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.

Rightness has a middle name

While Israel talks tough against Iran (praying, hoping and knowing that the Bush administration is as demented and militarily clueless as themselves), former Australian ambassador to Israel, Ross Burns, demands a new approach to Middle East affairs. Speaking to the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Muslim States and Societies, he simply argues that one-sided support for Israel is resulting in ever-growing hatred of the West and the Jewish state.

Israel and its blind supporters (and the Howard government is part of the problem) seem to believe that the strength of the US superpower will sustain Israel indefinitely. They’re wrong. Israel’s future lies with closer ties to the Arab world. The numbers game ensures that.

Suffice to say, Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has responded to Burns in his typical petulant way (well, it’s Murdoch’s Australian, but it’s hard to tell the difference these days.)

And speaking of Zionist irrelevance, look no further than here.

  • M.Mayes

    "not quite ready to sit at the grown-ups table yet"

    given that he is referring to Burns' "undistinguished" political career, I'd say I would much rather Mr Burns in Downer's position considering how "the grown-ups" behave during question time.

    In relation to Lapkin, he once again proves that his intellectuality is mostly spent as excrement. Once again arguing that someone with sympathy for Palestine does not give fair coverage to Israeli victims…

    I dont know about you guys but I cant remember ANYTHING Lapkin has written giving sympathy to the Palestinians… so why exactly should Mr Burnside's speech to NSW parliament have included Israeli sympathy!

  • Addamo_01

    That's the whole point.

    Israel's amen corner insists that sympathy for Israel (that term is beginning to sound like chalk on a blackboard isn't it?) means anymosity towards the Palestianians. It is a false choice, but the only choice the Zionists will ever offer.

  • Jon

    The Australian's attack on Mr Burns reminds me of the same overexaggerated response of Mr Lapkin. The Australian editorial continues to amaze me – the leader of a newspaper is generally considered and moderate – the Australian, outside the US, must have one of the most stridently right wing editorials I've ever read.

    If Israel's friends are a bunch of neo-cons, right wing newspaper columnists and christian evangelists, that's something not to be proud of.

  • How typical of that lickspittle Downer to tip a bucket of manure on anybody who doesn't toe the government line. In this case on Israel, but the Howard government has regularly shown itself to be an equal opportunity bully (just ask the likes of Andrew Wilke). Is this what it has come to in Australlia? Our suspender clad clown starts off and finishes his piece by waving the Hitler bogeyman around. Has he no shame? He may as well have dispensed with all subtlety and just come out with something like this: the Jews are still the poor, defenceless Jews, facing extinction at any moment, who we need to protect by any means necessary, but the Arabs are the new Nazis. They should be brutally put in their place, my word. Their supporters, well, aren't they, at best, a deluded lot? In between HItler references, he utterly rubbishes Burns, presumably a respected ex-ambassador to Israel, with ad hominem arguements. A Churchhill quote to finish off with, what's more. He could also have mentioned Churchill's displeasure with the squeamishness of some in his government about using poison gas on Arabs (the Iraqis I believe), but in the present climate such a comment might be seen not as irony, but as a pretty good idea. Just substitute Iranians for Iraqis…

  • Er whoops, maybe I've had one too many coffees today, but I thought Downer had written that lovely editorial in the Australian today. It had all the hallmarks of a Downer rave! Um, substitute lickspittle Downer for lickspittle editor please!

  • smiths

    i saw julian burnside talk the other night in perth about refugee issues, and the erosion of law in australia,
    brilliant he was,
    his crime, like most of our crimes, is that we see a big bully picking on someone defenceless and we point it out or try to help them,
    his greatness is that unlike most of his moronic detractors, he knows the law, he knows and understands history and he seems to have an incredible reserve of energy and hope,

    good on you ross burns, your credentials look pretty good to me,

    and good on you julian burnside

  • smiths

    actually its just occurred to me, belatedly i know, that ted lapkin probably reads this blog and maybe even secretly comments sometimes,

    so ted, if you're reading,

    you are a loony, your world view is bullshit,
    you dont contribute anything positive on this planet,
    you are an obsticle to genuine forward movement,

    ditto to the editor of the australian although to the editor i would add you are evil and culpable for the death and destruction that you're ilk encourage

  • Folks, if you are not happy with the Australian's editorial PLEASE LET THEM KNOW. Then cancel your subscription and tell your friends to cancel theirs. Money talks, and it is the only language these people understand.

  • smiths

    what subscription?

    gandhi, honestly its a marvelous gesture, but really, in the last twenty years what have gestures like that acheived,
    the australian doesnt need to make profit, hell idont reckon it even needs to cover costs,
    its a propoganda machine, pure and simple,
    the foreign editor almost certainly works for the american security services,
    so i say

    go to the offices and shove the weekend edition in the editors mouth

  • Ted Lapkin takes Julian Burnside to task on the Palestine/Israel saga, but I am not aware of Lapkin ever doing anything in Australia to assist causes which are unpopular, as Julian Burnside has over asylum seekers and refugees. Ted Lapkin lives in Australia – NOT in Israel. If the poor Israelis are in such dire straits, he should move there immediately and help them out.

    Does Lapkin say anything about the fact that Israel occupies land to which it has no right and oppresses the occupants of that land? Does Lapkin notice that Israel is building an apartheid wall around the West Bank so that it becomes a large concentration camp? Does Lapkin notice anything other than Israel?

    Lapkin, Downer, the Australian (Murdoch, if you prefer) and all their supporters are but puppets of the USA, and assist Israel do the bidding of their master, the USA.

    More and more people around the world are beginning to see and understand the bullying tactics employed by the super-power and its lackies, but their glory days will not last forever, and their power will come to an end sooner rather than later!

