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.

Supporting the dissenters

Zionists like Alan Dershowitz say they believe in free speech, except if it involves those who criticise Israel:

The highly public feud between Norman G. Finkelstein of DePaul University and Harvard Law School’s Alan M. Dershowitz has taken an unusual procedural twist, with Mr. Dershowitz attempting to weigh in on Mr. Finkelstein’s bid for tenure at DePaul.

How Mr. Dershowitz’s move will play out remains to be seen. Mr. Finkelstein’s department supported his tenure bid, but the dean of his college has refused to support him. A final decision is expected next month.

There’s no love lost between Mr. Finkelstein, an assistant professor of political science, and Mr. Dershowitz, a law professor. The two scholars have attacked each other repeatedly in the past few years, hurling accusations of plagiarism and polemicism at one another…

In a telephone interview on Wednesday with The Chronicle, Mr. Dershowitz confirmed that he had sent the information to “everybody who would read it.” He said he had compiled the material at the request of some two dozen DePaul students, alumni, and faculty members who were alarmed at the prospect of Mr. Finkelstein’s receiving tenure.

Asked what he hoped to accomplish, he said, “Revealing the truth — all I’m doing is disclosing the truth.”

Mr. Dershowitz continued, “It would be a disgrace to DePaul University if they were to grant tenure. It would make them the laughing stock of American universities. … His scholarship is no more than ad hominem attacks on his ideological enemies.”

He added, “I think, by every standard, he’s worse than Ward Churchill. … He’s a propagandist, not a scholar.”

Given Mr. Dershowitz’s history of clashes with Mr. Finkelstein, some might conclude that the matter had by now become more personal than professional. Mr. Dershowitz denied that. “For me, it’s not personal. It’s institutional.” He said that Mr. Finkelstein sent “a message to other pro-Israel writers: If you dare write anything scholarly in favor of Israel, I will call you names, I will call you a plagiarist.”

Mr. Dershowitz’s involvement has stirred serious concern among the DePaul faculty.

Gil Gott, a professor of international studies at DePaul who is chairman of its Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Faculty Governance Council, said in an e-mail message on Wednesday that the council had taken up the matter at its November 17, 2006, meeting. (Mr. Gott was not then chair of the council.)

According to the minutes of the session, the council voted unanimously to authorize a letter to DePaul’s president, Dennis H. Holtschneider, and the university’s provost, Helmut P. Epp, along with the president of Harvard University and the dean of Harvard Law school. The letter was to express “the council’s dismay at Professor Dershowitz’s interference in Finkelstein’s tenure and promotion case” and also to explain “that the sanctity of the tenure and promotion process is violated by Professor Dershowitz’s emails.”

The minutes add: “A discussion followed in which members expressed their views that this was a very disturbing intrusion which attacked the sovereignty of an academic institution to govern its own affairs.”

Asked whether it was unusual for a scholar to weigh in on tenure deliberations at another university, Mr. Dershowitz responded, “What’s so unusual about a concerned academic’s objecting to his receiving tenure? He would be the first person in history ever to receive tenure based on no scholarship other than personal attacks.”

Mr. Finkelstein contacted The Chronicle last weekend to discuss his concerns about the status of his case. He said that his department had investigated Mr. Dershowitz’s claims and “concluded that none of the scholarly allegations that Dershowitz leveled against me had any merit.”

But he added: “DePaul is in a growth mode, and they see me as an albatross because they’re getting all this negative publicity because of me. And they want to get rid of me. And now the question is, what’s going to prevail? The principles of fairness, the principles of academic freedom, or power and money in the form of a mailed fist?”

According to Mr. Finkelstein and to departmental reports sent to The Chronicle, his department voted 9 to 3 in favor of granting him tenure, with the majority voicing strong support for his scholarship and giving him high marks for his pedagogy. One of the reports described him as “an outstanding teacher whose contributions to student learning and transformation are impressive.” It concluded that “while not all members of the department share a love of polemic and inflammatory rhetoric as practiced by Norman and his adversaries, there is clearly a substantial and serious record of scholarly production and achievement.”

The College Personnel Committee subsequently voted 5 to 0 in favor of tenure for Mr. Finkelstein. But Charles S. Suchar, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, shot down the recommendation in a March 22, 2007, memo, a copy of which was also obtained by The Chronicle.

In language similar to that used by Mr. Dershowitz, the dean wrote, “I find the personal attacks in many of Dr. Finkelstein’s published books to border on character assassination and, in my opinion, they embody a strategy clearly aimed at destroying the reputation of many who oppose his views.” 

This issue goes to the heart of academic freedom in America. Finkelstein may be a controversial figure, but his work has exposed many examples of Jewish groups attempting to exploit the suffering of the Holocaust and ignoring Israel’s most egregious human rights abuses. Of course, for those who want no dissenting voices heard on the Jewish state, Finkelstein is only one step above Hitler.

