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.

We must wake up

The following article is by Israeli writer David Grossman. It appeared in Ma’ariv on June 11 and was translated by The Other Israel:

The view of the girl from the Gaza beach, whose life was torn to pieces in front of our eyes, must wake us up from a years-long hypnotic slumber. Instead of worrying about “the damage to Israel’s image”, instead of immediately starting to formulate the automatic, cliche counter-arguments, we should take a good look at our handwork. It is long overdue for us to notice the slippery slope down which we sliding ourselves, and to start asking which deep abyss lies ahead.

And why/what is it all for? Where did we get by endlessly shooting at “the Qassam launching sites”, and by the “detention of wanted terrorists” which takes place night after night in the Occupied Territories, and by the “focused” assassinations which mainly murder innocents? How much security for our future did any of these acts gain us? How long are we going to remain silent and passive in face of a clique of “security” experts – who turn out to be totally uninspired and incompetent even in the field of their supposed specific expertise! – is continuing to lead us into the same deadly “loop” in which our lives are trapped already for decades: between blow and retaliation, retaliation and blow.

Today it is the girl from Gaza. Tomorrow Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv kids may be paying the price of Palestinian retaliation. The IDF, once a daring army full of original thinking, is already for many years moving like a heavy mindless machine – hitting again and again at the Palestinians, and managing only to drive ever deeper the feeling of humiliation and fury and the desire for revenge.

The Prime Minster is declaring in every possible forum that Israel “will make every possible effort” to start negotiations with the Palestinians, before giving up this effort and turning to unilateral steps, the “convergence” or “realignment”. But Abu-Mazen’s daring declaration of a referendum is dismissed out of hand as “completely meaningless”. Consistently and persistently, Olmert ignores any feeler from the Palestinian side. Certainly, he has no intention of initiating any kind of dialogue, or making any courageous Israeli offer to challenge Hamas.

None of this is getting done. Only the heavy machine continues to hit mechanically – at the Palestinians, but also at ourselves. Its repetitive, automatic and stupefying movement is blurring even our basic existential instinct. We no longer notice the alarms, the smaller and bigger danger signals warning us to wake up from this stupor in which we are sliding deeper and deeper down.

The Army Chief-of-Staff, who usually sleeps well at night while the blood is flowing, has this time ordered the artillery silenced for one night. But perhaps it should be silenced for a longer time? Perhaps this is exactly the time to proclaim a complete cease-fire and call for immediate negotiations without preconditions?

Would such a move be interpreted as a sign of weakness, even as an Israeli defeat? Certainly, some will choose to see it this way. But the girl child running in total fear on the Gaza shore is, in the final reckoning, a far more severe and fundamental defeat for Israel. A defeat for Israel’s values and underlying moral foundations. The infamy on the shore is a defeat in a struggle far more important than Israel’s scuffle with the Palestinians. It is a defeat in the struggle for our very essence, as a people and as human beings. 

5 comments ↪
  • Progressive_Atheist

    As a result of the bombing of the people on the beach at Gaza, Hamas has declared that its cease-fire is over. This is exactly what the bombing was designed to do. Jews, wake up!

  • Ian

    Grossman is right. Heavy handedness is self defeating. There is now evidence that Palestinian suicide bombings are not part of an orchestrated 'military' campaign as often claimed, but are mostly motivated by revenge for previous killings by Israelis with organizations like Hamas only influencing events at the margin.

    As Canadian sociologist Robert Brym notes in his just released study on the subject (Social Forces, 2006 Jun):

    "This suicide bombing campaign simply isn't working in the sense that the Palestinians are not realizing any strategic gains as a result," [but] "Israeli acts of oppression are also counter-productive. If you go out and engage in a targeted killing, as the Israeli security services often do, that can result in more suicide bombings taking place — which in turn results in more targeted killings. There's a macabre dance taking place."

  • viva peace

    I am going to make a huge prediction here. My take is that is a libel of the magnitude of the Jenin lie and Mohammad El-Doura case; you know where the Palestinians lied about the Israelis shooting a little boy who was cowering next to his father, when in fact it was the PLO who killed him.

  • Ian

    Yeah, sure. The Israeli gunboat, clearly seen about miles off shore in first news reports, was simply firing a 21 gun salute in Hamas' honour I suppose.

    Want to explain why it was there, Viva, when territorial limits extend to 12 nautical miles (22km) from the low tide mark?

  • john ryan

    Viva will tell you black is white if it supports his point of view,its getting to the stage where the propagandists of the Israeli Govt will twist anything to there own purpose