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.

No comment required

The following (unintentially perverse) letter appears in this week’s Australian Jewish News:

TRAITORS

NOAM Chomsky, the feted and Jewish quasi-intellectual who is the poster boy of the anti-American and anti-Israel alliance, has visited Hezbollah headquarters in Lebanon.

Hezbollah, which is sponsored by Iran, is a radical Muslim Shiite terrorist organisation that to this day – after Israel withdrew its forces from south Lebanon – still fires mortars across into northern Israel on a daily basis. Neturei Karta, the Orthodox sect that believes Israel should not exist without divine intervention, has met with Hamas .

In wartime these acts of collaboration would be tantamount to high treason. Even though I am against violence, these turncoats who have the temerity to call themselves Jews should be excommunicated.

DAVID CASHREIN

Crows Nest, NSW

31 comments ↪
  • captain

    I don't think Ant understands what "perverse" means.

    If anything, Ant's publication of this letter in this manner is perverse.

  • Comical_Ali

    Ant, in case you didn't know, there is a "F7" spelling function, not to mention the "Shift F 7" thesaurus function on word. You can take full advantage of these in future.

  • Addamo

    Indeed Captain,

    If I were you, I too woudl be ashamed fo this lunatic rant from teh AJN.

  • captain

    Addumbo you are not me and I am not ashamed at all about the letter. Ant should be ashamed for have such idiotic sycophantic contributors. Is English your second language? Or are you just to lazy and disrespectful or stupid to spell check?

  • captain, pursinally, I'm layzy AND dizrespekful. Yew kin sort owt me spelin on yr oan, ifn ya not as stoopid as mi. 😀

  • Addamo

    Alas,

    Captain's wharped idea fo free speech is once again conformed. If you're a Jew and you disagree with the Zionist party line, you are a traitor adn should be excommunicated..

  • captain

    You are free to speak after excommunication. You are clearly getting confused between execution (after which free speech is difficult) and excommunication in which your rights and responsibilities as a Jew are ended.

    If you join with those whose primary directive is Judenrein then of course they should be excommunicated.

  • Addamo

    What religiosu book stipulates that criticism or oppoistion to a Jewsih state should result in excommunication? Under who's or what authority therefore does someone's rights and responsibilities as a Jew end?

  • captain

    Addumbo, you still haven's justified how excommunication stops freedom of speech. But this is your modis operandis; as soon as your point is lost, you merely move on to attack Israel, Judaism or Amerikka.

  • Ian

    Didn't Joe Stalin have a similar 'free' speech policy – if you said anything he didn't like you were shipped off to Siberia where you could say whatever you wanted?

    Good to know someone is keeping up the old traditions!

  • captain

    Oh yes those powerful Joos. When someone is excommunicated, they are free to live where ever they want. It would take an Ant sycophant to be so confused by what excommunication actually means. But seeing we are talking about Stalin, I think he would find considerable comfort and amusement by some of his fellow travellers here.

  • edward squire

    these turncoats who have the temerity to call themselves Jews should be excommunicated.

    "Turncoats"? That implies they started out as supporters and then changed their minds. Is that true.

    As for "excommunicated", what the hell is going on? Has Judaism gone Roman Catholic all of a sudden?

  • Comical_Ali

    As for “excommunicated”, what the hell is going on? Has Judaism gone Roman Catholic all of a sudden?

    As oppossed to lopping people's heads off and torching buildings as happens under the "Religion of peace (TM) ?"

    As far as I know, there is no official policy of excommunication among da joos.

    Good to know someone is keeping up the old traditions!

    So whats are the Sub-degree temperatures like down there…in..er…the comfort zone of Sydney, Ant?

  • edward squire

    Comical_Ali May 27th, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    As far as I know, there is no official policy of excommunication among da joos.

    I'm not talking about Jewish people. I'm talking about Judaism. If there's no official policy, is there an unofficial one?

  • captain

    Yes its a quiet conspiratorialist one to feed your paranoia eddy.

  • Addamo

    Captain

    you still haven’s justified how excommunication stops freedom of speech.

    My point is that the mere suggestino of applying it to those who break from the official Zionsit message, is an example of a backward society.

    Yes its a quiet conspiratorialist one to feed your paranoia eddy.

    That and peopel like DAVID CASHREIN.

  • captain

    Addumbo, now Judaism is a backward society?? You do this every time. As soon as you are pinned down, you resort to almost random attack on Jews. No wonder you are such a sycophant to Ant.

    Your point was that excommunication limited a persons freedom of speech. It doesn't. Supporting any terrorist organisation is criminal in most countries. A theological rebuke is hardly backwards in this context. But this may be too subtle to you. I don't hear you getting whipped up at what happens to Muslims that have 'collaborated' with Israel. Now if you want an example of backward, there are many to be found there.

    Secondly the is no push to even do this. You have the opinion of one letter writer. Don't you think you have made a bit much of this?

