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.

Truth and fiction

Following my article in yesterday’s Australian, the paper has today published these letters:

MOST TALKED ABOUT
LOEWENSTEIN’S OPINION

Antony Loewenstein has had his third piece in The Australian – to go with his various media appearances – all about how views like his are never heard (Opinion, 7/8). Loewenstein’s real complaint seems to be not that views like his aren’t heard, but that they are criticised. This is not suppression of debate, it is debate.

He even wants Hezbollah and Hamas given equal time to Israel. Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organisations proscribed in Australia. It is a crime to belong to or support them. So Loewenstein wants criminals to be given equal time to those they attack.

Loewenstein probably won’t like this criticism either, but his ideal world seems to be one where he and those with whom he agrees are immune from criticism, not one of robust debate, as he claims.
George Greenberg
Malvern, Vic

Antony Loewenstein certainly doesn’t like being criticised. Strangely enough though, he’s happy to dish it out, often unfairly. For example he claims that the “Zionist lobby” was keen to ban notorious Holocaust denier David Irving because they were worried he may cast doubt about the Holocaust. Surely it was more that Holocaust deniers tend to incite hatred towards Jews among anti-Semites such as neo-Nazis by claiming the Holocaust was a con.

He excoriates Isi Leibler for his comments about Palestinian society without explaining Leibler was referring to the pernicious effect of constant anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement from all levels of the Palestinian Authority, including schools, mosques and the media. He also attacks opponents of the awarding of a peace prize to Hanan Ashrawi. Maybe he could explain what she has actually done for peace, other than criticise Israel. Then he could explain why it’s taboo for anyone to criticise him, but fine for him to criticise anyone.
Bradley Tempelhof
St Kilda, Vic

Antony Loewenstein is being precious in his assertions that the “Zionist Lobby” is trying to silence him. Apparently this attempt at “censorship” takes the form of vigorous criticism of his work. If Loewenstein is truly a champion of free speech, he ought to be in favour of the efforts of others to expose his numerous errors of fact and logic.
Peter Wertheim
Sydney, NSW

The fact that Antony Loewenstein has once again been given space in The Australian provides further evidence his views are not being denied a hearing in Australia.

Loewenstein claims I compared him to “fraudulent writer and accused anti-Semite Helen Demidenko”, when in fact what I canvassed in my review was that The Hand that Signed the Paper was discussed as a symbol, rather than initially being judged on its merits, adding: “While Antony Loewenstein is not a pseudonym and did not intentionally write a work of fiction, it is already clear that his book is being treated as a symbol, rather than on grounds of quality or originality, let alone insight or integrity.”

The one sentence he quoted from my review, in which I said that his book has “already garnered a fan club among other anti-Semites, anti-Israel extremists and others who are treating the author as a Jewish ‘useful idiot’ who serves anti-Jewish agendas” might not make Loewenstein happy, but as followers of Australia’s anti-Semitic fringe groups can attest, is undeniably true.
Jeremy Jones, AM
Darlinghurst NSW

In his article, Antony Loewenstein makes mention of Deborah Lipstadt in his defence of author David Irving’s right to be heard. He writes of Lipstadt in a way that implies she took an action against Irving, as if to silence him, accusing him of Holocaust denial.

In fact Lipstadt was sued by Irving for merely naming him as a denier, and she was forced to defend herself in court. It was Irving who tried to silence Lipstadt, not the reverse. Irving lost in a remarkable case where Lipstadt’s team revealed for the first time just how badly, and effectively, Irving had misrepresented European history in the 20th century.