Finkelstein should be supported by all of us who believe in robust and healthy debate in a democracy.

23 comments ↪
  • Dershowitless saying

    "His scholarship is no more than ad hominem attacks on his ideological enemies."

    has to be one of the most obvious and ironic PKBs ever.

    This is the same fellow who said of Jimmy Carter:

    He loved Yasser Arafat. He bounces his baby on his knees. He loved Assad, a dictator who killed 10,000 of his own people, and he couldn`t stand Golda Meir. And he lectures Golda Meir, saying Israel isn`t religious enough. It should be more religious. Imagine how critical he`d be if Israel were more religious?
    He can`t stand Begin. There are two or three Israelis he likes, Israelis who agree with him. But he seems to love every Palestinian, every Arab. He doesn`t have it in his heart to condemn Hamas. He thinks Hamas would really recognize Israel eventually. He sees the bad and the worst in everything America does and everything Israel does, and he sees only the best in everything the Palestinians and the Arabs do.

  • viva peace

    i understand that de Paul university is an extremely lowly ranked university. Still, you think it would demand that candidates for tenure have some scholarly record. Finkelstein doesn't. He is not published in scholarly journals and his books so far have been nothing more than book reviews.

  • viva peace

    Fringe

    All of those things about Jimmy Carter are true and common knowledge. Not to mention the fact he is a Christian fundie!

  • viva peace

    I would dearly love to know exactly what Finkelstein is supposed to be "dissenting" from. His books only repeat what the Soviet propaganda machine was feeding to international Socialists from the late sixties onwards. His views are very old-fashioned and tired.

  • ej

    VP

    Finkelstein's (for example) Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict is a forensic demolition of Zionist mythologies, including the input of your foot soldier for the glorification of ethnic cleansing, Benny Morris.

    Old-fashioned and tired? As long as the Zionist claptrap keeps getting reproduced by the myriad trogs, Finkelstein will continue to be compulsory reading.

  • viva peace

    ej

    The book is nothing more than a book review.

  • Andre

    Viva,

    Finkelstein’s book is a demolition of a plagiarized fraud. Were it just a book review, Dershowitz would not have gone to the extraordinary length she took to prevent it from being published. To argue that it was just a book review is like arguing those who criticized Carter's book did so on the basis or having alternative tastes .

    As for the ad hominem attacks on Carter, Dershowitz exposes himself as a hypocrite and a fraud. Carter's support for dictators was foreign policy that was continued by the Reagan administration.

    If Israel were more observant of religious preachings, it would not be stealing land and expanding it;s settlements.

    Many had poor regard for Begin, the former leader of a terrorist group.

    For someone who makes a point of attacking Israel's critics on the basis of bad scholarship, it's incredibly ironic that you would rush tot eh defense of a plagiarist and a fraudsters.

  • Marilyn

    I have read two of Finkelstein's book and then read the B'Tselem reports he cited, Tanya Reinhart's "Roadmap to Nowhere", Pilger's books, Robert Fisk's, Uri Avnery's works, Gideon Levy, the latest Gisha report on Gaza's continued occupation and Pappe's book "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine". Now these are largely Jewish writers so then I read one Palestinian book and the stories gel absolutely.

    viva peace, I would suggest you actually read the books.

  • viva peace

    Who said anything Dershowitz? Dude your pathological obsession with Jews is just tragic.

  • Andre

    What is tragic Viva, is your insistence on breaking down opposing argument into bite sized pieces so that you can misrepresent what others have just said.

    Did you now say that:

    The book is nothing more than a book review.

    In reference to Finkelsteins book?

  • Viva,

    Until you can manage an adult response which does not faithfully replicate Dershowitless's ad homage, I am not going to enter into further debate with you.

  • viva peace

    Andre

    Yes I did. But what does that have to Dershowitz.

    Fringe

    I have not seen you produce anything approaching adult, let alone informed, debate as yet. So your retirement will not be missed. Might I advise that during your retirement, you enrol in university or learn to read?

  • This is choice! "Viva" thinks that one is old and poor and therefore knows nothing. He has a lot to learn and may live long enough to find out just how stupid and pathetic his non-arguments are.

    Dershowitz is a right-wing reactionary zionist bigot, and "Viva" is part of that scene. He is proably too set in his prejudices and hate to be able to learn – much like many white Afrikaans people in South Africa who were sure they could not live in post-apartheid South Africa – in fact they were sure there would never be such a situation.

    Who knows what will happen in the middle east and who knows why "Viva" is not there fighting for what he believes in? Is he afraid of reality on the ground in his beloved Israel? Time he went on a fact-finding mission!

  • viva peace

    Mannie

    Wassup girlfriend? Haven't found any gays to boycott in favour of gay-killing Islamo-fascists lately? You must be so sad.

  • "Mannie

    Wassup girlfriend? Haven’t found any gays to boycott in favour of gay-killing Islamo-fascists lately? You must be so sad."

