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.

The cost of inaction

A report is released today that highlights the forgotten war in Africa:

The rate of violent deaths in war-ravaged northern Uganda is three times higher than in Iraq and the 20-year insurgency has cost $1.7bn (£980m), according to a report by 50 international and local agencies released today.

The violent death rate for northern Uganda is 146 deaths a week or 0.17 violent deaths per 10,000 people per day. This is three times higher than in Iraq, where the incidence of violent death was 0.052 per 10,000 people per day, says the report.

Such shocking figures should also challenge journalists and the mainstream media to remember that African lives are equally important as our own.

24 comments ↪
  • edward squire

    Uganda is a classic example of a basket-case. Exploitative colonialism, then brutal military dictatorships, then disintegrative multi-player civil war. To even begin to understand the current mess requires mountains of historical, cultural and political knowledge.

    One would like to say this is the reason there is no little analysis of it in the media, but that of course is not the reason (ignorance has never stopped media insta-pundits in the past).

    No, the Ugandan people’s problem is that they are (a) African and (b) bereft of oil. This guarantees they’re deaths will never make it onto page 17, let alone the front page.

  • Damian Doyle

    Can you please substantiate that claim, Captain?

  • edward squire

    Damian Doyle Mar 30th, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    Can you please substantiate that claim, Captain?

    His substantiation is that he said it. His Word is that of God’s: Perfect, True and Eternal.

  • Nell Fenwick

    And you can substabtiate your no oil, no media notice claim, can you?

  • Nell Fenwick

    ES claims “No, the Ugandan people’s problem is that they are (a) African and (b) bereft of oil.”

    Apologies, it would have been more correct to inquire if the claim that the media ignores Uganda because they are African and lack oil can be substantiated?

  • Addamo

    Also, the government of Sudan is friendly with the US, whcih may keep it largeyl otu of the headlines.

  • Addamo

    Yes it did.

    The US declard Sudan a partner in the war on terroir, effectively endoring the actions of the Sudanese government. It;s a familiar pattern. The Us publicly scolded Saddam for gassing the kurds while continuing to ship arms and gas to him.

  • captain

    No, there are no Jews to blame and this is why it doesn't make it front page.

  • edward squire

    captain Mar 30th, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    No, there are no Jews to blame and this is why it doesn’t make it front page.

    Or maybe it's because there are no lobby groups saturating the media with absurd claims of anti-semitism. I always thought that the line "Never Again" was a universal humanitarian challenge to genocide. Now, thanks to people like El Capitan, that it is nothing of the sort; it is an exclusive, exclusionary and racially exceptionalist call.

  • Damian Doyle

    Hi Nell. Whose claim is that?

  • Addamo

    If yhou loom at Sudan, it is almost the same situation. Muder on a massive scale and they are African, and hardly any reports in the MSM – though there is some oil in Sudan.

  • Chris

    Sudan has enormous oil reserves.

    I believe Cap is merely reporting a trend, not a theory.

  • Chris

    The US declared that a Genocide is occuring. I'm sure that made Sudan very friendly.

  • Chris

    The US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said the killings in Sudan's Darfur region constitute genocide.

    Speaking before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr Powell said the conclusion was based on interviews with refugees who had fled Darfur.

    He spoke as the UN Security Council prepared to debate a second resolution threatening Sudan with sanctions.

    Up to 50,000 people in Darfur may have died and a million have been made homeless during the conflict.

    Mr Powell blamed the government of Sudan and pro-government Arab Janjaweed militias for the killings.

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

    I don't recall a similar newstory with the US promoting the Sudan as a partner against terrorism.

  • Addamo

    Official Pariah Sudan Valuable to
    America’s War on Terrorism
    http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/terrorwar/anal

    It had been 142 days since Bush had uttered the word "Darfur," and this day, he spoke carefully. "This is a serious situation," Bush said. Then he made a statement that would effectively end a dispute within his administration over the true nature of the war crimes in Darfur. "As you know, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, with my concurrence, declared the situation a genocide. Our government has put a lot of money to help deal with the human suffering there."

    But where a government has recognized genocide, dictates of treaty law require an effort to punish and prevent war crimes — and that's an effort the Bush administration has yet to undertake.

    http://www.sudaneseonline.com/earticle2005/jun24-

  • Chris

    You've provided no quote showing the US promoting the Sudan as a partner against terrorism.

  • Addamo

    Not enought for you? I trust you read the links?

