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.

How to sanctify mass murder

Proponents of the Iraq war are quick to absolve the occupation forces of the violence taking place in Iraq. Lenin’s superb post nails this wafer-thin argument.

Let’s deal with this bullshit once and for all, because I’m sick of hearing every time American military forces blow up a wedding ceremony, or a refugee convoy, or family home, that it’s all the fault of the bad guys. If you choose war, you choose its consequences. If you choose the tactic of urban warfare and sectarian death squads, you are responsible for what takes place. If you choose to pound a school with shells, even if – and I want to be absolutely clear about this – even if you are under the impression that there might be nefarious folks hanging around in the vicinity, then the deaths are your fault. It doesn’t matter if you think the military are bullshitting on this or not: there is a whole ideology involved here, which is inherently exculpatory and in many of its manifestations deeply racist.

He pulls no punches, getting to the very crux of the argument about how we legitimize and justify our use of violence.

The racism of this ideology couldn’t be clearer: only Americans are entitled to self-defense (and even, tacitly, a great deal of vengeful excess) if their citizens, territory or even claimed interests are attacked. Everyone else has to suck it up. And of course, the military supremacy comes with an added dimension of ideological supremacism. The very fact that military aggression is presented as, variously, emergency management, democratisation and security – all tapping into universalist claims with axiomatic appeal among the target audience (the population of the warmaking states), means that any opponent is automatically disqualified from the normal range of human consideration because by simple virtue of resisting, They’re Opposed To Democracy. And if they’re opposed to that, ironically enough, they are not entitled to self-determination (catch 22: if they’re not opposed to it, then they aren’t entitled to self-determination either, because the United States claims to be delivering democracy).

No one could have put it better. The fact is that every time we are told US troops must remain to secure Iraq, what this ultimately involves is the killing of more Iraqis. This particularly applies to the axiom that things will get worse before they get better.

I highly recommend reading this article in its entirety.

2 comments ↪
  • al loomis

    this is hardly news, the yanks got from plymouth rock to la with a mixture of 'manifest destiny' and racist aggression. dubya is not new, or even unusual: kennedy, johnson, and nixon brought democracy to se asia with napalm and free-fire zones. reagan defended democracy in south and central america with assassination and mercenary armies.

    if you think dubya is a freak, then all will be well as soon as the yanks turf him out. but all will not be well, and he's no freak. he's just one more example of a consistent american foreign policy.

    well, different in one way: notably less successful than most of his predecessors. it's easy to laugh at him, but the conduct of the iraq invasion is purely rumsfeld's work. even rumsfeld may be the victim of social evolution. it's possible the usa is no longer capable of invasion and occupation, simply because americans are too war weary to endure conscription for wars of imperial expansion. running an empire with professional troops may be too expensive.

  • Andre

    Al,

    You hit the nail on the head. Bush doesn't represent anything new as far as US foreign policy was concerned, so much as demonstrate an inability to articulate it. It's also true that in this day and age of information being so readily available, such crimes are becoming next to impossible to spin – which is the why US government and right wing hacks like Tim Blair as so in favour of regulating the Internet.

    While Rumsfeld was far from competent, he is a convenient scapegoat. The Iraq policy began as a combination of deranged ideology care of the neocons, along with a foreign policy embarrassment hangover from 1991. While Rumsfeld did all he could to mess things up, the neocons/Bush/Cheney cabal also appear to believe that the US military is a limitless resource. When these guys talk about generations of war or a permanent state of war, you have to wonder if they ever thought this through.

    Apparently not.