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.

Rallying the faithful

George Bush no longer uses his “Axis of Evil” line. It is very January 2002. This hasn’t stopped Israel’s Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz plagiarising the worn phrase:

“The axis of evil, including Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, is consolidating.”

Maybe he’ll start calling Iran’s President an “evil-doer.”

34 comments ↪
  • Chris

    The phrase is hardly worn at all. And how does it go? Good writers borrow, great writers steal?

    Plus, it seems that he got it right. No need to complain.

  • Addamo

    Israel is so accustones to taking things from the US, why not these worn out and meaningless sayings as well? Siilly Bush should have pantended it.

  • Chris

    Pantended? Taking things? Or accepting things? The phrase is hardly worn at all. And quite meaningful. Unless you can prove otherwise.

  • Addamo

    The phrase is entirely meaningless. None of the countries involved are were ever a threat to anyone else.

    The term was invented by one of Bush's speech writers David Frum, who pretty much admitted the term was little more than a byline for domestic consumtion.

    One of those idiotic phrases that fits well on a bumper sticker.

  • Stev

    Even if they were a threat, how does that make them 'evil'?

    The phrase is rendered meaningless because it draws on abstract conceptual extremes of 'good' and 'evil'. Also because it infers that the US and their allies are 'good' in the conceptual sense, which we all know is far from true. They may do some good things (which are probably ultimately self-serving, but that's besides the point), many of them may have good intentions with regards to many topics, but as a whole they are far from 'good', just as the countries and groups listed are far from 'evil'.

    Only a fool considers the world to be black and white. I guess that makes the term somewhat fitting for Bush.

  • Leo Buddha

    Lateline — 21/03/2006 — Ex-Govt staffer condemns US 'ineptitude' is worth a read.

    Sample:

    TONY JONES: Can I ask, when did you first come to the conclusion that the invasion of Iraq was the worst ineptitude in governance, decision-making and leadership in 50 years?

    COLONEL LARRY WILKERSON: Well, it took a great deal of study, both as an academic, looking back over the time period in which I was involved and also reviewing my notes and looking at things during that time period itself, that is the time period when I was involved. Let me just correct one thing – I'm not saying that the decision to go to war or the war itself in and of itself was an inept decision. What I'm saying is the aftermath, the lack of planning, the lack of post-invasion thought, even, was an ineptitude of the first order and possibly even the greatest ineptitude of the history of America.

  • Edward Squire

    “The axis of evil, including Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, is consolidating.”

    It seems to be longer than I remember. Perhaps "Conga Line of Evil" would be better.

  • How could a conga line possibly be evil?

  • smiths

    'axis'

    The term was first used by Benito Mussolini, in November 1936, when he spoke of a Rome-Berlin axis arising out of the treaty of friendship signed between Italy and Germany on October 25, 1936. Mussolini declared that the two countries would form an "axis" around which the other states of Europe would revolve. Japan then joined as well.

    so the use of the term references earlier 'evil' states.
    the central evil doers form an axis point that the others will form around, like satellites,
    which also brings to mind soviet satellites

    but the use of the word evil is pretty meaningless, evil by what standards.

    personally i like 'conga line of evil' if applied to the coalition of the willing

  • Bruce Warrington

    personally i like ‘conga line of evil’ if applied to the coalition of the willing

    A conga line of evil suckholes?

  • captain

    I prefer a twaddle of lefties.

    This is upside and fucked up this debate has become. The left here see themselves as the torch-bearers for morality and civilisation yet the countries that are our enemies: with no freedom of speech, no freedom of movement; arbitrary justice; no separation of church and state are the very countries you seem to be protection from liberalisation. You just hate your own more than you care about the victims in these countries. Why are they so undeserving of freedom?

    These countries and their terrorist proxies are evil.

  • Chris

    Stev

    Mar 22nd, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    Even if they were a threat, how does that make them ‘evil’?

    ***********************************************

    I would say those nations which enable suicide bombers could be reasonably named as evil. I would say that a country, whose leader advocates eradication of another nation, could be reasonably named as evil.

  • Addamo

    What is fucked up Captain, is that you have this simplistic nothing of identifying entire populations as our enemies, by singling out the words or actions of a few. It’s a bit like using Goldstein as a way to paint the entire Jewish population as a bunch of crazed mass murderers.

    with no freedom of speech, no freedom of movement; arbitrary justice; no separation of church and state are the very countries you seem to be protection from liberalisation.

