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.

Bong sales down in Haifa

Israel is fighting a ruthless enemy, so we’re told. Sacrifice is required. Step forward:

Young Israeli activists are fighting back against Hezbollah — with a boycott on smoking hash.

Hashish, or oil resin from marijuana plants, is one of the primary recreational drugs available in Israel. It’s smoked in much the same way that marijuana is, and because the marijuana available in Israel is generally of a low quality, hashish is the preferred choice of most of the country’s pot smokers.

And it’s being smuggled in by Hezbollah.

“A Persian-backed terrorist organization is the primary supplier of hashish to the Israeli market today,” activist and Jerusalem resident Dan Sieradski said on his blog, “And this is why, with a heavy heart, I am officially boycotting hashish, effective immediately.” 

It’s hard to underestimate the possible consequences of reduced pot smoking on the Israeli psyche.

The war is now lost.

  • Ros

    Give Hizbollah their due. They are one of the major refiners and distributors of hashish and heroin to the world.

    An acknowledgement that Hizbollah is a major criminal organisation. Wow. Assume the good ‘ol boys in Syria are still getting their cut.

    Off topic but very interesting article in Haaretz from Imad Shakur, Fatah Revolutionary Council.

    “If Israel had been an "army that has a country," as is often said, it would have ceased to exist. Now it has been proved beyond doubt that Israel is a country that has an army. And this army can achieve victory, or suffer defeat. The country will know how to celebrate a victory, just as it will know to grieve a defeat. In both cases, it will carry on living, kicking, marching on. This is the first and most important lesson this unfinished war has to offer. But it is not the only one…..

    The objective truth is the strength and existence of the Palestinian people, who agreed to the formula of two states for two peoples, since that is the beginning of the formula. It ends with real sustainable peace”

    Leaves me feeling very hopeful that this misery for all can have an end.

  • Addamo_01

    Interesting post Ros,

    Let's hope that the optimism in indeed realised.

    I don't want to see harm come to Israel, but in a way, I agree that a failure of this deranged incursion into Lebanon would be a healthy lesson in humility for Israel.

  • orang

    Overheard in a Tel Aviv hash house;

    "Do you care?"


    "Do you care?

    'About what!?'

    "About the decline of the Israeli Empire…"

    'Phhhhffuck it'

  • Suze

    Over at Haaretz there's an article about Northerners selling their Katyusha fragments on Ebay. If Catch 22 were written this year how much weirder would it be?

  • JohD

    Little comment on this site about the reality that Israel is in deep shit – not only the smoking kind.

    Seems like sixteen Hezbollah fighters in Bint Jbail fought of a battalion of IDF Giladi stormtroopers. I may be wrong about the sixteen, it could have been three or four. Now Israel is desperate for a UN imposed ceasefire to save them from their incompetence.

    Starting their offensive ofence, Israel declared that their aim was to get back their captured baykillers, and destroy Hezbollah as a (terrorist) organization. They did not want any damn international force there getting in the way.

    Now, they will settle for the IDF being allowed to escape Lebanon in one piece – if Hezbollah will allow it.

    Hell, 10,000 captured Israeli legionaries should lave significant credits after all Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian hostages are released, the Sheeba Farms returned, the Golan Heights evacuated, the seige on Gaza lifted, the return of the refugees … hell they might as well go the whole hog and demand the dismantling of the entire Zionist project. It's getting so that a whole lot of people will be dissapointed if they didn't.

    I am also noticing that people are not paying much attention to the Zioluded commentators on blogs anymore. Not only are they appalled, yes, appalled that their adversaries dare to be armed and dangerous, command respect beyond their wildest expectations, but that they also have a functioning and effective propaganda department. Wonders will never cease. The terrorist *gasp* control the media!

    The scene is set, cameras are rolling, and Salahadin (Nazrallah), is about to give the crusaders a face saving way out; they can keep their weapons, but they will have to walk. One chortles at the prospect of Settler warriors, laden down with the precision guided munitions, straggling through the desert to the sea.

    Wait! We need a demonstration of courage first, like fighting your adversary to a standstill, before the need arises for a magnaminous gesture like that. What the heck, why can't Nazrallah go one better than Salahadin? The Israelis did, after all the bluster, turn him into a folk hero.