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.

What other voices?

My latest New Matilda column discusses the structural inability of the mainstream press to hold war governments to account:

The Australian’s Foreign Editor, Greg Sheridan, was upset last week after the routing of the Republican Party in the US mid-term elections and the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — followed by news that he, along with others in the Bush cabal, may soon face a war crimes tribunal. ‘There is much tragedy in this,’ he wrote, but assured his readers that nothing much would change in US policy towards Iraq. A few days later, Bush signalled that change would occur soon. For the umpteenth time, Sheridan’s direct line to the White House must have been faulty.

[The Australian’s Editor-at-Large] Paul Kelly told me in July 2006 that, although he opposed the Iraq war in 2003 on ‘strategic’ grounds, critics should be careful not to blame the American intervention for the current chaos. ‘There are risks in mounting that sort of argument … into an excuse or an apology for the present insurgency in terrorism,’ he said. Like his Murdoch colleagues, Kelly seemed incapable of interpreting events outside an ‘us and them’ dichotomy. Was Kelly seriously suggesting that opposing the war on anything other than strategic grounds was giving comfort to terrorists?

My New Matilda archive is here.

2 comments ↪
  • Well, of course, SOME Iraqi voices were heard, but the Western media had an agenda and were rather selective in their quotes.

    Bloggers like the pro-US Fadhil brothers at iragthemodel.blogspot.com were featured in USA Today, Wall Street Journal and other places – they were even invited to the White House to meet with Bush and Wolfowitz!

    Ahmed Chalabi was given whole reams of newspaper space to espouse his views, as were all the other ex-pat Iraqis like ex-CIA-man Allawi and Adnan Pachachi, who Washington favoured to be their puppets.

    The military occupation of Iraq was indeed a "cakewalk" but the occupation proved impossibly difficult. Similarly, the neo-con invasion of the Western press was a cakewalk – now it is time to end their occupation. Unfortunately, many of the major publishing barons are still firmly in the neo-con camp.

  • Ian

    ‘There is much tragedy in this,’ he wrote, but assured his readers that nothing much would change in US policy towards Iraq. A few days later, Bush signalled that change would occur soon. For the umpteenth time, Sheridan’s direct line to the White House must have been faulty.

    I believe Sheridan is closer to the mark on this one, Antony. Bush may be mouthing the right platitudes after the Republican vote meltdown, but construction at the mega bases and the largest embassy in the known Universe continues apace.

    The CoW will eventually be forced to an ignominious retreat, but its unlikely to be during Bush's presidency, (or the Blair and Howard Prime Ministerships). Remember more US and Australian troops and millions of Vietnamese died after Tet than before. This bastardry still has years to run. 🙁