  • orang

    "Mr Burns is suggesting Australia turn its back on a Kadima government that was created and elected on the promise of land for peace and the handing back of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. Israel's hawks, including Ariel Sharon, had all accepted the need for peace with the Palestinians."

    Who is this fucking snot gobbling maggot? Ok, Ok he thinks that everyone is an idiot ..

    "land for peace"….??

    Do you think he/they actually believe this shit?

    No, they're rolling about the floor kicking their little deformed feet up in the air as they publish this trash.

    Hey, shithead, I don't think anyone is listening to this anymore.

    They are listening to; Hezbollah kicked your ARSE HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
    Stick thaty up your fuckin' pipe and smoke it !!

  • smiths

    "the foreign editor almost certainly works for the american security services"

    I've consulted some in those services and they are professionally offended. They tell my Murdoch, The Australian, and its foreign editor, actually work for the US Republican Party and Likud.

    BTW – Strong rumours are that Howard/Downer have not, in fact, pulled back from an Australian commitment to Lebanon. A small niche Australian force is being organised.

    It will be announced once the increase in the French component for the UN force (proxies for the IDF) actually makes this UN Force viable. Australian casualties are expected (with a likelihood higher than usual). We'll see.


  • Addamo_01

    Lapkin is srugggling not onyl with the fact that Israel lost, but that Israel have mannaged the doubel wammy of losing and also comming out of the war looking like guttless, vicious lying bullies.

    Amnesty Intermational and Human Right's Watch have unanimously accused Israel of war crimes and Israel's amen corner are frantically kicking up as much dust and mud in order to hide their tarcks.

    They are panicking because no one believes their bullshit anymore. The bill from the war is wayy higher than they had hoped and as most significantly, as Gilad Atzmo points out tin this article, Israel are scared that this pathetic effort in Lebanon may hurt their standing with the US.

  • I have reliable information that Ted Lapkin is not allowed to eat for three days before every TV or radio interview. This explains a great deal.

  • Ross Burns has his (very polite) reply published in the Australian today:

    YOUR editorial switches immediately to the ad hominem approach to counter my views on Israel’s unwise actions in Lebanon. (Actions, incidentally, also questioned by two of your staff columnists).

    It might be wiser, though, to check your sources on the assertion that I “have no experience in Southeast Asia”. I have served in both Bangkok and Port Moresby and have headed two of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Southeast Asian sections in the course of my career.
    Ross Burns
    (address supplied)

  • Glenn Condell

    'actually its just occurred to me, belatedly i know, that ted lapkin probably reads this blog and maybe even secretly comments sometimes,'

    I believe Lapkin put himself about for a while as a Likudnik blog troll called 'voice of sanity'. I used to eencounter him at Gary Sauer-Thompson's Public Opinion blog and occasionally at Tim Dunlop's Surfdom. He had an IDF background and cheerfully extreme views. He neither conformed nor denied my contention he was Lapkin.

    Ross Burns is the latest in a line of Australian public servants who have shown it is possible under this authoritarian governement to retain your decency and independence. Scrafton, Wilkie, Lance Collins – we are all in your debt, which is probably cold comfort given the Siberian career prospects your courage has bequeathed you.

    'If the poor Israelis are in such dire straits, he should move there immediately and help them out.'

    Spot on Mannie. When all of a sudden our lazy and cowardly American-led support of Israel has us four square behind an atrocity like Lebanon, it is time to drop the phony politeness about dual loyalties. Those who condemn our children to retribution from the victims of such war crimes, thanks to an ascendant commitment to another sovereign nation, should start considering moving to live in that nation. They are as unwelcome here as jihad-spouting imams.

    Agree too about Burnside, who has done sterling work on other fronts where this government is trying to undo years of a bipartisan commitment to fairness and the rule of law – refugees, David Hicks etc. Bless him.

    Why are our best fated never to lead us? Imagine Burnside (or Burns) negotiating a path thru the thickets of ALP patronage and compromise, let alone the power structures and American fealty inherent in the Libs.. it's hard isn't it? Perhaps we're better off with them on the sidelines, where one does have a clearer view of the citadel I suppose.

  • Aaron Lane

    "If the poor Israelis are in such dire straits, he should move there immediately and help them out."

    Let's also demand the extradition of:

    1. Italian-Australians (and their families) who recently voted in Italian elections;

    2. Kosovars who protested during the US bombing campaign a few years back;

    3. Muslims who express concern for their fellow Muslims living overseas

    4. Antony Loewenstein–if he is so concerned about the plight of Palestinians, he should also move there immediately and help them;

    Or is it only Jews you object to?

  • Addamo_01

    Nice effort at conflatino Aaron,

    Stupid examples though, though totalyl expected from a Zionist moonbat.

    1. Italy is not going around attacking other countries for minor broder skirmishes.

    No Italian is demanding that the US send bombs to Italy to drop on those countris.

    Italy is nto some blodo sucking leach that demands more and more aid from other countries.

    2. You idiot. You're own sentence says it all. Kosovars being bombed,. not doing the bombing and demanding world support for doing so.

    3. How many Muslims countries are receinving laser guided bombs and cluster bombs to drop on other countries?

    4. Protesting human rights violatinos does not requrie one to be associated with the nationality fo that country. Is Antony Loewenstein demanding that Palestinians be provided with F-16 fighters and cluster bombs?

    Get a life you moron.

  • M.Mayes

    “i know, that ted lapkin probably reads this blog”

    Mmm true, we had some email correspondence about a month or so ago in which he replied in one email quoting something I said on this site.

    I always wondered why he stopped emailing me… funnily enough though it was around the same time I actually started asking him to give his opinion on some of Israel’s follies over the years… Dont get me wrong though this guy would never impede discussion on israel as he so constantly pointed out to me.