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 such a light unto the nations

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Haaretz, May 12:

Unfortunately, whether drawing upon secular nationalist or religious foundations, Israel’s Jews have done a remarkably bad job of this task, creating a society that has become a pariah among nations that never had any history of anti-Semitism, but which nevertheless have watched Israel treat the Palestinians with such ruthless disregard for their human rights as to make it unique among the economically advanced societies (though, in my view, far less a shonda [shame] than many other economically underdeveloped societies, and Russia and China). Nor has Israel been a light unto the nations when it comes to the treatment of its own poor, with such wealth disparities as to render it among the worst in the developed world. The scientific and technological advances in Israel are worthy of admiration. However, it is important to remember that Jews have been at the forefront of such achievements in whatever country they have lived for almost 200 years.

The fact remains that Jewish nationalism has reached a pinnacle of extremism in Israel, and has come to epitomize the political paradigm that humanity needs most to transcend. It is a disgrace for Jews everywhere that Israel is the best example of a society with utopian ideals that degenerated into the opposite of those ideals, and which conservatives use to demonstrate that humanity will always be involved in irresolvable ethnic conflict. 

  • rhross

    The Rabbi has to be kidding citing Russia and China and others when claiming that Israel has far less cause for shame because of its behaviour.

    For one thing, neither Russia nor China are the true democracies Israel claims itself to be and the others to which he refers, one assumes, are also non-democratic.

    I would have though brutal occupation, dispossession, assassination, torture, imprisonment without charge, collective punishment, colonisation, murdering and maiming civilians, destroying homes and orchards were skills which Israel shared equally well with both Russia and China and pretty much every other thuggish nation one can think of.

    The only rule by which Israel can be judged is against other democratic nations where, the US aside these days, it falls miserably short.

    While it is good to have the Rabbi speak out in this way it's probably time that he too faced the reality that no religion, culture, nation or race is a 'light' until anyone, except that which they may shine into the nether reaches of themselves.

    Israelis and Jews are as good and as bad as everyone else. Israel has sunk as low as it has because Jewish culture and religion teaches that Jews are superior, hence the shadow is that much greater …. the Germans believed pretty much the same thing and we know where it got them. The Americans have a similar view of themselves and it is clear where they are heading too.

    Hubris is ultimately destructive. A little humility goes a very long way.

  • Leo Buddha

    rhross wrote

    Israelis and Jews are as good and as bad as everyone else.

    Probably true. 🙂

    Israel has sunk as low as it has because Jewish culture and religion teaches that Jews are superior

    Are not variations and manifestations strong>we are better than you present in all cultures? For example are not Melbourne people superior to Sydney people from the POW of many who live in Melbourne?

  • rhross

    Leo: Yes, the ‘them and us’ mentality with all its connotations of superiority is a part of human nature. No denying that.
    What compounds and exacerbates it is a religious and cultural construct which turns instinctive ‘belief’ into iron conviction…. albeit often unconscious, but rigid all the same.
    People in Sydney and Melbourne may ‘favour’ their own cities but they do not inherently believe that they as individuals and human beings are superior….. more fortunate yes, superior to others, no.
    That’s the difference. Jewish teaching, and I would add, fundamentalist Christian, Islamic, Hindu and even elements of Buddhist teaching, often take the same position, is based on the premise that Jews are special in the eyes of God, and by extension, superior.
    The difference with Judaism is that the religion has been the bedrock of the culture and so the belief in superiority permeates the culture in a way that it does not in other religions.