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.

Pretty please

The descent of the US into the servitude of Israel is gathering increased momentum.

During his visit, Gates may attempt to persuade Israel to ease its objections to the sale of advanced weapons systems to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

The American defense establishment is determined to sell these systems to Arab states and will seek a compromise formula in order to prevent supporters of Israel in Congress from foiling the deal.

Now let’s get this straight. The US not only supplies Israel with all its military hardware and technology, but gives it billion of dollars in aid to buy it. Yet, the US has been reduced to having to seek Israel’s permission to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and Gulf States in order to prevent the Israeli lobby ordering the US Congress to block the deal. This is the same Israel that supplied classified military technology to states like China, which the US regards as hostile.

Forget describing this as Orwellian. US obsequiousness to Israel is entering the Twilight Zone.

15 comments ↪
  • BenZ

    The decent of the US into the servitude of Israel is gathering increased momentum.

    Well, you've got your typical antisemitic stereotype about Israel controlling world affairs. However, unless it was a typo I'm quite surprised seeing the word "decent" and US or Israel within the same sentence anywhere on this site…

    Has it occurred to you Andre, that the US does things which Israel might agree with, not because the US is beholden to Israel, but because they share common values?

    A nuclear Iran poses as big a threat to the US (and most democracies as well as a few Arab states) as it does Israel. The US isn't planning action against Iran simply because Israel says so. It is doing it, because Iran is a radical Islamic theocracy and consequently it is the right thing to do.

  • Andre

    Hi BenZ,

    You missed the point entirely.

    There is no antisemitism involved here. If you read the Haaretz article I linked to, it makes it perfectly clear:

    The American defense establishment is determined to sell these systems to Arab states and will seek a compromise formula in order to prevent supporters of Israel in Congress from foiling the deal.

    In other words, this is a clear case of conflict between Israel and US interests. It has nothing to do with values, and much less to do with Iran.

    As for Iran and nuclear weapons, the IAEA just reported that not only does Iran only have a few hundred centrifuges operating successfully but that it has no necessary facilities to produce nuclear weapons.

    As for attacking Iran, being an Islamic theocracy is Iran's business. It is no reason to attack them anymore than Saudi Arabia.

    Remember that in 2003, Iran made a grand offer to the US to normalize relations with the US and recognize Israel and Washington refused.

    Now remind again me which side is radical?

  • BenZ

    Andre,

    You've missed my point. I wasn't suggesting you were deliberately making an antisemitic suggestion. However, you must appreciate that the idea that Jews control world governments and superpowers, is one of the oldest untrue stereotypes which has led to massive antisemitism. This is the reason Jewish people take exception to it. Having not been exposed to pogroms and genocide, I would imagine many other minority groups would in fact take pride in such a a claim.

    This is also why it is of such concern that such ideas are taken completely at face value by many on the left.

    There is a recent comparison of this apparent contradiction here.

    Remember that in 2003, Iran made a grand offer to the US to normalize relations with the US and recognize Israel and Washington refused.

    You are evidently naive enough to take the Iranians "offer" at face value. Bear in mind, these are the same people who have paid for suicide terror attacks around the world, and whose rhetoric runs so deep, any such offer could only be taken with the greatest of skepticism.

    Let me draw a parallel.

    A man comes around to your house every Thursday night, rapes your sister and punches you in the mouth. This goes on for years and the Police ignore it, except for suggesting perhaps your sister and you had it coming.

    After five years of this, the man comes around, but this time suggests he will stop doing it. You immediately thank him and show him the door.

    Next Thursday, another man comes, punches you in the mouth and rapes your sister.

    This continues for months.

    Finally, the first man comes back and says "okay, okay… This time for sure, I will make it stop".

    What do you do Andre?

    As for attacking Iran, being an Islamic theocracy is Iran’s business. It is no reason to attack them anymore than Saudi Arabia.

    It wouldn't be, if Iran wasn't sponsoring global terror. Ditto Saudi Arabia were it not for the fact they too bankroll such acts, including 9/11 which was committed by Saudi citizens.

