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 Western “mission” to bring democracy and freedom to Afghanistan has failed (the actual plan was to deliver compliant warlordism to the long-suffering population).

Jason Burke explains why.

  • boredinHk

    Sorry ,

    having read the linked article I can only say your analysis is incorrect.

  • Addamo

    Perhaps you woudl care to explain boredinHk.

    All news reports suggests that Afghanistan has fallen back into the hands of warlords and the Taleban.

  • boredinHk


    more concerned about the idea that there was a mission . Sure ,a cobbled together coalition invaded and overturned a regime. It might have been hoped that a future government would move towards respecting individual rights , balance the infrastructure needs with the ethnic composition of the country's population and fight the pernicious influence of the narcotics trade.

    I doubt that, apart from among MSM soundbites from that time ,grand , boastful posturing about freedom and democracy were the be all and end all of the invasion.

    Local influences must be allowed to temper the government structures that evolve in such an environment. If that development and the subsequent incorporation of people of influence is unpalatable to western ideologues well tough. Warlords are often little more than gangsters but they are their gangsters. Why would you think they will be compliant to the wests interests and demands ? AL read the article and thought it topical perhaps to paint Karzai as simply a warlord , first among many , but most are not complaint in the least.

    The ISI and the tribal border areas are the source of the ongoing instabilty and the role of the military in Pakistan isn't too clear. For example if Musharaf is such a compliant puppet why the lack of control in these areas? I think this dynamic is representative of the competition in Pakistan for power.

    Let the Afghans develop their own government and while it might be a long way from western norms that isn't a problem. The west's support for this shouldn't be comdemned but aided as the alternative of abandoning them would as is so often repeated with other instances of occupation , dereliction and denial of responsibilty.

  • Addamo

    Good points boredinHk,

    I agree entirely. I just misunderstood what you found to be flawed in teh argument.

  • I don't think any Western goverment expected that the invasion would bring democracy etc. Afghanistan is one of the last countries in the world where any one would attempt democracy.

    Afghanistan was a quick and relatively easy US reaction to 9/11. It made PR and counterterrorism sense. As Afghanistan was (then) the main training ground for al Qaeda and probable main base for bin Laden invading the place was a sound measure. The Taliban rulers had no legitimacy except they were more ruthless than their opponents.

    It appears that al Qaeda's main training ground has moved to Iraq (thankyou Coalition) and Pakistan (thankyou Pakistani's on the take).

    However Afghanistan is now a dirty great power vacuum that al Qaeda style forces could again fill. Hence Western forces are staying put there. Pipelines, oil and gas issues are additional reasons.


  • viva peace


    We are still waiting for you to visit that atlas.

  • boredinHk

    great link about state of play in Afghanistan contained in a book review.

    Note the cash carrying Wahabbis. They are also very active in Indonesia.

  • Addamo

    We are still waiting for you to visit that atlas.

    What so you susspect such a reference will reveal? I am more than familiar with the geography of Afghanistan? Is there a point to your quesrioning , or are you just stalling in the hope that you might think of something profound to say in the mean time?