Lipstadt’s team did not bother to prove the Holocaust happened. Instead, they engaged in an intricate investigation of Irving’s historiography. Lipstadt’s chief witness, Richard Evans from Cambridge, began believing it was not possible to condemn Irving, who had written more than 20 books of history, as not a historian. By the time Evans had finished his report he had demonstrated that, in no way, could Irving be considered a historian. Once Irving was proved to have fabricated history, as he had, it was obvious his evidence for his Holocaust denial was untrue. And so his case collapsed.
Anne Henderson
North Sydney, NSW

Antony Loewenstein continues to insist he is a victim of a conspiracy to silence him. Most first-time authors could only dream of being so “silenced”. How many times will he need to be published before he realises he is disproving his own point? Loewenstein claims he has “received hundreds of messages from Jews and non-Jews . . . who are yearning for a more honest discussion about the Middle East and Israel’s role within it”. I assume he includes my name in that figure. I sent a message to his blog calling him on several inaccuracies, expecting an honest reply. Instead, he deleted the message.
Daniel Lewis
Rushcutters Bay, NSW

Suffice to say, it’s intriguing that the paper has published only critical letters in response to my article. My central thesis remains, as ever, unchallenged. The Zionist lobby, through aggressive and counter-productive tactics, is undermining the Jewish community and the wider community view towards Israel. They have been warned.

Some victory.

74 comments ↪
  • Suze

    What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?

    You were QED'ed halfway up the page but, like the still twitching body of a decapitated snake, you failed to realize the fact.

  • viva peace

    Suze

    Am I too expect a note to parents chastising me from HREOC?

  • orang

    Crikey eh viva? A review – again by our friend Ted. How many goes does he need before he gets it right eh?

    And he must have had the Zionist legal eagles to point out yet again why Israel doesn't "legally" have to get out of the occupied territories because the wording doesn't say "all" – aren't we so clever.

  • Captain

    Another anti-semitic slur: the Jews for Jesus shop front is somehow being damaged by Jews?? Proof anyone?

    Jews for Jesus is a slimy organisation that attempts to dupe Jews into Christianity. They fill their shop-front with Jewish items and try to seduce Jews into evangelical Christianity.

    It is the long held position of the JBOD that the shop be left alone, despite being offensive. I walk past it evey day and have never seen it damaged.

  • Suze

    Another anti-semitic slur: the Jews for Jesus shop front is somehow being damaged by Jews??

    I think you'll find that you are the only one saying that they were- Andrew didn't

  • Addam

    Jews for Jesus is a slimy organisation that attempts to dupe Jews into Christianity. They fill their shop-front with Jewish items and try to seduce Jews into evangelical Christianity.

    Ewwwww grossss. Sounds like a paesophile offering boioled lyllly's to kids. What self respecting Jew would ever want to become a Goy right Captain? Kinda like becomming unchosen isn't it?

    Those slimy Evangelical Christianits – aren't they the ones who boast about being Zionist Chritians?

  • Addamo

    Sorry guys,

    That last post was fom me not Addam.

  • M.Mayes

    I would like to think that we could ALL

  • M.Mayes

    god damn tab key…

    I would like to think that we could ALL agree atleast that Murdoch is filth and his media monopoly will bring nothing but shit to the News industry.

  • M.Mayes

    Jews for Jesus is a slimy organisation that attempts to dupe Jews into Christianity. They fill their shop-front with Jewish items and try to seduce Jews into evangelical Christianity.

    Im with you Addamo/Adam… not sure which one you are this time!

    does anything about Jewish superiority complexes remind you of Hitlers pure german race ideals?

    Probably not, you have a massive Zionist tumor growing on your brain that seems to have shut down all rational thought processes.

  • M.Mayes

    Quite a wicked bitchslapping poor old Ant is getting over a Crikey.

    Speaking of Bitchslappings, UNSC res 242 if you care to read it (its not very long) DOES NOT SAY "SOME" OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES.

    to Lapkins credit it doesnt say all either, but then why dont we look at it for ourselves and realise whats obvious.

    "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict"

    I think its pretty clear what the UNSC wanted Israel to do.

  • Addamo

    M.Mayes,

    Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict

    This was deliberately worded this way to make it a contentious issue so that Israel could maintain that it will return "territories occupied" subject to negotiation. So as long as negotiations fail (ie. no partner for peace) Israel can maintain it's presence, at least that's their rationale.

