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.

Silence of the hawks

I couldn’t resist including this very appropriate column in its entirety from Neil Clark. Most telling is his reference to Tim Blair, where his silence on the disaster in Iraq remains deafening. Speaking of whom, has anyone noticed how whenever the bovine excrement hits the fan in Iraq (i.e. above and beyond the normal state of FUBAR), TB turns his attention to global warning?

As the humanitarian crisis in Iraq goes from bad to worse, the war propagandists are turning to more trivial matters.

The International Red Cross warned this week that the humanitarian crisis in Iraq is getting even worse. At the same, time a major academic study by the Oxford Research Group concludes that the illegal US/UK invasion has “spawned new terror” in the region. In the light of the latest damning evidence of the consequences of the invasion, what has been the reaction of the lap-top bombadiers who five years ago so energetically propagandised for war? I’ve been trawling the web to find out.

Melanie Phillips, the “moralist” who condemns teenage youths for smashing up bus shelters but not coalition forces for smashing up Iraq, makes no mention of either report on her website this week.

Ditto William Shawcross and Nick Cohen, self-appointed scourge of the anti-war left.

David Aaronovitch has kept his silence too (perhaps he’s in training for another London marathon), as has Andrew Roberts, the “talented historian” who argued that we could equate sanctions-devastated Iraq (including its non-existent air force and its Dad’s Army) with Nazi Germany at its peak.

Harry’s Place, favourite watering hole of “pro-liberation left” prefers to discuss road rage, school history syllabuses and union-made hoodies.

Daniel Finkelstein of The Times has discovered an interest in mediums.

Stephen Pollard informs us that he’s been reading Norman Lebrecht’s Maestros and Madness: The Secret Life and Shameful Death of the Classical Record Industry. The Daily Telegraph’s ‘Neo’ Con Coughlin, who regaled us with tales of Saddam’s deadly armoury, has turned his attention to Russian bear-baiting.

Across the pond, Andrew Sullivan opines about shopping bags, while David ‘Axis of Evil’ Frum tells us about his grandfather.

Mark Steyn, who once accused anti-war demonstrators of having blood on their hands, focuses on the trial of his old mentor, Conrad Black.

Down Under, Tim Blair, who in 2004 ridiculed claims that the future in Iraq was “frightening”, shares his thoughts on Alaskan sea otters.

From all these people, not a single word about either the International Red Cross or the Oxford Research Group reports. How very different it was four years ago! On the day that Saddam’s statue toppled in Baghdad, the neo-cons couldn’t wait to brag about the “success” of the war they had so enthusiastically supported. This was William Shawcross, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

April 9 – Liberation Day! What a wonderful, magnificent, emotional occasion – one that will live in legend like the fall of the Bastille, V-E Day or the fall of the Berlin Wall. Watching the tearing down of Saddam Hussein’s towering statue in Baghdad was a true Ozymandias moment. All those smart Europeans who ridiculed George Bush and denigrated his idea that there was actually a better future for the Iraqi people – they will now have to think again.”

Really, William? Since the illegal invasion, an estimated 600,000 people have lost their lives in Iraq. Twice as many people have died in Iraq in the last four years as were killed in the previous 23 years under Saddam. The only people who need to “think again” are not those “smart Europeans” who opposed the war, but those far from “smart” people who faithfully parroted – for whatever reasons – the official US/UK propaganda.

Forget mediums, shopping bags and union-made hoodies: it’s apologies that we really want.

6 comments ↪
  • Oh, I get it. People have to blog on what you think they should blog about, comment on what you think they should comment on and refer to reports you thik they should refer to. You can’t celebrate a victory in one battle without then referring to every report which would later suggest everything isn’t peachy keen, right?

    I guess if we trawl the archives here we can find equal time given over to the condemnation of Palestinian terror to match up with regular condemnations of Israeli acts? And we could find just as much of the ‘good news’ coming out of Iraq as the ‘bad news’ you are keen for others to highlight?

  • Marilyn

    Dylan, anything to say about the Hawks and their silence about Iraq?

  • Andre

    Interesting theory Dylan,

    The next time a dozen ardently pro-war bloggers busy themselves with mind numbing trivia the very week 2 highly critical and very significant reports surface in regard to Iraq war, I take it we should put it down to mere coincidence?

    It looks like I have to work on the finer points of ignoring the elephant in the room by focusing on the wallpaper. How many coincidences does it take before we can agree there is a pattern emerging?

    Now as to your other questions, they are how should we put it, interesting. According to your standards, irrespective of what is taking place on the ground, we should either hype whatever good there is coming out of Iraq enough times, or refrain from reporting the bad to maintain an equal tally. Similarly, only comment on a fraction of the deaths perpetrated by the IDF to limit the number to coincide with Israeli deaths at the hands of suicide bombers

    Perhaps we could apply your suggestion to airline crashes, remembering to report the successful ones every time an accident occurs.

  • viva peace

    Marilyn

    All wars look hideous when you are in the middle of them. But the US is now firmly at the centre of the world's oil, which is what it wanted all the time.

    We now must choose a side in the upcoming Persian versus Arab war.

  • Andre

    We now must choose a side in the upcoming Persian versus Arab war.

    What war might that be, or is this just wishful thinking on your part? How do you manage to remain so permanently disconnected fro reality?

  • I believe that Hubberts peak is accurate and that we are now past the point of the oil crash. I think many of the current events have to do with this senerio and it won't be long until the main stream media and population wake up and know what is going on. For me and my family, we are getting ready for the life after the crash.