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.

More than one Holocaust

Benyamin Neuberger, Haaretz, April 28:

In Israel, there is a conviction that the Holocaust is unique, that it cannot be compared to any other case of genocide. This perception is irrational, problematic from the moral perspective and also contrary to its aim – the intensification of Holocaust awareness.

A number of years ago I participated in a conference at Bar-Ilan University that was devoted to a discussion of the trips to Poland undertaken by Israeli teenagers. The woman responsible for the trips at the Ministry of Education spoke about their aim – strengthening the high school students’ Jewish identity and Zionist consciousness. In answer to the question of whether the trips have a humanistic aim as well, an outrageous answer was given: “We don’t have time for that.” 

4 comments ↪
  • edward squire

    In Israel, there is a conviction that the Holocaust is unique, that it cannot be compared to any other case of genocide.

    I think this is true – because all genocides (or attempted genocides, more accurately) are unique. The moral question does not surround the issue of uniqueness, but rather the issue of moral exceptionalism that may flow from it, which depends largely on the political imperatives of those 'identifying' with a given attempted genocide. This statement is sympomatic of such grubby imperatives:

    In answer to the question of whether the trips have a humanistic aim as well, an outrageous answer was given: “We don’t have time for that.”

  • Addamo

    We don’t have time for that.

    Are tehse people serious? Is the aknowledgement of the Holocaust entirely about consciousness? Aree we not repeatedylremnded never to forget and "never again"? How much more frank can these extrmists be about exploiting this tragedy for political and ideological gain?

  • jack

    I taught in Israel for 15 years and had the pleasure to accompany my year 12 class on the Poland trip. My father who survived Aushwitz (unlike the rest of his family) accompanied us and on a personal level that was important for me, but also to my class.

    A humanistic approach to history is "a given". So while I would have to attribute the outrageous comment made by the MoED representative to her not understanding your question, let me assure you that it could not be otherwise.

    One little comment though to show what this trip to expose these Israeli schoolkids to. In our preparation, I asked the kids what they wanted to get out of the trip. One of the girls said she wanted to experience anti-semitism, as Israelis tend to see themselves as Israelis and not Jews. Believe me in Poland she did. Endless swastikas, bottles thrown at our buses and abuse hurled at our children.

    I am teacher in Australia and as an educator in Australia, I think Mr. Loewenstein should perhaps concentrate on not only the lack of historical perspective put on any human tragedy in Australian schools,but certainly also the amount of humanism taught.

  • Addamo

    Jack,

    A wonderful and very thoughtful post. I completely agree with your thesis. Humanism is lacking entirely from political discourse. The war in Iraq is a prome example. The only time mention is given to human suffering is to make political points.

    Same this with the Israeli/Palestinina conflict. So much attention is given to the fight but so very little to the human cost, not only to lives, but to the psyche – on both sides.