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 road to nowhere

International reaction to the Israeli election has been decidedly mixed. The UK Times hails the outcome as “extraordinary” – since when did unilateralism require anything other than contempt for the other side? – while Fairfax’s Michael Gawenda is more circumspect:

In the foreseeable future, there will be no real steps taken towards unilateral withdrawal, there will be no substantive negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the United States, which has still to recover from the shock of the Hamas triumph in the Palestinian elections, will be in no position to influence the course of events in the months ahead. 

The paper’s editorial rightly states that peace with justice is impossible, while Murdoch’s Australian applauds Israel for simply ignoring the Palestinians. The occupied will, and should, respond appropriately.

Ehud Olmert has said that, “All Zionist parties are potential coalition partners.” He clearly doesn’t realise, or care, about the growing international opposition to an ideology that openly and proudly subjugates another people in the name of self-determination.

37 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    You might want to rephrase that pot Chris, it makes absolutely no sense what you have written.

  • Chris it’s worth noting that even if Hamas wants to kick Israel into the sea (which is a matter of conjecture), Zionists not only want to kick the Palestinians off their lands they actually have the capacity to do it. As a Jewish friend of mind recently explained to me – he lives in Sydney yet he could own land in the West Bank without needing a permit, yet a Palestinian who has lived in the same spot for generations would have to pay thousands of dollars and even then is unlikely to receive ‘permission’. The Palestinian is more likely to have his/her home demolished and land confiscated. So there’s no subtle bigotry about it at all.

    It is worthwhile comparing media coverage of the Israeli elections with the recent Palestinian elections. Even from before Hamas’ election there was commentary to the effect that Hamas was likely to win and this would not be good for the prospects of peace. I’m not aware of much mainstream coverage of Kadima’s (quite open) policies pertaining to the West Bank. The Wall is to seclude and partition the Palestinians. In time it is hoped that the Palestinians will behave themselves enough to fulfill the most menial labour requirements that Israel has on offer (something which the World Bank has blessed it should be noted). You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out how devastating this will be for any semblance of long term peace. That is, of course, assuming you have access to the facts and aren’t hampered or confused by the barrage of rhetoric and misinformation the corporate media excels in producing. It also exposes Sharon’s dream (of which Kadima is one end product)for what it is – a colonialist vision of a greater Israel eventually expunged of any natives (Palestinians).

  • Will Full

    Iqbal, well put. We live in a world where there is one set of rules for some and an opposite set of rules for others.

    I heard Bolton this morning issuing threats to Iran if it didn’t come to heel. Not a mention of Israel who already has an arsenal of nuclear weapons and has never even belonged to the NPT.

    The U.S. and Israel have many things in common: they believe that might is always right, that the ends always justify the means, that all problems can be solved using bombs, tanks and missiles, that spreading democracy is fine as long as you get the outcome you want, and that their religious ideology (Judeo-Christian) justifies their control of Palestine and any other part of the world they fancy.

    But who will bring them to heel?

  • Addamo

    Antony, as always, you chose to believe what you believe, contrary to what actually exists.

    ….in the mind of Chris, where little voices exist called real people.

    If you chose to believe it is a morality that is outside the western ideal of morality, that too is your choice. But that choice is closer to reality than the former.

    Oh my, Chris is treating us to a display of preatzel logic at it;s very best. This is such fun, More please.

    The unbridled racism is exhibited by the Arab world. if you chose to ignore it, again, it is your choice to ignore reality.

    And you have most certainly chosen your own reality, one inhabbited only by “real people” and in a world of “it appears”.

    As there are no known Jewish Israeli suicide bombers

    Give a suicide bomber an Apaeche helicopter or and F-16 and see if he still chooses to be a suicide bomber.

    How does one write so much while managing to say absolutely nothing?

  • Comical_Ali

    Finally, some clarity…
    Israel and America are ‘moral’ and Arabs and Palestinians are, therefore, “immoral.”
    Some unbridled racism is revealed for all to see. But, of course, defending Israel isn’t racism, it’s pragamatism, right?

    Again with the never-ending racism charges. This coming from a sanctimonious little fellow who constantly accuses his detractors of crying wolf & employing the exact same tactic as a way of shutting descent.

  • Chris

    The US apparently recovered from the shock of the palestinians actually voting their feelings about 5 nanoseconds after the results were known.