    The author of the AJN letter is allowed to express his views, or are the left so brittle and defensive that they must resort to name calling at the slightest dissent? Ant is allowed to call this otherwise unknown letter writer "perverse" merely because he disagrees with him.

    Where is the evidence that this is somehow perverse? Or did the thesaurus throw up the wrong word for semantically challenged Ant?

  • Comical_Ali

    I’m talking about Judaism.

    I was talking about Judiasm too.

  • Comical_Ali

    I don’t hear you getting whipped up at what happens to Muslims that have ‘collaborated’ with Israel.

    And its not just muslims who have "collaborated" with Israel.

    What about all those who are critical of Islam or expressed some form of dissent – Salman Rashdie, Aayan Hirsi Ali & Wafa Sultan?

    or non-muslim infidels like Theo Van Goeth? Orianna Fallaci? The Danish cartoonists?

    All are in hiding and recieve police protection, with the notable exception of Van Goeth who recieved a coffin instead.

    Why aren't brave dissenters of da Joos – Loewenstein, Finkelstein, Chomsky, Pilger etc, in hiding?

    And the tools who frequent the comments section of this blog have the chutzpah to call Judiasm and Jewish people 'backward' – accussing them of "keeping up with old stalinist traditions," among other things?

    And Loewenstein et-al have the chutzpah to slap each other on the back and call themselves brave dissenters?

    Or did the thesaurus throw up the wrong word for semantically challenged Ant?

    Perhaps showing him how to make use of the "Shift F7" function was not enough…

  • Don Wigan

    "you still haven’s justified how excommunication stops freedom of speech."

    Well, what about that bloke who revealed that Israel had the Bomb? He was not only snatched from another country, not entirely lawfully, but served his full sentence.

    Although he was released after completing that sentence (ie, no parole) he is not allowed to talk publicly. The pretext is ostensibly 'security', but whatever knowledge he had is now over 20 years out-of-date.

    Is that not a restriction on freedom of speech? Is he free to emigrate, or like the old Soviet Jewish people, forced to stay in a country he no longer cares for?

  • Comical_Ali

    Is that not a restriction on freedom of speech?

    In most countries today – including every single Islamic nation – Vannunnu would have been executed for what he had done. There is a fine line between freedom of speech and pure treason.

    Other Western countries such as America take a much tougher stance on issues like this than Israel. The case of Jonathan Pollard is but a prime example.

    As a Soviet Jew I take offence to your comparing this imbecile to the plight of Soviet Jewry…you know those real dissenters who put their lives on the line for actual freedom.

  • captain

    Don, can you tell the difference between excommunication, a theological position and treason, a criminal offense?

    None of us has the freedom to defame, incite violence, betray our country's security or to commit perjury. So Don, give it a rest and get a bit of perspective. Ant called a letter writer to the local community newspaper "perverse" because he spoke out about Chomsky supporting terrorists. And what the fuck is wrong with that?

  • Addamo

    Captain Cretin,

    You're up to your shadow boxing again.

    Addumbo, now Judaism is a backward society?? You do this every time. As soon as you are pinned down, you resort to almost random attack on Jews. No wonder you are such a sycophant to Ant

    Pinned down? How exactly? You have no idea what you are talking about. It's you that shift the goal posts every time someoen holds up an inconvenient fact in fromt of you. With you, it usually comes in the form of you criticising someone's spelling or typos.

    A backward society is one that maintain the notion of heretics. Chomsky is considered one by Zionists who believe that it is the responsibility of all jews to subscribe and maintain the same ideology.

    That is stuff from teh dark ages or retarded catholic doctrine. It ostricises those who think differently to the masses.

    And here is Captain as his ignrant and naive best:

    None of us has the freedom to defame, incite violence, betray our country’s security or to commit perjury

    Unless you are a politician, in whioch case, you tend to get away with most of these crimes.

    Ant called a letter writer to the local community newspaper “perverse” because he spoke out about Chomsky supporting terrorists.

    Wrong. Ant called he call for excomunication perverse, especialy seeing as according to Comical,

    As far as I know, there is no official policy of excommunication among da joos.

  • captain

    Addumbo gets the idiot award. No where in the article above does Ant say that a call for Chomsky's excommunication is what is perverse.

    Straw man? I'd say a good example of this was picking an otherwise unknown letter writer to the local community newspaper as an example of whether Jews are "backward" or otherwise.

    Its good that you are comfortable in your own definitions.

  • Don Wigan

    "None of us has the freedom to defame, incite violence, betray our country’s security or to commit perjury"

    That may well be, Cappy, but why is a gag applied to somebody who has already served his time? Do we apply different rules to people for different offences even after they have paid their debts?

    Sorry you took offence, Ali, but it is hard to see him as anything other than a dissenter, whether you consider him crazy or not. Why keep him there at all if he is despised and wants to leave? Seems like it would be in the interests of both parties to allow him to piss off elsewhere. Detaining him there sounds to me like a post-sentence form of punishment.