    Holy shit Captain, you have just described the US to a T. Does that mean the US is now our enemy? Gee, best get on the phone to the Foreign Affairs Office, they might need to know this.

    You just hate your own more than you care about the victims in these countries.

    Didn’t you just identify those countries as out enemy, in which case those victims are also our enemy? You're not thinking to clearly thse days Captain.

    These countries and their terrorist proxies are evil.

    Back to reading your Spiderman comics Captain. Best leave this list to the grown ups.

    I would say those nations which enable suicide bombers could be reasonably named as evil.

    While those countries who are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands are the good guys right? So therefore WWI I Germany werre not evil then?

    I would say that a country, whose leader advocates eradication of another nation, could be reasonably named as evil.

    What about the countries, whose leader are perpetrating the eradication of an entire people? Could they be reasonably named as evil too? Again, that let's WWII German off the hook.

  • Chris

    with no freedom of speech, no freedom of movement; arbitrary justice; no separation of church and state are the very countries you seem to be protection from liberalisation.

    Holy shit Captain, you have just described the US to a T.

    **********************************************

    Of course he has. Please prove that there is no freedom of movement, no freedom of speech, and no separation of church and state.

    Not little isolated incidents as in Saudi Arabia where the lack of these freedoms cause several young girls to burn to death because the religious police refused to allow them to exit because of proper dress.

    Please show the big things in the US that leads you to make such a ridiculous statement.

  • Addamo

    no freedom of speech

    That's why theere are now free speech zones in the US.

    nd no separation of church and state.

    The author of the book called, "American Theocracy." Former Republican Party strategist Kevin Phillips, is a former top advisor to the republican Party. His book details how religious extremism has taken over the Bush Adminstration.

    There are schools in teh Us where it is now required that both evolution and creationism are taught at the same time.

    arbitrary justice

    Hear do secret courts where the defendant is lnto allowe to hear the charges against him? Warantless writaps and searches. Time to come out of that cave Chris.

    Saudi Arabia where the lack of these freedoms cause several young girls to burn to death because the religious police refused to allow them to exit because of proper dress.

    Yes that might indeed happen in Saudi arabia, which also happens to be a close ally of the US. Thse laws remain due to leadership who is protected byt he US, so in essence, the US endoreses these pratices.

  • Chris

    You have not proved your ridiculous statement.

    Please prove that there is no freedom of movement, no freedom of speech, and no separation of church and state.

    Again, not little isolated incidents. Are you stating that people with religious beliefs are not allowed on government positions because that violates church/state separation? That would be another ridiculous belief.

    As the US soundly condemned the Saudi incident, it can hardly be stated, without laughing, the the US endorses it.

    There were so many better example of arbitrary justice that your use, of the example you chose, shows what stupid road you follow.

  • Addamo

    Please prove that there is no freedom of movement, no freedom of speech, and no separation of church and state.

    That's impossible to do. People in Saudi Arabia are free to move, have freedom of speech about some subjects, just as they do in the US. In the US, when government officials visit a city, there are freedom of speech zones imposed out of the line of sight of the official party. the US by definition, is a freedom of speech zones, so this is an Orwellian term which designates that the majority of the Us does not allow freedom of speech.

    Are you stating that people with religious beliefs are not allowed on government positions because that violates church/state separation?

    Not unless they use their position to further the aims of the church, which his clearly happening. already, decisions have been passed to deny women the right to an abortion and the Terry Schiavo fiasco was a blatant attempt to pander to the wishes of the religious right. When one white woman in a permanent vegetative state is held in higher regard than the plight of tens fo thousand of NO residents, you know that the special interests of Church groups have a disproportionate influence over the government.

    As the US soundly condemned the Saudi incident, it can hardly be stated, without laughing, the the US endorses it.

    The US has done nothing to bring Saudi ruling elite to answer for their human rights abuses. It continues to support the ruling Elite in Saudi Arabia.

    The US government panders to special interests, which is why former secretary of state, James Baker, the man who enabled the Bush election in 2000, represents the Saudi family against class actions lawsuits brought against them by the families of 911 victims.