    And this is reasoned argument and discussion – and fancy viva even imagining that anyone would be his girlfriend!!!!

    Fascists – do look it up in the dictionary you poor ignorant child!!

    Time viva looked at the statistics of gay killing in his favourite country, the USA, and also in Australia where viva presumably lives.

    Funny, really, when one has an argument about Dershowitz and Israel, suddenly viva brings in the fact that I am gay. It really is all too stupid to even discuss.

  • Andre

    Funny, really, when one has an argument about Dershowitz and Israel, suddenly viva brings in the fact that I am gay.

    Even stranger is how Viva pretends the thread has nothing to do with Dershowitz at all.

  • viva peace

    Finally we are seeing some REAL dissenters. I think that given how strong Australia's base culture is, we will see a lot more brave dissenters like Shakira Hussein speaking up.

    It will certainly be a long overdue reprieve from the tired old anti-Semites and 1970s Soviet-brainwashed International Socialists who see "ZIonists" as the root of evil.

  • Andre

    We have seen dissenters for a long time Viva, especially Jewish dissenters. What is blatantly obvious, is that you will only ever concern yourself with dissenting Muslim voices, while dismissing dissenting Jewish voices as being discredited.

    Here is one that you will no doubt want to ignore

    In the Pilots’ Letter of Refusal that he authored and 26 other pilots signed, these historic words were written: “We, who were raised to love the state of Israel and contribute to the Zionist enterprise, refuse to take part in Air Force attacks on civilian population centers. … These actions are illegal and immoral, and are a direct result of the ongoing occupation which is corrupting all of Israeli society.” Reading those words to an audience of progressive Jews, he added, “We will continue to serve the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), but not the Israeli occupation forces.”

  • viva peace

    Whatever you might think of Alan Dershowitz, you have to admit he is spot on here.

    By his own admission, he has conducted no original research, has never been published in a reputable, scientific journal, and has made no contributions to our collective historical knowledge.

    He is a defamer of individuals — selected for their ideology — and a spreader of false quotations, assertions, and propaganda. There is nothing scholarly about his writings.

  • viva peace

    I am intrigued at how much more credence you people give to the views of Jews. You simply ignore the Muslims. This form of bigotry is known as "Orientalism."

  • viva peace

    Andre

    I do not read dissent on this site. As I said, it is merely the same propanda that Soviet-fed International Socialists – like Mannie de Girlfriend and Evan Jones – were sprouting in the 1970s.

  • viva peace

    Marilyn

    Poor old Marilyn. So easily conned.

    One of the major problems of you and your ilk is that you do not read the books that these people write. You only get quotes from propaganda websites. You, like Ant, do not have the necessary education to be familiar with the history of this conflict.

    Let us hear from the good Dr. Pappe ourselves, shall we

    My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the `truth’ when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous.

    Introduction to “A History of Modern Palestine: One Land Two People”

    Or perhaps this one

    Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts, Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers

    Might I suggest you read the Benny Morris’ review of Pappe’s “A History of Modern Palestine:One Land Two Peoples” in the New Republic (22/3/04) where he says quite emphatically

    Ilan Pappes New Book Is Appalling.Unfortunately much of what Pappe tries to sell his readers is a complete fabrication.

    Keep believing your fairy tales Marilyn.

  • Andre

    Viva,

    On the contrary, that quote by Dershowitz is a case of projection if I have ever seen one.

    As I said, it is merely the same propanda that Soviet-fed International Socialists

    That's the problem with truth, it has a nasty habbit of remaining unchanged. What was true then is true today.

    And why is it you insist on recycling those quotes from Pappe?

    What you clearly miss from Pappe’s first quote is his honesty and his acknowledgment of his humanity. Some vain historians convince themselves that they are slaves to fact and realities, but in all cases, this can be shown to be otherwise. For example, Benny Morris has also been accused of fabricating historical evidence.

    As for he second quote, that too addresses the same issue. Benny Morris has in the past, also admitted to being an avid Zionist and that this position has skewed his objectivity. After all, did he not say this:

    I’m trying to be realistic. Preserving my people is more important than any universal moral concepts.

    –Israeli writer Benny Morris

    In this article for example, Pappe accuses Morris of lying about his book:

    Benny Morris tells his readers in the New Republic that he and I walked a stretch of road together as ‘revisionist historians.

    And

    I was privy to the views he only aired later on, already in our first meeting back in the late 1980s. I was fully aware — as he seemed to trust me — of his abominable racist views about the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular.

    And here

    Unlike others, I did not feel that his good qualities as a chronologist which came out in his most famous book, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem (Cambridge 1987) — he was never a proper historian — and especially his invaluable contribution in aggregating data for us on the 1948 ethnic cleansing — made up for his bigotry and narrow—mindedness.

    So you see Viva, it comes down to the word of one historian against another. It is obvious why you woudl recommend Benny Morris as a more credible historian; you are merely advocating the work that confirms your own position.