Beyond the overwhelming kindness of the Australian people, he remembers three things: beef, butter and beer, all of which he swears to this day were the finest he ever tasted.

    As I type, he sleeps in the next room. He grieves to see what has become of the alliance that once served and saved so well.

    We Americans who have the lights to see what is going on owe you a profound apology. That a single Australian should have died for the folly of the self-aggrandizing Busheviks is a sin we'll be a while working off.

    In the meantime, please understand that a lot of us are doing all we can, though little it may be, to rid the world of the Bush Blight as quickly as possible.

  • Glenn Condell

    Good on you Bob. Saw you over at Tim Dunlop's too. We're all in this together and we grieve too, for what has been done to the idea of America and how that unique birthright has been destroyed for decent Americans like yourself. Good luck turning the lights on for those who will not see. Chances are they'll keep their eyes closed and their fingers in their ears, but you've got to start somewhere.