  • Captain

    Sounds like a paesophile offering boioled lyllly’s to kids.

    Taking drugs and blogging is bad for our health.

    does anything about Jewish superiority complexes remind you of Hitlers pure german race ideals?

    Shamefully, Ant allows such blatant racism on his site.

  • Addamo

    Shamefully, Ant allows such blatant racism on his site.

    Truth hurts doesn't it Captain? Who was it that said 1000 Arab lives was not worth a fingernail of a Jew?

    Yes I often wonder how Ant tolerates your bile. But tolerance is somethign you coudl learn.

  • Captain,

    Apologies for my tardy reply. I can confirm that initially, The Jews for Jesus shopfront was regularly being egged, I've seen the disheartened sales folks cleaning up the mess the next day and chatted with them about it. This was also reported in the local newspaper The Bondi View.

  • Addamo_01

    Gotta love that upstanding example of religious tolerance.

    Bondi should have pictures of that made into postcards to send to Israelis. Come to Bondi and enjoy a little piece of Israel.

  • Suze

    This was deliberately worded this way to make it a contentious issue so that Israel could maintain that it will return “territories occupied” subject to negotiation. So as long as negotiations fail (ie. no partner for peace) Israel can maintain it’s presence, at least that’s their rationale

    You've got to think that this is what is happening with the current UN resloution- somehow Israel wants to maintain a claim over the Litani River, but Lebanon is not having it.

  • Oh yeah, there was a rock through the window as well.

  • Suze

    Andrew- was it you who was involved in a committee for truth in reporting of Middle East? Is there any organization that conducts letter campaigns to counter media bias in Australia? It would be good to have something systematic, so that whenever an outlet publishes untrue or misleading info, or fails to report things that are true but uncomfortable (eg Gaza on a daily basis) they get a barrage of letters.

  • Hi Suze,

    I am a recipient of emails from ACTME, the Australian Committee for Truth in the Middle East. They do a mail out to 100 media and political contacts. You can check out some of their work on the latest Media Watch program (transcripts available on the web, sorry you'll have to Google that). Feel free to get in touch with them and get on their mailing list: "ACTME"

    Yes, I agree that something needs to be done on this front. When you have operations like GIYUS.org using specially designed so-called megaphone software to alert their subscribers to online discussions they can influence, news organisations they can complain to en masse, etc, well, the rest of us need to speak up too. It's kinda fun responding to provocateurs like Captain and VivaPeace, but it arguably doesn't make any difference to the bigger picture.

  • Sorry Suze,

    I need to learn how to post an email address (don't include the arrows at either end I think)

    Contact ACTME at: actme@bigpond.net.au

  • Waled Siniel

    A big problem in my experience is that so much criticism of Israel is automatically branded anti-semetic. No rational debate is permissible as long as this automatic trump card is applied yet underlying arguments are ignored. To be called an anti-semite is the ultimate smear and it is unacceptable. Only when Jews accept that not all criticism of Israel is anti-semetic can a proper debate be held. Not accepting this truth casts doubt on the entire Zionist argument. You have clearly suffered this fate Antony.

    I really feel sorry for you as a result. Sorry that you have been bullied and sorry you've clearly been ostracised by those in your own community for your beliefs.

    Australia is a tolerant place as we all know, however a big part of this is tolerance of debate, even if you totally disagree with the argument.

    Crying "anti-Semite" helps nobody. Usually, the response to an argument is a counter-argument. Not an automatic catcall. This is my first post to this blog, sorry if it's a bit long 🙂

  • M.Mayes

    See I am glad you brought up the loose wording of UNSC 242 Addamo because that allows us to bring up the fact that Israel is the one being IMMORAL here by using such loopholes to their advantage.

    Captain or viva or someone, Please tell me again how Israel wants nothing but peace.

  • viva peace

    M.Mayes

    We are all dying to hear you expand on your "analysis" of 242.