  • Chris

    It is possible to prove that there is no freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia.

    You can not prove there is no freedom of speech in the US because there is no evidence that exists to support such a stupid claim.

    The UN has done nothing to bring the Saudi ruling elite to answer for their human rights abuses. The UN is guilty of endorsing the Saudis? You've lost this. Further argument only demeans you.

  • Addamo

    It is possible to prove that there is no freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia.

    Incorrect. While it is possible to argue this, evidnce can be refuted.

    The UN has done nothing to bring the Saudi ruling elite to answer for their human rights abuses.

    Becasue it woudl be futile with the US thre to veto any such resoluition the same way they have with Israel.

    The UN is guilty of endorsing the Saudis?

    There is no argument. it is a fact. The House of Saud wold fall immediately were it not for the protection they are afforded by the US.

  • Stev

    I would say those nations which enable suicide bombers could be reasonably named as evil. I would say that a country, whose leader advocates eradication of another nation, could be reasonably named as evil.

    There can be no reasonable assessment of an abstract concept such as evil. You can say what you believe to be 'evil', and someone else will give their idea of 'evil', but there is no reason to such a concept.

    But if you do insist on using terms like 'evil', would you not agree that evil must be wiped out? Surely there can be no reasoning or negotiating with pure evil. Therefore evil nations must be eradicated? Doesn't that make you evil too, according to your own definition?

  • Chris

    You can't refute the facts. You can state you don't believe what is in front of your eyes, but there is no refuting the truth.

    The UN has tried many resolutions knowing the US would veto. There is no vote on a resolution condemning the Saudis over the incident. Your reasoning is worthless in this matter. You have merely demeaned yourself, as you were told.

    Stev, you can not wipe out evil.

  • Addamo

    You can state you don’t believe what is in front of your eyes, but there is no refuting the truth.

    That's somethign you partuclarly excell in Chris. Like your abulity to look at a quote and deny it says what it says,

  • Stev

    Of course you can't, you can't wipe out an abstract concept like 'evil', just as you can't have a war on an abstract concept like 'terror'. Doesn't stop people from trying though.

    Surely you must admit that you can't teach evil to be good either. So what are you suggesting we do with these 'evil nations'?

  • Chris

    While you can't have a war on an abstract, you can have a war on those who support that abstract. Evil is a concept, not a person, so there is nothing to teach to.

    Evil nations should be isolated from the International community. But just because you don't like a nation, doesn't put them in the evil column.

  • Addamo

    But just because you don’t like a nation, doesn’t put them in the evil column.

    Which then presents the problem of who descides what is and who is evil. Highly subjective no? what happens if enough countries decide that the US is evil? Who do you believe?

  • Chris

    Doesn't present a problem to the objective.

  • Addamo

    Doesn’t present a problem to the objective.

    Of course it does. Huamn beings are not objective. rthe whole concept of evil is entirely subjective. Once again, you hven't thought this through ahve you?

  • Chris

    Of course it doesn't. Of course it has been thought through. As there is no case of my having not thought through a particular scenerio, there is no once again. There has still not been a first time. get a grip. You are having to many fantacies.

  • Stev

    Isolation? All you want is isolation? So you don't support the US plans to invade the evil Iran, and you think we should have stayed out of evil Iraq? You honestly just believe we should leave them alone and hope they leave us alone?

    I'm somewhat astounded by your first paragraph though, you've contradicted yourself. Let me substitute 'have a war on' for 'teach' and you'll see what I mean.

    While you can'tteach an abstract, you can teach those who support that abstract.

    So I'll repeat the question in the light of your most recent post – can you teach a person who supports 'evil' to support 'good'?

  • Chris

    Isolation is not leaving them alone. They should be isolated from the world. No trade, nothing.

    Most who support evil do not believe they are evil. It would be hard pressed for anyone to make you realize that you are stupid. You certainly wouldn't think you were stupid.

  • Stev

    How do you know you're not evil?

  • Chris

    Good question. I guess you could measure your deeds and thoughts against a norm. But it is not something I have considered.

  • So evil is against the norm? Don't you find that a bit scary?

  • Chris

    Against the norm? Or measured against the norm? And how far outside of the norm does evil start?