    If Olmert is not allowed to discuss abatement of goals with parties such as zionist oraginizations that have an ideology that openly and proudly subjugates another people in the name of self-determination, then Antony is telling Israel to ignore Hamas and do whatever it wants.

    You can't have it both ways, Antony. At least not and still have credibility. Examination of what Antony denounces does reveal a subtle bigotry. It is ok for Arab Muslims to have such stances, but not Jews.

  • Chris

    Your friend in Sydney probably does not know what he is talking about. He most liskely can not own land in the west bank. He probably could live there.

    As there are no known Jewish Israeli suicide bombers, it is more likely that a palestinian home will be razed. Why would you expect it to be any different? Certainly no bigotry at play there.

    I believe the Israelis no longer care what the palestinians do. They will import inexpensive labor from Asia and. I assume the Palestinians are counting on Arabs elsewhere to hire them.

    What America and Israel have in common is a morality that is alien to the Arab world, as is the morality of most western nations.

    There is no palestine to control.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Finally, some clarity…
    Israel and America are 'moral' and Arabs and Palestinians are, therefore, "immoral."
    Some unbridled racism is revealed for all to see. But, of course, defending Israel isn't racism, it's pragamatism, right?

  • Chris

    Antony, as always, you chose to believe what you believe, contrary to what actually exists.

    If you chose to believe that arab morality is immoral, that is your choice. If you chose to believe it is a morality that is outside the western ideal of morality, that too is your choice. But that choice is closer to reality than the former.

    The unbridled racism is exhibited by the Arab world. if you chose to ignore it, again, it is your choice to ignore reality.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 30th, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    As there are no known Jewish Israeli suicide bombers

    One would hardly expect there to be any. The Israeli state is the Occupier, not the Occupied; and the Israeli citizenry has the world's forth largest and most techologically advanced army to serve it. There is simply no need for suicide bombers.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 30th, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    Based on what is occuring in Iraq, it appears that suicide bombing and its martyrdom effects are preferable.
    It is a morality thing.

    You’re right. But that is merely the opening line of an introduction to an argument. It’s not the clincher of one. For example, you’ll have to counter the actual arguments made by moral philosophers such as Ted Hondrich and Michael Neumann who assert that Palestinian terrorist bombings are morally right, where the people are experiencing, have been experiencing for 30 years, and are likely to continue to experience irrespective of concilliatory actions, the violation of their most basic rights; rights that nation-states -including the Israeli state – assert are worth killing for.

  • Chris

    As you have already admitted to understanding wht 'real people" means, it is unbecoming for you know to make statements as if you are an ignorant ass. But it is your choice to do so.

    Antony understands what you do not. Damn shame you lack an education.

    Give a palestinian an apache helicopter or an f-16 and you will still have a dead palestinian.

    Murdoch's paper doen't praise ignoring the Palestinian, it praises ignoring the genocidal mass that calls it self the master of the palestinian people.

    It is a differnce on morality that allow the palestinian mother to urge her son to commit suicide if it means the death of a Jewish child.

    That is why there are no Jewish suicide bombers.

  • Chris

    That was not the question.

  • Addamo

    Your posts are becommgni increasignly incoherent by the day Chris. How do you explain this?

    Antony understands what you do not. Damn shame you lack an education.

    Antony happens to disagree with you entirely in case you hadn't noticed.

    Damn shame you lack an education.

    Whatever you say Popeye.

    Give a palestinian an apache helicopter or an f-16 and you will still have a dead palestinian.

    That doesn;t answer the question. You know very well that suicide bombers would choose to do otherwise if they had the weapons of destruction made avilabel to Israel.

    If Israel were as poorly armed as the Palesitnains and as badly treated, there is no telling what some woudl be pushed to do.

  • Addamo

    Mayeb, but you made the observation that:

    due to the fact that the land is in dispute and may, once their is an Arab peace partner in more than ‘forked tongue’, the land may change hands to another government. Now, again, this is my understanding of the situation.

    Therefore, is it not a risk to contiune developing settlements if they run the risk of being dimanteld and the settlers relocated?

  • Addamo

    You;’re tight. indoctrinatino was innapropriate.

    Let’s settle for bainwash.

    But it appears those same islamic fascists hate jews more than anything else.

