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.

Increasing the risk

The Arab world is changing and Israel has a big problem:

Egypt’s best-known democracy movement has switched causes and is now focused on demanding an end to the country’s peace treaty with Israel.

The campaign by the Kifaya group is a sign of how the war in Lebanon knocked momentum from democracy efforts and left many reform activists deeply resentful of the United States.

Over the past two years, Washington has made promoting democracy a key part of its Middle East policy. But now reformists accuse Washington of supporting Israel in its offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas, which wreaked widespread destruction in Lebanon. 

Despite these changes, the Western media continues to live with its own delusions.

  • It certainly demonstrates the counter-productiveness of much US policy in the ME.

    Allowing (or encouraging) further conflict in the ME restricts the options of many such domestic incipient democratic movements. While championing the rhetoric of peace in the ME, this is a great example of the polar opposite being achieved in practice.

    How can democratic vioces in Arab countries advocate peaceful co-existence with Israel when it is busy demolishing another country? If they were to, they would just guarentee their own marginalisation and discredit the entire notion.

    Do the policy hawks really misunderstand democracy so completely, or are they just complete frauds? (I suspect it's both).

  • When thinking about democratic movements in Egypt, such as Kifaya, it is important to consider such a group as a social construction, not as a rsult of U.S foreign policy implementation, which is what I believe people do when juxtaposing such movements with U.S policy in the region. These people are not that fickle.
    So when Kifaya starts to direct its energies on a reneging of the Israel/Egypt peace treaty than this is an attempt at populism, almost fundamental-like in its approach, and I find it difficult to believe that it is this, the Israeli/Egypt peace treaty that's keeping everyone in Egypt on the edge of their seats.
    Overall, my point here is how can we expect that Egyptians will think of a reneging on the peace treaty as a greater success than obtaining freer elections, that is of course if this focus on the peace treaty is meant to be a critique of Israel's supposed democracy.
    So, generally what i'd like to pint out here, as over-simplified as it is, is just how negative violent incursions in the region can be. An extremist groups (Hizbollah) profile has been lifted and we can see how this reconfigures or distorts discourse and refigurates conventional /traditional dicursive powers that groups such as Kifaya initially were trying to overcome. Now it shows that they have not only been marginalised further by the Egyptian establishment but by Hizbollah's actions aswell.
    Sorry if these points are quite muddled, but i'm really up for ideas on this so let me know…

  • Adam

    Israel has a big problem, a problem for the west and for them selves which is growing and gearing momentum. This problem is good news for the ME and a problem which Israel brought upon them selves. Democracy in the ME is never going to work if it does then it wont be any better than the current democracy in Iraq.

  • Jonathon, of course their existence isn't a result of US foriegn policy, but the reality of the social siutuation is that the ME conflict does keep people on the edge of their seats.

    For many people in the ME, this is the single greatest example of the perfidy of the 'West' and their own governments. Worse, it discredits 'democracy' in the eyes of many – 'this is what democracies do? No thanks.'

    It's almost inevitiable that any group espouising democracy in the ME will latch onto the Israel-Palestine conflict as a 'hot-button' issue. How can it be otherwise, when their autocratic governments adopt positions that are contrary to the view of the populace.

    Championing a reversal of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty and advocating free elections are part of the same strategy. It isn't meant as a critique of Israels democracy, but is a very loud and pointed critique of the lack of Egyptian democracy.

  • Michael,
    my point, though I didn't express veryt well, was with Iranian imperialism and how it is possibly marginalising such groups as Kifaya. Kifaya has had ample opportunities in the past to lodge protests on the Israel/Egypt peace treaty, if that's what the purpose of this is supposed to be.

  • I think it was the Lebanon conflict more than Iranian imperialism that did the trick.