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 torture agenda

George W. Bush praises John Howard for supporting the torture, invasion, occupation and extraordinary rendition agenda. Oh, and this:

I can’t thank you enough, John, for your strong support for the liberty agenda and the deep desire for the world to be a peaceful place. I really enjoy working with you for the common good.

The sight of these two men together planting trees (for peace, growth, stopping greenhouse gases?) reminds one of a little, Sydney columnist who wants desperately to grab hold of a bayonet and kill all Muslim “terrorists” (and highlight the danger of “leftists.”) Or, of course, just run a Sydney-based, conservative, privately funded think-tank. Tough work, indeed.

17 comments ↪
  • smiths

    if your looking for spies or people pushing government propoganda you need go no further than gerard henderson,

    i detest him

  • JohD

    ‘Islamic Revolutionaries’ – “Syrian-born American writer Wafa Sultan, the Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Canadian author Irshad Manji and the Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi.”

    Lets see … Wafa Sultan is an unknown whose story has not yet been checked out. Ayaan has now comprehensively been exposed as a charlatan who invented her persecuted Muslim Woman refugee persona; first to gain refugee status in Holland, then to advance her career as a Muslim/immigrant Bashing Dutch politician. Irshad Manji pretends a knowledge of Islam she patently does not have. She did not even receive the rudimentary Islamic education most Muslim children undergo. Shirin Ebadi, it now appears, was a Judge during the Shah regime – some Human Rights activist!!!

  • edward squire

    JohD May 16th, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Lets see … Wafa Sultan is an unknown whose story has not yet been checked out. Ayaan has now comprehensively been exposed as a charlatan who invented her persecuted Muslim Woman refugee persona; first to gain refugee status in Holland, then to advance her career as a Muslim/immigrant Bashing Dutch politician. Irshad Manji pretends a knowledge of Islam she patently does not have. She did not even receive the rudimentary Islamic education most Muslim children undergo. Shirin Ebadi, it now appears, was a Judge during the Shah regime – some Human Rights activist!!!

    SLAP!

  • Addamo

    What exactly is the Sydney institute? Sydney's answer to one of those lunatic right wing think tanks?

  • Addamo

    I just read Henderson’s article.

    What a lame and delusional diatribe. This guy sounds just like Piers Ackerman, relying on the ignorance of his readers in the hope of pulling a fast one. You could go through just about every sentence in this piece and point out the falsities and lies.

    He makes such a big thing of Castro’s human right’s record, while conveniently ignoring that Bush and Howard constantly buddy up to psychopaths like Karimov, who has a habit of boiling his opponents alive.

    His reference to the paranoia that surrounded communism is endemic of the very Hobbesian view he still yearns for, that there are terrible dangers everywhere, and it's very important for the West to go out and attack here and attack there before those dangers come to shore. The author, Clausewitz, had a great phrase for this. He called it, “suicide for fear of death.” You are so afraid of what's happening to you in the world or what might happen to you that you go out and launch operations, which actually produce the result that you were afraid might happen if you didn't do these things.

    He makes the simplistic suggestion that the sentiment of the majority is reflected by those who are front runners in the next US presidential elections.

    What Henderson is so afraid to acknowledge is that the West is fast becoming irrelevant in the matters of world affairs.

  • Addamo

    Here’s a news flash.

    Ayann Hrsi lied her tail off to get into Holland. There seems to be no evidence of alot of the alleged beastliness of her unenlightned black folk and as a result the country who’s principles she is busy adopting might have to throw her out for being a fraud

    here be the link:

    http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article484099.ece

    Caged Virgin.. more like Comfortably Well housed Virgin thanks very much.

  • Oh, you think so, do you Edward? Of course, the stories these women tell couldn't possibly be true, because Islam is famous for its tolerance and respect for the rights of women. I must say, your standards of proof aren't particularly high, old boy. Perhaps dear JohD might edify us with some quality (ie. not WSWS, Islamist or bizarre conspiracy theorising) links that back up his assertions.

    Regarding Ayaan Hirsi Ali, let's take a look at her resignation statement.

