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.

Murdoch’s Middle East story

Following my revelations yesterday that Murdoch’s Australian isn’t too keen on robust debate regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict (and censored my commissioned article on Jimmy Carter’s book), Crikey today features some predictable responses:

Nick Cater, The Australian’s Deputy Editor (Weekend), writes: Re. “The debate The Oz doesn’t want to have” (yesterday, item 4). Antony Loewenstein is correct to point out that the debate triggered by Jimmy Carter’s latest book is an important topic which has been overlooked by every newspaper in Australia except The Australian. But Antony is incorrect to suggest that his voice is being silenced. The Australian’s opinion pages under Tom Switzer’s stewardship provide a forum for rigorous and intelligent debate. The number of pieces submitted each day far exceed the space available ensuring healthy competition among contributors. We set the bar high and on this occasion Antony’s piece failed to clear it. I also part company with Antony on his assessment of Geoff Elliott’s piece on the Carter debate in The Weekend Australian’s Inquirer section (January 27/28). Elliott captured the essence of the Carter controversy – the use of the word apartheid in the context of modern Israel – in a fair and balanced feature. The Australian encourages open and frank discussion of the Zionist issue and it would be false to claim we only cover one side of the debate. We ran two of Antony’s pieces after the publication of his book last year together with an extensive review. We were the first newspaper in Australia to pick up on the London Review of Books essay “The Israel Lobby” by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. We ran a number of comment pieces and an extensive extract from the book itself. More recently we ran Elizabeth Wynhausen’s piece assessing the influence of the Jewish lobby in Australia. The Australian’s decision to post a senior correspondent to Jerusalem shows our commitment to informed coverage of Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs. The debate over the issues raised by Carter and others will continue in The Australian.

Sharon Lapkin writes: Re. “The debate the Oz doesn’t want to have” (yesterday, item 4). So, here he goes again. Antony Loewenstein complains yet again that the Jewish lobby is gagging him. Despite being commissioned by MUP to write a book and appearing on numerous radio and television shows (and yes, in Crikey regularly) he continues to claim that he is discriminated against because of his anti-Zionist views. From where I sit, I see him being given a soapbox to promote both his book and his views on many, many occasions in many different modes. Could it be that The Australian simply didn’t consider his work up to par? He claims that it published his opinion pieces three times in 2006 and yet he cries foul now because it didn’t publish something else he wrote. It’s time Loewenstein understood that freelance journalists don’t get every piece they write published. Sometimes editors change their minds and sometimes they don’t like what journalists produce. To point his finger at the Jewish lobby every time the newspapers don’t publish his work is a reflection on his own inability to take the criticisms and rejections on the chin like a professional. It really is time Mr Loewenstein stopped throwing tantrums (and knives) every time someone doesn’t publish or approve of his work.

Lapkin’s comment is about as relevant as her name-sake’s rants (perhaps they breed these figures in an IDF torture chamber.)

Cater’s response appears pretty reasonable but completely ignores the issue. To claim that my Carter article “failed to clear” the high standards set by the Australian is hilarious, and patently untrue. Sources inside the paper tell me so. Also, Crikey inadvertently omitted a key passage from yesterday’s column:

I had my suspicions [why the article was censored], including the fact that I had slammed Cater’s partner, Rebecca Weisser, for her series of factually inaccurate pieces in late 2006 about alleged anti-Israel bias at Macquarie University.

The bottom line is this: every paper has a right to determine what appears in its pages, but once an article is commissioned, and spurious reasons are given for its removal (especially on a subject like Israel/Palestine), we know the real agenda at work. The Australian has often presented viewpoints on the Zionist lobby that no other local paper has touched, and for this it should be commended. But if it wants to be taken seriously (which is difficult, as it still defends the Iraq war, as it supported Indonesia’s Suharto all those years ago), ignoring the gross human rights abuses of Israeli oppression merely contributes to greater hatred of the West.

10 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Carter is full of shit.

    First, he ignores that the piece was commissioned. And ff indeed, the issue of space is legitimate, then why are they commissioning more pieces then they require?