    I shall leave aside for a moment the question of whether you believe we should do something about dictatorships which oppress women and minorities. I assume you don't have a problem with that either.

  • al loomis

    there are a great many jews living in israel who are distressed by their governments policies, and say so. they occasionally make the evening news with various sorts of protests. are these the only people on earth who can call the israeli government brutal militarists? without being labeled 'antisemites', that is?

    incidentally, great credit to these people. their names will go on the memorial to the "righteous among the infidels" when palestine is a secular state where all 'people of the book' are equal before the law.

    but i'm not jewish, and i'm so unbiased about a person's religion or ethnic background that i don't hesitate to call jewish thugs as jewish thugs, when they make a career out of thuggery, and try to tell me it's ok, 'cause they're jewish. as for the apologists for this thuggery, i'm willing to give you credit for being crazy if you prefer, but until i hear from you i will assume you're making a living from lying.

    al loomis

  • BenZ

    Al Loomis, Criticising Israel doesn't make you an antisemite.
    However, it is undeniable that a hell of a lot of people who criticise Israel, the Jewish state, do so because they are antisemites.

    It is no coincidence that many of them say absolutely nothing about "occupation" in Tibet or "oppression" in Saudi Arabia or the plight of Palestinians at the hands of other Palestinians and Arab "thuggery". However, when it comes to Israel, they seem so darn concerned. One has to consider the motivation for such hypocricy.

  • Andre

    BenZ,

    Yes, I accept that there is a fine line between the canard that Jews control world governments and the obvious evidence that the Israeli lobby exerts undue influence over Congress.

    You seem to think that I have made some baseless extrapolation here, when all I did was take an unambiguous article from Haaretz. It is a clear contradiction that Israel should seek to block the sale of weapons by the US to Arab countries, having herself, passed on weapons it has received from the US to countries like China, in violation of it’s agreements with the US. What other country is in a position to influence the US Congress to block the sale of weapons to any other country?

    As for the Iranian offer, we will never know if it was sincere, but to dismiss it on the grounds that it came from Iran is simply racist. In fact, it reveals an all too familiar pattern. Israel and the US have made relentless demands on the Iranians to halt their nuclear enrichment programs, cut ties with Hezbollah and Hamas, and recognize Israel. Yet, when Iran offers to meet these demands, they are dismissed as being untrustworthy. It's a Cath-22 example of tails we win, heads you lose. If Iran offers to meet the demands, the offer is dismissed as unsatisfactory because Iranians cannot be trusted, yet when Iran are obstinate, her critics seize this to further condemn her.

    It’s not difficult to see why. Many elements of Israel’s amen corner will be satisfied with nothing less than a war with Iran.

    Another thing that is all too common is the generalization that Iran supports terrorism. Yes, Iran does support Hezbollah and to a lesser degree, Hamas. Dismissing them as terrorist groups is extremely simplistic and hypocritical given that the US is supporting terrorist groups against Iran and againstHezbollah.

    As for the Iran’s much hyped rhetoric, bear in mind that the president of Iran never said anything about attacking Israel or wiping Israel off the map. Juan Cole and others, who actually can read Persian, say that this is an incorrect translation, and that the phrase used by Ahmadinejad actually means this,

    The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.

    The issue of the correct translation raised a minor controversy, with the consensus coming down on the side of "time" rather than "map", as the correct translation.

    So your analogy about the man coming to your house every Thursday night, is rather pointless, unless you want to add the back-story that you and your family are living the house that you stole from him and murdered his entire family.

    It wouldn’t be, if Iran wasn’t sponsoring global terror.

    But that is the point. They are not sponsoring global terror. That is blatantly false statement, like alleged statement by Ahmadinejad , that has become accepted as fact in the mainstream without being questioned or qualified. Countries that do support terror, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are given a pass because for some reason, they have been designated as allies in the war on terror.

    I shall leave aside for a moment the question of whether you believe we should do something about dictatorships which oppress women and minorities

    Careful where you go with this one BenZ. One of them happens to be Israel.