  • JohD

    Quite apart from the fact that Ayaan is completely discredited, she is also at the vanguard of what can be called an Islamic eradicationist movement – i.e. she advocates the complete eradication of Islam, and considers it beyond redemption.

    Her stand on Black and Somalian cultural practice is indistinguishable from White Supremacist. She makes false claims about the pervasiveness of FGM, which in Africa is more often the practice of excising the labia in order to enhance sexual gratification for women, not curtail sexual activity, and which in Africa, is more widely practiced by non-Muslim rather than Muslim communities.

    Her predilection for attacking arranged marriage is based on a false assumption, and is a blanket condemnation of a practice accepted almost universally as a norm, with a demonstrably superior track record, than the current western practice of serial polygamy. It ignores the fact western marriage can be just as disastrous if the match is not compatible.

    Ayaan makes her way though life by feeding on the prejudices of people, and fanning the flames of hatred. As a result, she finds herself embroiled in hatred directed against her. Live by the sword, die by the sword. She has public ally denounced her Father and ridiculed her mother. Despite this, these utterly immoral and despicable people have demonstrated that they maintain an allegiance to their misguided offspring – clearly an indication that nothing will dissuade them from their desire to genitally mutilate their daughter.

    Ayaan's duplicty is another in a long string of Muslim 'reformist' who have been discredited and who have fabricated tales of perfidy in Muslim societies. This record of spectacular exposure of a veritible industry of Muslim 'reformer' charlatans does not seem to have an effect of dissuading thier champions in the west and they press on regardless; insisting that Islam is truly evil, so much so that it is ethical, and moral, to fabricte evidence to prove it.

    Reality check, all societies have flaws, and oftentimes some major ones. Time for some honesty and self-reflection. Is western society the only legitimate social system there is? Is it neccesary for people to 'assimilate' – i.e renounce their culture and beliefs in order to live in western society? Do white people assimilate in non-white countries? Is it a requirement, and should it be?

  • Pfft. You guys have nothing on her, bar one TV show. Your inability to reference to anything credible that isn't the show in question (that's including references that merely reference the show, like Addamo's Independent link) is telling. Sorry, but that show was a hatchet job. On the balance of probabilities, the likelihood that she was in a happy marriage yadda yadda yadda seems low. Also, she's been honest about the fact she lied on her application for citizenship since 2002. Why tell the truth about one thing and not the other?

    Johd, you spent all that time typing out such dismissable and unverifiable conjecture ranging from your bizarre opinion on Western polygamy (dude, wtf?) to the ways you reckon African women get their rocks off more effectively (again; dude, wtf?). How the hell would you know? Why don't you stop being an apologist for backward Islamic and African practices and go play with your kids or something instead of wasting your time running down moral standards commensurate with the 21st century – those that Hirsi Ali defends?

    PS. Wafa Sultan doesn't have "a story" that her credibility hinges on. She's a secular American professional who speaks a very elegant version of Arabic. She's also an extremely lucid critic of many Islamic practices and attitudes. Still, I suppose that's a hanging offence around these parts.

  • Edward Squire

    James Waterton May 17th, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Oh, you think so, do you Edward? …I must say, your standards of proof aren’t particularly high, old boy.

    Yes, yes, and Usama probably wasn't responsible for 9/11 – after all, all we really have as evidence is one well-confirmed video in which he claimed he did it – hardly enough. Your "Leave Usama Alone" badge is in the mail.

  • Er – was that supposed to be a convincing riposte? Fell rather short, Edward. What on earth is your point?

  • Addamo

    James,

    For all I know, the article from the idenpendent may or may not credible, but then again, i am curious as to how you arrive at your measure of credibility beyond your "balance of probabilities" scale?

    And you can drop the lame straw man debate dude, becasue it doesn't wash here. I find it pretty bizarre in the extreme, that the right has suddenly found religion in the plight of woen's rights, while turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in general. It must require a very disciplined mind to arrive at the convition that womens rights and human rights are somehow mutually exclusive.

    I am all for the rights and protection of women, but this sudden cause for the plight of women in muslim countries being taken up by the right is pretty heavy on the nose.