    That;s pure speculation. it could justa s easily be said that Israeli Jews are bearing the burden of anti-US sentiment as well as anti-Israeli sentiment. After all, in the eyes of many Arabs, it would appear that Israel is another US state.

  • edward squire

    Comical_Ali Mar 30th, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Again with the never-ending racism charges.

    Well when you make never-ending racist statements, what would you expect?

  • Chris

    Based on what is occuring in Iraq, it appears that suicide bombing and its martyrdom effects are preferable.

    It is a morality thing. It appears, to Arabs, that suicide bombing is very moral, especially if it involves killing Jewish children. Does that make those Arabs racist?

  • Damian Doyle

    Chris, your response to Iqbal is unsubstantiated. Why is Iqbal's friend "probably" wrong, and why is it "most likely" that he cannot own land?

  • Addamo

    Based on what is occuring in Iraq, it appears that suicide bombing and its martyrdom effects are preferable.

    To what? What do the insurgents in Iraq have at their disposal other than IED's? You just proved myu point, though it might take you a while to reaslie it.

    It appears, to Arabs, that suicide bombing is very moral, especially if it involves killing Jewish children.

    In the US, Britain and Australia, those who die in teh line of duty are considered heros. Those that are wounded are given Purple Hearts. Does than mean that these countries consider killing and dying moral, epecially when it involves killing Arabs? Does that make these countries racist?

  • Chris

    Doyle,

    I do not believe it is possible for anyone to 'buy' land in the area known by Arabs as the West Bank, unless an Arab is selling it. The land under the control of the Israeli government is leased as ownership stays with the government, due to the fact that the land is in dispute and may, once their is an Arab peace partner in more than 'forked tongue', the land may change hands to another government. Now, again, this is my understanding of the situation.

  • Addamo

    That does not explain why settlements are being expanded in those terrirories does it?

  • Chris

    Regardless of the risk, it was not the question.

  • Chris

    From Antony's lnk:

    In Europe, left-wing activists use their supposed concern for the Palestinian people to cloak anti-Semitism. And throughout the West appeasers argue that if the US abandoned Israel, Islamic terrorists would stop attacking the US and its allies. Such suggestions are politically plain wrong and morally sinister. Osama bin Laden and his confederates hate the West for its values and since when did abandoning democracies Munich-style become acceptable? But it is easy to understand why the Israelis have looked at Hamas and the endless low-level conflict on the West Bank, and decided it is all too much trouble.

  • Addamo

    What else do you excpoect fro ma fascist rag from Murdoch?

  • Chris

    The honest evaluation that was published. Too bad it takes a newspaper that some, without evidence, refer to as a "fascist rag".

    What lengths some here take to discredit truth.

  • Addamo

    What lengths some here take to discredit truth.

    Discrediting the truth? Hmmm. Let's see:

    In Europe, left-wing activists use their supposed concern for the Palestinian people to cloak anti-Semitism.

    Easily proven to be false seeing as this implies all of the left are anti-Semitic. Is that your position?

    And throughout the West appeasers argue that if the US abandoned Israel, Islamic terrorists would stop attacking the US and its allies.

    Misreapresenting the argument seeing as the israeli/Palestinian conflict is one of a number of issues that have created resentment in teh ME towards the US.

    Such suggestions are politically plain wrong and morally sinister.

    Seeing as this requires pre-cognition, it is an opinoin and nothing more.

    Osama bin Laden and his confederates hate the West for its values and since when did abandoning democracies Munich-style become acceptable?

    The biggest carnard of them all. If this were true, then surely Sweden, Denmark and germany too would have been attacked. All independent terrorim experts dispute this outright.

    But it is easy to understand why the Israelis have looked at Hamas and the endless low-level conflict on the West Bank, and decided it is all too much trouble.

    All that low level conflict just appens all on it's own and for no reason, and the Israelis are just keeping the peace.

    if you consider any of this to be the truth Chris, then you must consider Wonder Land your home.

  • Chris

    It implies that some left wing activists are antisemitic, not all on the left are such.

    Now that you have been discredited again, there is no need to revisit the subject.

    You have already proven your ignorance regarding the history of the middle east. No need to revisit that either.

  • Addamo

    Now that you have been discredited again, there is no need to revisit the subject.

    Go on. Run away like the coward that you are. I wil assume you agree with me on the hoiles I picked in this pathetic article.

    You have already proven your ignorance regarding the history of the middle east. No need to revisit that either.