    Nevertheless, you raise a paradox that the right that has never been able to explain – the idea that bombing a country back to the stone age is somehow the best way to champion the plight of oppressed women and minorities. After all, we have seen what a resounding success this approach has been in Afghanistan and Iraq right?

  • viva peace

    "Israel's amen corner" is a classic cliche of anti-Semites.

  • Andre

    “Israel’s amen corner” is a classic cliche of anti-Semites.

    Would you prefer Israel's supporters? Is that another classic cliche of anti-Semites?

  • E.Mariyani

    viva peace, Apr 15th, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    “Israel’s amen corner” is a classic cliche of anti-Semites.

    I was under the impression that this term referred to any group who believed that the Israeli state was incapable of doing anything morally wrong (such that the state's actual violations of human rights could be excused, or even praised, as not in fact being morally wrong). More particularly, it seems to be a term that refers almost exclusively to Evangelical Dispensationallist Christians, hawkish neo-conservative atheists and Jewish-American Israel-lobbyists, all of whom are located in the United States. Given that the term refers to such a geographically and historically specific theological and ethnic grab-bag of people, it's hard to see how this could be regarded as either (1) "classic" or (2) "anti-Semitic."

  • viva peace

    Oh dear. You poor putzes don’t even realize you are quoting Pat Buchanan. But lie with dogs….

  • viva peace

    Andre

    The only Xian fundie nutters who are supported on this site are Patrick Buchanan and Jimmie Carter. I loathe both of them. It is you anti-Semites who love them.

  • BenZ

    Yes, I accept that there is a fine line between the canard that Jews control world governments and the obvious evidence that the Israeli lobby exerts undue influence over Congress.

    Obvious evidence? I assume it is obvious to those who also think it is “obvious” that Bush was behind 9/11 and all Jews are thieves.

    Obvious indeed!

    Why is the “Israeli lobby” any different to any other Capitol Hill lobby? Why are you not fussed about the Arab lobby exerting and its theocratic and racist dictatorships influencing the so-called United Nations?

    Oh, that’s right, they aren’t Israel. There’s something else rather “obvious” about your argument.

    Moreover, why is Pastor John Hagee a “lunatic”?

    Watch some of his speeches on Youtube. Although he shouts a lot, they are pretty impressive.

    It is interesting that many on the left insist that “ad-hominem” attacks are completely inadmissable, yet are totally guilty themself.

    For example, if I called Loewenstein a shoddy writer and a career liar, you would be jumping up and down, yet apparently calling Pastor John Hagee a “lunatic”, with no further argument, is completely fair.

  • Andre

    Viva,

    Here you are defending the Christian evangelists who's false support for Israel only serves to hasten the end of times, whereby they intend to sacrifice Israel.

    In a way, it's the ultimate form of Antisemitism, and here you are criticizing others for lying with dogs.

  • Andre

    Oh give it up Viva and stick the dummy back in your mouth.

    The fundamentalists are the lunatics like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Pastor John Hagee, all of whom are aligned with the right wing, especially the Bush administration, so they are more aligned with you than the rest of us will ever be.

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Andre

    BenZ,

    Can you make any argument without unbridled hyperbole, straw ken and ad hominems?

    Why is the “Israeli lobby” any different to any other Capitol Hill lobby?

    Good question. Unlike other lobby groups, AIPAC is not registered as a lobby group for a foreign country, whereas Arab lobbies are. It also happens to be the second most powerful lobby in Washington with two of it's key members currently indicted for spying on the United States.

    What racist dictatorships influencing are you referring to that influence the United Nations?

    Moreover, why is Pastor John Hagee a “lunatic”?

    Because as an End of times Evangelist, he believes that Christ will come when Israel is fully realized in it's Biblical glory, and that at such a time, the Jews of the world will be given a choice to convert to Christianity or burn in hell. You don't find that a tad extreme? If a Muslim Imam were to make this statement, ther woud be calls to bomb that country.

    Watch some of his speeches on Youtube. Although he shouts a lot, they are pretty impressive.

    If you're into the fire and brimstone kinda thing, sure, knock yourself out. Hitler impressed people with his speeches too, but he was still a maniac.