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.

New York lift-off

Last night was the New York launch/event for My Israel Question.

Many showed up, young and old, Jewish and Muslim, Christian and atheist. It was a chance for me to explain the message of my book, the universality of the themes and the ways in which debate is slowing opening up on these matters across the globe. Debating the influence of the Israel lobby (evidenced here yet again) is revealing to the Western world that Israel’s military interests are rarely in line with our own, and should be shunned. This will be a long struggle, but creating doubt in the minds of citizens is the first step, and on that front, good progress is being made.

I was unsure what to expect in this city after spending the week hooking-up with any number of journalists, editors, producers, film-makers, agents, the UN, authors and fellow Jews, but the response last night, and in many meetings, has shown that Jews who speak out against Israeli policies are needed now more than ever. The coming weeks and months will reveal the fruits of these labours.

During last night’s event, guests were intrigued to hear about Australia’s craven votes at the UN over Israel – joining up with other client states such as Micronesia and Marshall Islands – and how Zionism is being challenged in the mainstream media. I talked about last year’s Lebanon war and the PR disaster that was brought upon the Jewish state. I recalled a poll in early August 2006 that found a majority felt the US and Israel were principally to blame for the conflict, not Hizbollah. It showed, yet again, that the general public was far ahead of the predictable knee-jerk worship at the Israel altar by “respected” commentators in our media.

Incidentally, I can barely think of one Australian columnist who seems capable of expressing ideas that haven’t been merely co-opted from an overseas publication, journal or magazine. Seeing the wild diversity of views in the US certainly makes me long for a more mature understanding of world events. Saluting the “vision” of the Bush administration, the life-blood of the Murdoch press, is about as relevant as endorsing torture and occupation. The Bush junta is about as popular here as the Iraqi insurgents.

As my book begins to filter through various American media outlets, blogs and forums, I’m left to wonder what kind of journalism is possible in Australia. When parochialism is promoted as bravery, and mediocrity is celebrated, America, with all its faults, allows space for real vibrancy. Of course, speaking some truths in Australia has resulted in a notoriety that is both depressing and fascinating (in its predictability.)

Attending an anti-occupation Passover Seder this week near Washington Square revealed the strong diversity of Jews in this town. Some guests were far-left, many were centrists, and some were just Jews who didn’t feel comfortable conducting a “normal” Seder that celebrates the “next year in Jerusalem” myth.

Whereas in Australia difference (and dissent) is ridiculed and obsessively analysed, here in New York it’s praised and debated.

There is also a realisation, unlike the robotic Jewish establishment in Australia, that Israel’s current path is destined to end in the country’s destruction. Asking tough questions is essential if this is to be avoided.

11 comments ↪
  • You seem somewhat more negative on the state of Australian opinion writers than I think is the case.

    Individuals such as Richard Ackland and Alan Ramsey both with the SMH for example, are not shy in expressing their non-conformist opinions.

  • Danielle

    “next year in Jerusalem” myth

    what do you mean by myth?….jerusalem has been important to the jews since ever. are you saying it isn’t holy anymore?

    im an israeli jew who constantly criticizes israel. but im a zionist, meaning, i believe in my country’s right to exist. you dont’?

    Danielle

  • Andre

    Viva,

    Your paranoia is steadily increasing by the day. Firstly, whiel this blog ais to promote discussion and awareness, thre is no desire, much less the means to destroy Israel. O the contrary, Ant has repeated that Israel’s existence is threatened by it’s own policies.

    Unless of course you are among those that are convinced Israel’s existence is inextricably linked to the enthic cleansing of Arabs from Israel proper, the occupied territories and the preventing the creation of a Palestinian State?

  • Andre

    Danielle,

    With the exception of extremist groups, the only people who ever raise the issue of Israel's right to exist seem to be Zionist. Even Israel's harshest critics do not dispute Israel's right to exist, largely because it is a straw man argument and a nonsequitur, yet wherever Israel is criticized, it is given undue prominence.

    Any reasonable and responsible individual would advocate Israel's right to exist. What is clear however, is that there are elements among Zionists, who associate Israel's existence with the prevention of the creation of Palestinian state.

    Why one are you?

  • viva peace

    The issue is that it would be very unusual for an Australian to give two hoots about the Arab-Israeli melodrama, unless you had family and friends there.

  • viva peace

    Andre

    Actually this whole blog exists to destroy Israel.

  • viva peace

    Who cares about another Pal state? Not me. But Ant's whole ideology is about the destruction of Israel. Come on, everybody knows that.

  • Andre

    There are six million Arabs who care about a Palestinian state. I would have expected this number to be of significance seeing as it was justification enough for the creation of Israel, was it not?

    And what do you mean by “another” Palestinian state?

    And no, Ant’s ideology is not about the destruction of Israel. In fact, the charter of Independent Jewish Voices in Australia stipulates the recognition of Israel.

    Viva, you are really showing very poor form. Is your position so dour that you have to resort to such baseless ad hominems and straw men?

  • BenZ

    There are six million Arabs who care about a Palestinian state

    Ah, but do they care about it more, or less than killing Jews?

    And what do you mean by “another” Palestinian state?

    I assume he was referring to Jordan.

    Ant’s ideology is not about the destruction of Israel

    Oh really?

    As a Jew who doesn't believe in the concept of a Jewish state — Antony Loewenstein

    He may have watered down his extremist views in order to make them more palatable and attract more signatures to his petition, but that doesn't change them. It is intellectual dishonesty and the reason several signatories retracted their support when they realised his true agenda.

  • Andre

    Give it up BenZ,

    A week ago you accused Ant of not participating in Seder and yet in his subsequent point he pointed out that he did indeed take part, in Washington Square, NY.

    You're arguments are purely emotional and rather desperate.

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