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.

The roadshow continues

As I travel around the country talking about My Israel Question, Middle East politics and Zionism, my latest stop last weekend was Adelaide. The Sunday Mail reports:

A heckler who ranted that the holocaust never happened failed to disrupt a lecture by journalist and author Antony Loewenstein in Adelaide yesterday.

Mr Loewenstein, in town to talk about his controversial book My Israel Question – which tackles Israel’s occupation of Palestine – was harangued by a man who said the gassing of Jews during World War II never happened.

The 50-strong audience [editor: for the record, the crowd was at least 120 people] at the Rendevous Allegra Hotel shouted the man down.

In his speech Mr Loewenstein told the audience that Israel would cease to exist unless it develop stronger ties to the Arab world.

He was also critical of the media in Australia for not providing an Arab voice.

It was a wonderful event – and this was after giving many interviews to South Australian media and lecturing at the University of Adelaide – despite the lone, ranting individual in the corner. I was humbled by the hundreds of individuals, from a diverse range of backgrounds, who wanted to hear and discuss the Middle East conflict.

It was a strange feeling, as an Australian Jew, for many members of the Lebanese, Muslim community in Adelaide (including some Druze) to say I gave them a voice in the current, toxic, media environment where discussing Arabs, Palestine and Israeli policies is almost taboo. I was very happy to receive the praise, but also wondered about the young, articulate Lebanese people sadly absent from our media landscape.

What strikes me as I travel around the nation is the ability of the Israel/Palestine issue to cross all religious, ethnic, environmental and political lines. This affects the young and old, devout and atheist, Australian and overseas-born. The status-quo no longer works and the political and media elite ignores this at its peril.

  • Paul Walter

    Fascinating, that book launch!

    Am not an intellectual and this was the first occasion of this sort I can remember attending, although I recall hearing a bitter attack by exiled journalist Margo Kingston on the mess that is mass-media in this country; sentiments reiterated by Loewenstein.

    So, a small gathering of people open-minded enough to meet our later-day Niemoller and each other, and anticipate and hear an informed "take" on mid eastern affairs, had turned up.

    I felt a bit sorry for Tony, who I met for the first time, in his efforts at consciousness-raising, when a city of a million and a quarter people could only provide a hundred people or so for a virtual discussion concerning this most pivotal of issues.

    After observing and meeting some of the vivacious, dignified Levantine people who had organised much of the thing and who turned up often replete with anecdotes of life in the modern Middle-East, I feel we can start thinking of not only the vast and needless loss of life of Middle-Easterners of various types, but the jeopardising of the soul- the very soul- of the West and Westerners.

    I went a way with the distinct impression that the people I was privileged to meet are the modern day inheritors of the quiet, strong spirit once possessed by the pitiful, heroic Auschwitz victims or, say, British endurers of the Blitz of 1941.

    So, where has the ignorant spirit of fascism also migrated? Sad and disturbing, isn't it, if you have reached my conclusions.

    There were, of course, two issues at stake as far as the launch itself was concerned. First and formost a gathering of willing free-spirits were confronted with a metaphorical elephant in the room – the stupefying realisation of the scope of the shameful realities of the prolonged middle-eastern disaster.

    The issue travelling parallel was the sense of embarrassment and shame felt by Anglo-Irish and Jewish Australian citizens living in this privileged little oasis of ours, inexperienced as to the grim realities of a lonely, agony ridden and turbulent world beyond our safe, sandy shores, but uneasily complicit in our comfort.

    What worries me is; that once upon a time, Jews, free-thinkers and so many otherinnocent people in pre-Hitlerite/Stalinist Europe felt this comfortable. Two hundred years ago free Australians indigenes felt, no doubt, a timeless comfort (compared to today). And more recently Israelis and even more so; Lebanese, Iraqis and Palestinians, remember the lost, lazy glow of an Australian sort of sunshine.

    What can this augur for those sunbaking or playing a leisurely round of deck-tennis (with beer and pretzels!) aboard a modern-day "Ship of Fools"?

  • Paul Walter

    Back again!

    Just had an epiphany of sorts catching up on some reading elsewhere; in this case a tale of educative value offered in the weekend "Age" from the pen of Terry Lane. Encompasses every thing the book launch was about, good and bad; positive and negative.

    Told of the friendship between the seminal thinker Edward Said and Israeli virtuoso and maestro Daniel Barenboim and their attempt to build bridges, in the form of a youth orchestra including all nationalities from the region.

    Naturally, both received (understandable)criticism from Arabs as well as some abuse from more chauvinist Israelis, but the project continues.

  • Leo Buddha

    Naturally, both received (understandable)criticism from Arabs as well as some abuse from more chauvinist Israelis, but the project continues

    So it should. Nurturing peaceful coexistance is the aim. That is not what "The Ant" and his patronising patrons do.