    Anyway:

    Bush Administration Allied With Sudan Despite Role in Darfur Genocide

    The Los Angeles Times recently revealed that the U.S. has quietly forged a close intelligence partnership with Sudan despite the government's role in the mass killings in Darfur. Charles Snyder, the U.S. State Department Senior Representative on Sudan, defends the Bush administration's policy on Sudan.

    http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/

    Ken Silverstein, reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Read article: Official Pariah Sudan Valuable to America's War on Terrorism.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 31st, 2006 at 1:46 am

    Sudan has enormous oil reserves.

    Pfft. Yeah, but that's not the issue. It's a question of how fast it's being exploited … and the Sudan's production rate is one of the lowest in the world (only 401,300 bbl/day). Basically, if it's just sitting there and no-one else is going after it, there is no problem. That's pretty much what's happening.

  • boredinHK

    And let's not even start on the congo ..

    the where ?

  • smiths

    wouldnt it be great if you could save every news item you read with a sensible tagline,

    then when tossers like chris made their primary school comments you could grab relevent article and shove it in his mouth,

    cos just the other day i read that the dude the UN had at the top of their '51 most dangerous warlords in sudan list' was in washington on an official visit meeting top defence drongoes,

    of course now i cant find it, thats right, i have no link to such claims,

    what really amuses me is the level of delusion that it must take to still think america is actually a forec for good, doing everything it can to combat 'global terrorism'

    alice in wonderland is more realistic than the american led 'war on terror', sorry it changed didnt it, 'global struggle against violent extremism', oh wait, sorry, 'the long war'

  • Addamo

    what really amuses me is the level of delusion that it must take to still think america is actually a forec for good, doing everything it can to combat ‘global terrorism’

    Lemmings like Chris and his predecessor, Ibraham, both were big defenders of US foreign policy simply becasue the US is Israel's sugar daddy. They even turn a blind eye to the rapture addicted evangelicals who fawn around Israel like jackals, waiting for Jesus to give the nod to throw the Jewish people to the great fires unless they convert to Christianity.

    Truly macabre.

  • edward squire

    boredinHK Mar 31st, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    And let’s not even start on the congo ..

    the where ?

    Exactly.

    In the Academy: left-wing academics used to be interested in Africa esp. in the 1970s because it was believed there was hope for glorious socialist regimes coming to the fore. By the late 1980s that interest (and hope) had pretty much died, and so Africa again became the Ignored Continent. Even when it was of interest to Western academics, colonialism was casting its hand. Academics from where? From the former colonial powers themselves.

  • boredinHK

    I thought his name was Ibrahamav ?

    "….. like Chris and his predecessor, Ibraham ".

  • edward squire

    Nell Fenwick Mar 31st, 2006 at 12:21 am

    And you can substabtiate your no oil, no media notice claim, can you?

    Of course it's not oil per se. It comes with those who are concerned with oil (and of course it doesn't have to be only oil – oil is merely one of the most important sources of interest to oil-hungry major powers).

    When a country has an essential resource necessary for a major power to not grind to a halt, that power, where necessary, starts to meddle with the non-power country's internal politics. (Equally, geo-political-military concerns are also of central importance.)

    The usual way this has been done in the past is to destablise a recalcitrant non-power government and support its replacement by a compliant dictatorship (e.g. Chile, Indonesia, Arab countries).

    This is not the only 'model' possible. A compliant democracy is just as good as a dictatorship (e.g. Afghanistan) – often times, for a democracy already in existence, one can find institutionalised elites who are willing accept compliance in exchange for particular interests being met (e.g. Australia, Israel).

    Anyway, being pulled into the 'sphere of interest and/or concern' of a major power pretty much guarantees that major power's media will follow – a media, that due to increasing market concentration within the major power itself finds its interests tied to the interests of its population and its government. This Western media will thus, with a few exceptions, give a fairly favourable 'spin' to the major power's actions within the non-power country (e.g. the Palestine/Israel conflict from Zionist premises), although it doesn't follow that 'messes' get hidden forever (e.g. Iraq).

    Anyway, that to me seems to be a fairly accurate, if very broad-brush overview, of the pattern of things for much of the 20th century. One will note the links between the major power's spheres of influence and concern and the media's focus of attention.

    Poor old Uganda has nothing much to comment itself to the interest or concern of major powers' and thus one does not see a proponderance of reporting in that country by Western (major power) media.