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    "I’d say a good example of this was picking an otherwise unknown letter writer to the local community newspaper as an example of whether Jews are “backward” or otherwise."

    Not at all. it was yourself that defended this man's suggestion. Have you forgotten already?

  • Comical_Ali

    A backward society is one that maintain the notion of heretics. Chomsky is considered one by Zionists who believe that it is the responsibility of all jews to subscribe and maintain the same ideology.

    That is stuff from teh dark ages or retarded catholic doctrine. It ostricises those who think differently to the masses.

    Although zionists believe that all Jews should subscribe to their ideology, they do not force/enforce this upon other Jews and they certainly don't ostracise other Jews . Zionists, especially religious zionists for example regularly pray and collaborate with their non-zionist religious/haredi counterparts. Your complete ignorance and lack of undertsanding of the complexties of Jewish society should bar you from making further comment on this topic.

    Apart from making the usual strawman argument, I don't understand what point you are making by comparing this to the "dark ages" and some grand catholic Spanish inquisition.

    There is however a fine line between chosing to be a non-zionist Jew and going to Iran and praise the lunatic regime there as the religious group Neutrei Karta did or go to Lebanon and mingle with Hezbollah, slap their leaders on the back and support all their policies – even if they contravene UN resolutions – not mention embracing holocaust denial among other things.

    In the case of Neutria Karta, even other non-zionist relgious groups do not want to have anything to do with them because they crossed all red lines by collaborating with terrorist groups and countries like Iran and Syria.

    However, no one has issued a fatwa to have these treasonous Jews killed – be it through beheading or burning at the stake and they certainly do not fear for their lives and continue to speak their minds. Which once again brings us back to your strawman argument not to mention complete chutzpah – the very religion that you continually speak on behalf of, does evertything that you accuse the Jews of doing and a lot worse.

  • Comical_Ali

    Sorry you took offence, Ali, but it is hard to see him as anything other than a dissenter, whether you consider him crazy or not.

    its not a matter of dissent or his sanity – its more to do with downright treason.

    Why keep him there at all if he is despised and wants to leave? Seems like it would be in the interests of both parties to allow him to piss off elsewhere. Detaining him there sounds to me like a post-sentence form of punishment.

    Releasing him was a mistake and rather uncommon in cases of high treason. Instead of taking such a soft stance, Israel should have done what is the norm amongst other nations like the US & UK and thrown him into prison for good. Most other countries however would have executed him.

  • Don Wigan

    Releasing him was a mistake and rather uncommon in cases of high treason.

    Oh well, I suppose that's at least a point in Israel's favour. There's an independent judiciary.

    Here in Australia, our government showed its lack of confidence in the judiciary by declaring most of our boundaries 'not Australian territory' and having asylum seekers processed offshore and away from those busybodies in the courts. Over in Dubya country the whole Gitmo and military fiasco began because of a fear that a few accused might get off if it went through an independent court system.

  • Addamo

    Comical Ali,

    Straw men did you say? Well, you have created a couple fo your own.

    slap their leaders on the back and support all their policies – even if they contravene UN resolutions – not mention embracing holocaust denial among other things.

    Holocaust denial, while unfortunate and unacceptable is not against international law, unless you happen to reside on one of the 11 countries where there laws prohibiting it.

    And how can you seriously raise the issue of contravene UN resolutions and keep a straight face?

    In the case of Neutria Karta, even other non-zionist relgious groups do not want to have anything to do with them because they crossed all red lines by collaborating with terrorist groups and countries like Iran and Syria.

    Do you speak for all non-zionist relgious?

    Which once again brings us back to your strawman argument not to mention complete chutzpah – the very religion that you continually speak on behalf of, does evertything that you accuse the Jews of doing and a lot worse.

    What can be worse that torturing and killing people?

    This is a straw man argument if I’ve ever seen one. I have never spoken on behalf of ANY religion.

  • Comical_Ali

    Holocaust denial, while unfortunate and unacceptable is not against international law, unless you happen to reside on one of the 11 countries where there laws prohibiting it.

    I did not say that Holocaust denial was against interntional law. To find out what I really said, go back and re-read my post – i.e. Chomsky supports all their policies, even if they contravene UN law.

    Do you speak for all non-zionist relgious?

    No I dont, but as someone who is very well acquainted with what goes on in the Jewish wolrd, I can safley state this as a fact.

    This is a straw man argument if I’ve ever seen one. I have never spoken on behalf of ANY religion.

    The simple fact that you always find your self on their side of the fence on arguments concerning – Israel/Palestine, international terrorism, Iraq, etc – means that at the very least, you speak on behalf of their propagandists.

    Even more so when you single out Judiasm/Zionism for allegedly being backward and conducting a spanish style inquisition.