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.

Not good enough

The Howard government fights global terror in one breath and provides funds to dictators on the other:

[Foreign Minister] Alexander Downer has been forced to concede he did precisely nothing to prevent Australian companies funnelling money to Saddam Hussein’s regime in the years leading up to the Iraq war.

The Foreign Minister admitted he had not established any mechanism for ensuring that Australia’s rogue wheat trader, AWB, was not breaching UN sanctions in its dealings with Iraq.

His evidence to the Cole inquiry also directly contradicts a statement he made to parliament on February 28, when he said of several key cables: “Of course I would have read them.”

Downer’s excuses are both inadequate and negligent, argues an international law expert. More disturbingly, the government believes it doesn’t need to take responsibility for the largest bribery scandal in Australian history.

5 comments ↪
  • You could mount a persuasive argument that neglecting to find out what happened, and acting to stop the bribery, is worse than having known and done nothing about it. Because it clearly indicates an inability to appreciate the issues that require attention to best ensure Australia's national interests are not imperiled. Put another, what on earth is the Minister and his department doing if it has all these resources dedicated to information collection but still can't act on that information? By extension, it logically makes you question Downer and the Howard Government's capacity to make decisions in Australia's best interests.

    Of course there is an entire other dimension to this scandal. Which is the fact that the sanctions regime was nothing but a punitive measure designed to destroy Iraq as a viable geopolitical 'third way' in the Gulf (behind the US and client regimes in the region). Australia knew this, and AWB merely sought to continue or increase it's share in a lucrative market in changed trading conditions. The Australian Government knew this all along and did nothing about it. For a variety of reasons, but principally because our Government's main agenda in the external affairs context is to facilitate business for corporations and privileged sectors of our society.

    Let us also not forget the even larger scandal that is the current occupation of Iraq. This is a scandal in terms of lives lost and the destruction of an entire nation. Not to mention the massive kickbacks and rorting of US taxpayer (and Iraqi oil) money paid into the coffers of corporations closely aligned to the Bush Administration.

  • orang

    I think you've figured it out in your 2nd paragraph Iqbal. It's business, don't take it personally. Sure it's better we're killing arabs and muslims while filling our pockets but it's not personal, we'd kill buddhists or christians with equal abandon and then have a parade.

    This is why my wife tells me I'm going crazy. Every time a politician-specifically John Howard says something like "doing the right thing" or "staying the course" regarding Iraq, I'm shouting for the Monty Python foot to squash the f*cker before he utters another word.

  • edward squire

    The Howard government fights global terror in one breath and provides funds to dictators on the other

    I don't see the contradition. 😛

    Downer’s excuses are both inadequate and negligent, argues an international law expert.

    Does this need to be argued? Surely the case can be established by simply yelling, "Roll tape."

    Aside

    My Downer Moment: About a month ago Alex was wandering up the main street of Lakemba (early for a meeting apparently). A Pakistani friend and I were sitting outside a cafe when he walked passed. My friend engaged Alex in about 10 seconds of friendly conversation. Alex's side of the conversation consisted of two sentences only. Both were meaningless, and one of them was devoted to mocking my friend's accent to his face! Now that's a diplomat! The man is distilled incompetence.

  • Are you serious? I've seen Downer speak a few times, and yes he was pretty stupid. But wow that is pretty impressive. What a clown. Here's another example, although probably not as good as your's Edward. I was at this development policy lecture and he was asked about abstinence as a device for reducing AIDS infection rates. To his credit he expressed total scepticism towards it. But then he said "Well, look, abstinence doesn't work. Look it hasn't worked over there." And then he pointed at a woman in the audience holding a very young child.

    As a general rule, Downer tries to cover his incompetence through the use of faux humour. This is an ancient private school boy trick.

  • orang

    Hes a wanker in fishnet.