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.

Explain, expand, refute

The “war on terror” is a hoax.

Here’s why.

  • The War on Terrorism is the greatest scandal of modern times. Perhaps only rivalled in magnitude by the Cold War. The myth in both instances was of impending disaster at the hands of some invisible and decrepid outsider. The reality is that both wars were and are an excuse for the most powerful empire in human history, and its stragglers on, to continue in its push for violent domination of the planet.

    I'm currently in Pakistan where I'm told that large tracts of Baluchistan have been handed over to the Americans who have a giant airbase outside Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan. An American (I think a contractor, but I don't know that for certain) explain to a friend that the Americans were planning to build a giant compound for their people. A replica American town in the middle of tribal Pakistan.

    The Yanks are returning to old school imperial methods.

  • Bedhouin

    I'm glad that more journalists and academics are bucking conventional trends and are actually reporting truthfully for once. Hopefully other media organisations begin to understand that there are two sides to every story.

  • Addamo_01

    The recent 911 documentary is a real eye opener in terms of Pakistan's role in spiriting the Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan via a massive air lift, which much have been done with US agreement and approval.

    Go to Google Video and search of Press for Truth 911. Packed with incredible information all from the MSM, but which was often reported on the back pages.

    Anyway, it makes a complete mockery of the war on terror. Bush said that those who aided and sheltered terrorists would be treated no differently to the terrorists themselves. The head fo Pakistan intel (ISI), Mahmoud Ahmed, ordered US$100,000 to be wired to Atta prior to the attack, and Pakistan has aided and abtetted Al Qaeda , including training them from the beginning, yet Pakistan remains a US ally in the war on terror.

    Absolutely Orwellian.

  • boredinHK

    Iqbal and addamo-1,

    We keep coming back to Pakistan don't we.

    Any chance of cross posting your blog here Iqbal?

    I think Burchill is sadly underwhelming and frankly a plodder at analysis. Let's hear from Pakistan please.

  • Addamo

    Yes I would be interested to hear your take on this Iqbal, from someone who's eyes are on the ground.

    Of course, my post wasn't about marginalising Pakistan per se, anymore than I woudl marginalise Australians for the policies of Howard. Spiriting these apprently high value targets out of Afghanistan clearly would not have taken palce were it not for US interests as well as those of the Pakistani leadership, but one has to wonder, what exactly is taking place behind the facade? Who are these high value prisoners who are being held in secret prisons when the really big fish are being protected on all sides?

  • JohD

    Are we feeling safer yet? I don't know about you, but I feel as safe as I did anytime before 9/11. Some can argue that the West is now more prone to attack because of the WOT, and I suppose a case can be made. What is certain however, is the fact that a few hundred million Muslims face an uncertain future, with extreme violence against them and their societies more likely. The threat for them is real, and amplified daily by the Western Elite. Seems to me that they need a WOT more than we do; a reality that will not go unnoticed for long.

    Expect that Mainstream Muslim societies are now, or soon will be, making contingency plans to fight the 'Clash of Civilizations' war so beloved by western secular fundamentalist. For them, the Clash of Civilizations has by now become imperative. The alternative must seem ghastly indeed.

  • I'm not entirely sure if I'm qualified to provide detailed comment, let alone what I'm expected to comment on.

    These are complex times, not everything is thought through. Which is to say that the powerful are involved in some criminal conspiracies. The very well timed discovery by Pakistani officials of Al Qaeda's latest number two man is a good example of this. Such discoveries usualy proceed pressure from the West to democratise or deliver the goods in the war on terror.

    But most of the time I don't think there is much of a conspiracy. Just the more usual vagaries of criminal incompetence. Leaders from Australia to Pakistan know as well as many of us that the War on Terrorism is very much a sham. That is not to say they don't have a genuine belief that such a war has to be fought, but that is a separate thing.

    There are vast degrees of hypocrisy – yes, Pakistan has and continues to fund groups which either were the Taliban or were sympathetic to them or Al Qaeda. I'm certain the ruling class (mainly Musharraf, with US backing) feels it has to work a tight rope. There is the reality of state-sponsored terrorism of which Pakistan is a practitioner (alongside pretty much every nation with imperial ambitions – US, Iran, even Israel with its support of some Kurdish factions in Iraq and collaborators in occupied Palestine). Even if the powers that be wanted to remove the infrastructure entirely, they probably fear that if they push too much it will provide a pretext for those within the establishment to get rid of them. Remember that some of these groups are still considered holy warriors by some in Pakistan. people with guns, some of them with uniforms on.

    None of this should bear justification for what has been done in the name of the War on Terrorism. This war is a sham. If anything the world is less safe, the blood is mostly on our (the West's hands).


    PS – for the record I'm an Australian Pakistani so please don't think I'm an Ahmed Rashid type of expert on the region. But yes, speaking of which, for those after more info on the region google Ahmed Rashid's name. Probably the best source. Certainly of all journalists, he has the best contacts within the ex-Taliban.

  • Addamo_01


    Never fear. Your presence in Pakistan only makes you better informed, not an expert or even a fanatic. It's always interesting to hear what the locals are discussing.

    Musarraf only today made a very belicose (but true) statement – that the US is resposible for extremism in the ME. I wonder if he got an irate phone call from Washington yet.