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.

Crash and burn

Eric Haney is a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army and a founding member of Delta Force, the military’s elite covert counter-terrorist unit. He tells the LA Daily News that the Iraq war has damaged the US for generations:

Q: What’s your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and…pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That’s why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.

Q: What is the cost to our country?

A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. … And I say “we,” because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they’re going to have from now on.

He also talks about the US policy of torturing “terror” suspects and the ability of the Bush administration to throw away the US constitution.

These are the “values” supported by Blair and Howard (and encouraged by the Murdoch followers). The Iraq war – “imperial overreach“, in the words of one commentator – has hastened the increasing irrelevance of the US empire. China is rising, and so is India. By so strongly supporting the US, leaders like Blair and Howard show themselves to be the sycophants they really are. The US era is coming to an end.

23 comments ↪
  • smiths

    totally agree will,
    it just seems very unlikely that they will go quietly, maybe the best we can hope for is that they just tear themselves to pieces rather than projecting their collapse onto everyone else,
    i feel sorry for the good americans that i know exist

  • Will Full

    Problem is that in its death throes, the U.S., like a wounded elephant, could bring us all undone.

    Americans are a violent people who never learn from history. They think they can bomb the world into complying with their narrow, greed-based, Christian fundamentalist philosophy. You're either for us or against us, they say with breathtaking arrogance.

    Will we survive their demise?

  • Chris

    When did Haney retire?

    And exactly which group is not a violent people who never learn from history?

  • peter tuck

    No question the US is a violent super power but Tony Blair has a point in reminding us all (via Johhny Howard) that there is still plenty of the 'good stuff' in America to keep it engaged in the world and not to retreat into isolationism. Good US diplomacy would ensure a requested withdrawal from the Iraqi Government in order to establish its credentials with its own people and then for both the US and Iraqis to establish a re-contruction commission to nation build from the bottom up.

  • edward squire

    Eric Haney, a founding member of Delta Force

    Q: What’s your assessment of the war in Iraq?

    A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong.

    Outrageous that a founder of Delta Force would become a raving pro-terrorist, Muslim-loving, anti-American turncoat. Chuck Norris would be spinning in his grave if he were dead.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 29th, 2006 at 6:52 am

    When did Haney retire?

    …because the longer ago that is, the easier it will be to smear him as being senile and out of touch. Frankly, it just doesn’t matter what he actually says – auto-smearing is the name of the game.

  • Addamo

    It’s ironic that the only military peopel able to give independet opinions are those that retire.

    That’s why Tommy Franks got away with describing Douglas Feith as the dumbest fucker on the face of the earth.

  • Chris

    And when did Haney retire?

    And exactly which group is not a violent people who never learn from history?

  • Stev

    And when did Haney retire?

    According to CNN – “Sgt. Major Eric Haney served with the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force in the 1970s and 1980s” so let’s make a conservative estimate and say that he retired in 82. What’s your point? Oh, I guess his experience is worthless because it’s dated. I completely forgot you were running Delta Force ops just last week.

    And exactly which group is not a violent people who never learn from history?

    What are pacifist historians?

  • Stev

    Do you mean to say ‘exactly which group is not a violent people who

    do

    learn from history’? You’ve added a negative to the first part of the statement, but haven’t reversed the negative from the second part.

    What is your point anyway? Are you trying to say that humanity in general is a violent group that doesn’t learn from history? I’d have to agree there. But if we’re talking about subgroups based on such a large pool as humanity it wouldn’t be too difficult to subdivide into groups who fit those specifications. How about Buddhists? They seem to be a group who are not violent and have learned from history.

    As far as Haney goes, again why don’t you just make the point you’re trying to make? Then we’ll see if his retiring in 1982 or 1985 or 1989 makes any difference whatsoever to your point.

    Normally I’m all for questioning rather than claiming, but your questions are not honest curiosity, they’re baiting – so why don’t you just forget the questions and say what you want to say?

  • Stev

    That blockquote tag should have been a strong tag, but you get the point…

  • Chris

    I asked, and continue to ask:
    Which group is not a violent people who never learn from history?

    For your edification: Which group is not “a violent people who never learn from history”?

    As for haney, the point depends on his retirement date.

  • Edward Squire

    Stev Mar 29th, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    What are pacifist historians?

    Lame-arse historians who refuse to glorify the bloody violence of war…and thus fail as historicans to uncover the truth: war is wonderful, both in its consequences and in itself.

  • boredinHK

    Mr Edward Squires said

    “What are pacifist historians ?
    Lame-arse historians who refuse to glorify the bloody violence of war…and thus fail as historicans to uncover the truth: war is wonderful, both in its consequences and in itself. ”
    Spoken like a true economist.

  • edward squire

    boredinHK Mar 29th, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    “Lame-arse historians who refuse to glorify the bloody violence of war…and thus fail as historicans to uncover the truth: war is wonderful, both in its consequences and in itself.”

    Spoken like a true economist.

    Nah. This would be more of an economist’s response:

    Historians? Pah! Where are the time-series and panel data? Where are the vector auto-regressions? And where the hell are the models with the rigorously stipulated micro-foundations? These cranks and crackpots obviously know nothing!

  • Chris

    Let's not guess. Why don't you wait for the facts? You're guess always makes you look foolish.

    Again, exactly which group is not a violent people who never learn from history?

  • Stev

    Much better. Although getting to the point would be nice. I wonder if there's a certain answer someone can give that will trigger you to release your point. Something like a riddle perhaps? I answered Buddhists. Seemed like a good answer to me. Not as good as pacifist historians, but pretty good nonetheless. Perhaps you can give us a hint. Is this group a religious group? An ethnic group? A national group? A political group?

    You keep asking this question, there must be an answer you're looking for. Or if you're saying there's no answer, why don't you just say that?

    On what level of specification does the point depend? For example, does the point differ if he retired in March or November of a certain year? Or are we talking date right down to the day of the month? Does time affect your point? If he announced his retirement in the afternoon, for example, rather than the morning, would that make a difference to your point?

  • John Ryan

    Chris you and facts and the truth are ships passing in the night

  • Stev

    Are you trying to say that Americans aren’t violent and always learn from history Chris?

    I got the impression you were trying to make the point that Muslims/Arabs are a violent group who don’t learn from history. And maybe you’re right. But do you really believe Americans aren’t violent? And that they have learned from history?

  • Chris

    What has been proven is that Will Full has no idea what he is babbling about. However, I do agree with Haney regarding the belief that this war is personal.

  • Stev

    You can leave your petty insults at home Chris, you’ve requested others do the same often enough, you might consider listening to your own advice.

    All you’ve done is ask questions. Questions prove nothing. Your obvious delusions notwithstanding, I have no idea how you think your repetition of the same pointless questions over and over constitutes proof of anything.

    Unfortunately guesses are all we can make when all you do is continue to ask these silly questions and refuse to state your point. I’ve given up on guesses and impressions and come to the (quite reasonable) conclusion that you don’t actually have a point.

  • Chris

    No. And your second impression is just as wrong as your first. But keep trying. I recall some tale about a blind pig that applies to your guesses.

  • Chris

    I will leave them at home. If you felt you were being called a blind pig, i apologize, I intended no such thing.

    My request fell on deaf ears.

    That you fail to understand the point of perfectly reasonable questions is only a reflection of your intellectual ability, not mine.