  • Addamo

    This is such a common theme among Israel's amen corner, When they don't like a piece or what someone has to say, they don;t address the argument, but simple accuse their target of poor scholarship.

    They did it with M&S, dismissing the entire theses over some small issue, and subsequently insist that all other issues raised do not deserve attention. In the Case of Kimmy Carter's book, Desrchowitz and Horowitz dismissed the book a piece of plagiarism (amusing coming from plagiarist extraordinaire Desrchowitz).

    When Carter said he would correct one passage during this Brandeis speech, Desrchowitz was left with little to rebut and admitted that he was otherwise in agreement with Carter. So Desrchowitz was dismissing Cater's whole book on the grounds of poor scholarship, when in fact, he only had a problem with the wording of one paragraph.

    This just goes to illustrate how empty and shallow the critics are.

  • Carter is full of shit.

    I think you mean Cater?

    Carter said he would correct one passage…

    It wasn't the passage about "Jewish-only roads" was it? LOL – coz I know that one caused a stir!

    Personally, I often sense there is an undeclared war raging in newsrooms around the world (WaPo and NYT are the most obvious examples). One day perhaps we will learn what really goes on in these places. For example, why does the normally-decent SMH still publish crap by Gerard Henderson? Is it just for revenue, and if so, who is paying them? Do they think the public enjoy such manafuctured "debate"? Is this their idea of being "balanced"? Or is it a pay-off to unseen political pressures?

    For example, anyone else notice how ABC or SBS News frequently follows up an evening of stories that are highly critical of the Bush or Howard governments with some much softer stories the next night? Is this self-censorship, self-preservation, or darker forces at work?

    I hope to see Antony's piece published by a more reputable news outlet. And I hope this sort of controversy only serves to generate even more interest in this important issue.

    PS: I was very disappointed when Tim Dunlop was lured into a news.ltd blog and I have reached a point where I will not even click on a story from The Australian if it is available elsewhere (and even if it isn't, mostly). The argument for a complete boycott of the Murdoch empire deserves serious consideration.

  • PPS:

    Elliott captured the essence of the Carter controversy … in a fair and balanced feature.

    You have to wonder if he was laughing as he wrote that. These journos are a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY cynical bunch.

    The Australian’s decision to post a senior correspondent to Jerusalem shows our commitment to informed coverage of Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs.

    Sure, and Bush's appointment of John Bolton to the UN showed the USA's commitment to international law.

    So, here he goes again…

    I think she stole that line from Bush 41.

  • Sorry, it was of course Reagan, that other God of right-wing thinking.

  • viva peace

    Ant

    Perhaps it is your basic misunderstanding of the conflict. You know, your belief that the Pals have a "right" of return, that Israel is required to move back to the 1949 Green Line and all your other fantasies?

  • viva peace

    In fact Carter's lie about history, law, and even his own meetings are an absolute disgrace.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    In fact Carter’s lie about history, law, and even his own meetings are an absolute disgrace.

    Funny, we keep hearing about all these lies, plagiarism and mistakes in Carter's book, yet none of his critics have actually been able to list what they are.

    Like Norman Finkelstein illustrated in a recent speech, when confronted with obvious but incovenient truth, Zionists love to perpetuate the myth that the issues surrounding the Palestine/Israeli conflict are more complicated than they really are.

    You know, your belief that the Pals have a “right” of return, that Israel is required to move back to the 1949 Green Line and all your other fantasies?

    Welcome to the Orwellian world of the fundamentalist Zionist, who's essential argument comes down to the notion that Israel's existence is incumbent upon Israel being able to perpetrate human rights abuses and flout international law.

  • melanie

    I'm not sure if 'viva peace' realizes the extent to which Israel's existence is utterly dependent on US foreign policy. I think that unless the Israelis can overcome their deep racism, their well-armed and basically hideous little state is doomed.

  • Weisser's articles are factually inaccurate and poorly written – but they will always be published in the Australian because she sleeps with the Editor. Simple as that.