    You have proven your indictrination about history of the middle east, not actual knwoledge of it, but it's easy to see how you woudl confuse the two.

  • Chris

    Indoctrination vs ignorance. Let's see.

    Indoctrination: To be instructed in a body of doctrine or principles.

    In other words, you are asserting that I have an education on the history of the middle east which you feel does not allow your particular point of view.

    Ignorance: The lack of knowledge or education.

    In other words, it has been proven that you lack knowledge and most likely, education.

    Seems it is better to be indoctrinated, since it does imply being educated, than being an ignorant lout such as yourself.

    There seems to be enough anti-muslim backlash in the areas you noted to keep them from being attacked outright. The US represents, for those islamic fascists, the greatest of western cultures, thus the best target. But it appears those same islamic fascists hate jews more than anything else.

  • Chris

    bainwash? There were no negotiations. You have stated your terms. This is not the first time your foolish comments have backfired on you and you then wish to change the conditions.

    It is not idle speculation that the Islamic fascist Arabs hate jews above all else. Just observing a trend shown in their religious sermons.

  • Chris

    Note these items from the Arab press and media.

    First, the Saudi military journal has an article titled "The Jews in the Modern Era" whose thesis is "The Majority of Revolutions, Coups D'etat, and Wars … are Almost Entirely the Handiwork of the Jews."

    Second, the Egyptian press (which is all government controlled) recently published an article resuscitating the blood libel that Jews use Gentile blood in religious rituals and that Jews have an obligation to annihilate non-Jews. The second largest amount of foreign aid doled out by the US goes to Egypt.

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

    In terms of Arab-Israeli politics, Jews have been accused of countless sins by much of the world today. But, as is noted in terms of yet another Jewish holiday, Passover, while it is regrettable that any hardship had to be suffered even by enemies who would destroy us, as we symbolically remove drops of wine from our cups at the Seder dinner to diminish our joy of deliverance, we offer no apologies for wanting to put an end to our two thousand year-old nightmare of massacres, forced conversions, expulsions, ghettoization, pogroms, dehumanization, inquistions, dhimmitude, demonization, Holocaust, and being labeled either killers of G_d by the Christian West or "Jew Dog" killers of Prophets in the Muslim East by doing what was necessary for our own survival…working, with G_d's timely help, for the rebirth of Israel. The Prophet Ezekiel's vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones arrived just in the nick of time…

    At a time when Arabs and their fellow jihadists and hypocrite supporters elsewhere offer no confessions and ask no forgiveness from neither G_d nor man for blowing up buses, restaurants, hotels, and schools, or deliberately targeting innocents, subjugating, enslaving, and massacring millions of non-Arab peoples (Kurds, Black Africans, Jews, Copts, Berbers, and others as well) just in the last half century alone, on behalf of the Arab nation and what they claim as "purely Arab patrimony," Jews can honestly say that they have truly tried–repeatedly–to reach a just solution to their problems with Arabs. To any objective observer, this is not debatable.

  • Addamo

    bainwash? There were no negotiations. You have stated your terms. This is not the first time your foolish comments have backfired on you and you then wish to change the conditions.

    Negotiations? What negotiations? Yu been rollign joints on the job again? backfired? Holy cow you're medication is wayyy to strong Chris.

    Note these items from the Arab press and media.

    Woudl you care yo provide a link to exaclty what Arab press and media outlet you are referring to? Anyone can post a link from a country and try to suggest it is somehow a an admission of guilt on the part of Arabs.

    One could just as easily quote Uri Avnery sayign the same thing abotu Israel and the Zionism.

  • Chris

    "Yu been rollign joints" You are either spitting to0 hard at getting caught, again, or so drunk you make no sense.

    Either way, you lost again. You must be a Hamastanian.

  • Addamo

    Either way, you lost again. You must be a Hamastanian.

    You';re back to ranting like a boggoted lunatic Chris. I noticed that in the other thread you ahve become recgoinised by most on teh forum as the village idiot once again. You really are making a disater of your reputation and you probably don;t even know it.

    What is clear is that you are a hate filled, racist biggot.

  • Addamo

    No you are the loser Chris. Chekc out the other threads where your pathetic posts are getting a pasting. You are turning into the lepper of this forum.

    Who is the loser now?

  • Chris

    You and your fellow Hamastanians.