    If you remember back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, throwing acid in women's faces and destroying co-ed schools was then-called "freedom fighting" by rightist politicos, pundits and publications. In fact, so enthralled were they by the actions taken by Osama bin-Laden and friends, that some viewed this clerical fascism as an extension of American conservative values.

    Same thing goes for the shrieks of empathy for the Kurds often heard at sited like Tim Blair's. Once you but heads with these war appologists and dispel their entire premise for the invasion, they prety much always produce the last card up their sleeve, ie. the plight of the Kurds under Saddam and how we owe it to them to see that they are safe.

  • I don't give a damn about the rightist agenda or whatever you think it is; I have always been concerned with the rights of individuals – be they male or female or anywhere in between. You rush to condemn Hirsi Ali, on flimsy evidence and without making the slightest effort to tackle her message, simply because you perceive she's one of the enemy.

    Your attempt to dress this issue up in (shabby) partisan garb speaks volumes about your own ideological benightedness. Addamo, you'd be well advised to step backwards and take a look at what you've become.

  • JohD

    James, you are a pompous prat, and an ignorant one at that. As for your 'wtf's?'

    1. Western sexual relationships can be described a serial polygamy. Get it? Many partners – serially. Exceptions of course, are sperm donors such as yourself.

    2. As for your 'backward African Custom's', I am African, and I know a bit on the subject. Many cultures practice it, including people in the West. In the US, about 15,000 women undergo this operation annually, and voluntarily. Some for cosmetic reasons, others to enhance sexual pleasure. Don't believe me? Read Dr. Sami A. Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh's book on the subject. Before you jump to any conclusions, he is Catholic, not Muslim, and he is a leading campaigner to abolish circumcision altogether – male & female, since he does not buy the yarn that there is any difference.

    http://www.lpj.org/Nonviolence/Sami/articles/eng-

    This should be an effective wake up call to those like you, who are selective and grade issues according to whether it can be used as bludgeon against Islam or not. Incidently, he points out that more than 15,000 genital operation occur in the US each year for cosmetic and sexual gratification reasons. Costs? $US1,500 to $US2,500 per operation. Britian is not that far behind.

    Ayaan Hirsi is a fake in every respect – people have selectively graded her according to her utility in their quest to denegrate Muslims, and those that support her now, do so only because of a desire to present her predicament as the result of Muslim agitation. So even the support you pretend is fake. Alas, she finds herself the victim of the agenda driven bigotry she has so virulently promoted.

    In the end, she is a victim, by virtue of the fact that she was not born with a white skin. Otherwise, she would not be in this predicament in the first place. She is guilty of not being born white. Had she been white, her anti-black/Muslim bigotry would have been pedestrian. Because she was born Muslim/Black, her anti-Black/Muslim bigotry has made her a superstar amongst White Racists – Like you.

  • Addamo

    James,

    As I stated earlier, I have no idea about the veracity of the story I linked to. This women may have a legitimate case, and if she does, then he deserves recognition and protection. Based on my haste to link to "flimsy evidence" (which you have yet to disprove). It’s interesting that Hitchens chose to use her case as yet another one of his affronts to Islam Islamic, which he despises.

    Perhaps I deserved the remark about trying to marginalise Ali as an enemy, but the reality is far from it.

    What I am alluding to in your argument, is that I have rarely read a post from you that has expressed any concern "with the rights of individuals", much less human rights for that matter. I am not suggesting you are being insincere in this case, but if you are going to make a case about the plight of one woman (which I admire) then where is the indignation and outrage over the thousands being slaughtered elsewhere in the world?

    Face it mate, you enjoy being a polemicist and a contrarian, which tends to being out the same response in others. It was you that used this issue to make a damning comment about the people on this blog, and seeing as it is hardly a right wing forum, that smacked of a partisan jab.

  • Addamo

    One more thing James,

    When it comes to female circumcision , I am comptely digusted by it. A close friend of mine in London, tried to make a doco about it a decade ago and receive death threats, so the project never got off the ground.

    I am the last one who woudl ever defend such a custom.

  • edward squire

    Oh, James. Slapped again. And yet the undergraduate comes back for more.