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.

Is the US headed for another great depression?

America’s sense of economic infallibility may be about to be tested.

Apart from the fact that the US dollar has been artificially inflated since it became the defacto standard for international trade, especially oil sales, the insane burden inflicted by military expenditure has stretched US financial resources to breaking point. Little wonder then that for the first time, the US treasury ceased to provide its M3 report last year. This is significant because the M3 reports the amount of money printed by the Treasury. The only reason for withholding this information would be to stave off a sell off of the all mighty greenback.

And so it is today: our empire won’t retreat from its distant borders but these same borders are bankrupting us for we never recovered from the Vietnam War, we literally papered over the mess which remained and continues to poison our nation. The military/industrial complex is not making us rich, it is making us poorer. And the paper being laid over all this is the same paper the Germans used in 1924 to paper over their own bankruptcy: printed money.

Is history repeating itself?

The housing bubble has been prolonging the inevitable, but the record number of foreclosures in the US indicate that this too has well and truly burst. They say that when the US sneezes, the world gets a cold. What then would be the reaction to a great US depression?

17 comments ↪
  • Jon Rosenberg

    To be entirely honest, I am not very persuaded by suggestions that the US economy is heading for another great depression (just yet). But, if it is, then hold on tight for the great massive surge in every kind of ism imaginable.

    On the bright side, the apartheid state of Israel would be fatally wounded by the loss of its paymaster.

  • gottcha

    Jon,

    It's one thing to argue and wish for a solution to the situation in Israel/Palestine, but to actively wish financial misery upon Jewish children and families is really low. You call this misery a 'brighter side' to an American depression — that's just plain nasty.

  • Jon Rosenberg

    "but to actively wish financial misery upon Jewish children and families is really low."

    Then perhaps you shouldn't be trying to put words in my mouth. I am talking about the3 fascist state of Israel not being able to afford to seed half of Lebanon with 'present form America' cluster bombs and not being able to afford to run Palestine as a concentration camp in which people are starved into submission.

    Gottcha, the fact that you extrapolate to suit your own Islamophobic agenda just betrays your own utter lack of morals.

  • People like to think the Soviet Union collapsed because it had an artificial economy controlled by a few inept elites. That was only part of the explanation, but an important part. The US economy isn't entirely different. Capital controls may not be as centralised, and its market might be 'free' for those with enough capital to trade in it. But the US economy, like any economy, is equally artificial. There is no reason to assume that it will continue to keep growing enough to sustain the massive program of corporate and military welfare it has stood for since at least the 1940s.

    However, if the US's economic bubble does burst, most of the victims will likely be the average working person both in the US and around the world. Those who control the US economy have designed a system which does everything it can to insulate them from the distresses of an uncertain world. People like Murdoch can always fly off to China or wherever suits. The rest of us will have to pick up the pieces.

  • gottcha

    Okay Jon,

    Let's get down to your real agenda here.

    1) You call Israel 'fascist.' You obviously don't know what the word really means. Take a Macquarie dictionary as that is what is accepted here in Australia as the norm and look it up. It refers to a 'dictatorship' not a democratically elected government. You ought to choose your words more carefully or you will end up with people misunderstanding you.

    2) Yes, Jon, you are right I do not accept that Sharia Law is proper or democratic or right. One of the reasons is that I don't believe homosexuals should be killed by the state for the crime of being gay. Do you understand that in a democratic country like Australia, I am free to think this? You can call me all the names you like, it doesn't dilute my right to express my view or disagree with you. It's not very brave of you to claim I have an 'Islamphobic agenda' simply because I disagree with you or Sharia Law. Many good Muslims disagree with it too — what do you call them?

    As for the 'concentration camps' Jon, take a look at the UNWRA refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon where Palestinians have been denied citizenship and are denied access to government schools and universities and from entering 72 professions. They have no property rights, no social or civil rights and are rarely given a passport. They live in ramshackle makeshift buildings in absolute poverty. It's a fucking travesty. And guess what — it's their fellow Arabs in these countries inflicting it upon them — not a Jew in sight.

    I believe in a two-state solution in Israel. I also believe that the Arabs must take their share of the blame for the conflict, just as the Jews must. All this blame and counter-blame gets them nowhere. It can only end when each, including people like you, stop feeding the conflict by throwing wild, unsubstantiated accusations around. If you really want peace in the Middle East, start talking peacefully about the conflict.

  • Jon Rosenberg

    Gottcha,

    A nice dodge for the fact that you did – and still do – put words in my moputh to cover up the fact that you haven't got a clue waht you are talking about.

    Every single thing youaccuse me of is what you yourself are doing.

    Grrow up.

  • gottcha

    Did you get a dictionary and look up the meaning of 'fascist' Jon?

  • Jon Rosenberg

    Still trying to divert attention from your ridiculous claims that I Wactively wish financial misery upon Jewish children and families", Gottcha?

    As for fascism, Israel fits the modern definition perfectly:

    "a government that professes racism and acts in an arbitrary, high-handed manner".

    Finished trolling yet?

  • gottcha

    Jon, find a good quality dictionary. Or better still research the library of your local university's history dept. You will see that political facism is a complex political concept, not a term that can be used carelessley in a throw-away line as you have done.

    In your claim below Jon, you articulated that it would be a bright moment if Israel were to loose US financial support. If you didn't mean that you welcomed financial hardship apon Israeli families (yes, and their children) then why would you say this? And why have you lashed out when I have interpreted your words as they are written?

    "On the bright side, the apartheid state of Israel would be fatally wounded by the loss of its paymaster."

    This is my final word to you Jon. You are too abusive to bother with. i'm happy to debate Middle East policies with anyone, so long as they are polite. Unfortunately, you don't appear to possess this quality.

  • Jon Rosenberg

    You really are desperate, Gottcha .. and nothing more than a cheap ignorant troll.

    If I had actively wished financial misery upon Jewish children and families, I would have said it.

    Unlike you I don't squirm and abuse people by putting words in their mouth when I can't back up my claims.

    You really are quite deranged.

  • Jon Rosenberg

    Total U.S. aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the entire American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises just .001 percent of the world's population and already has one of the world's higher per capita incomes.

    Indeed, Israel's GNP is higher than the combined GNP of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.

    With a per capita income of about $14,000, Israel ranks as the sixteenth wealthiest country in the world; Israelis enjoy a higher per capita income than oil-rich Saudi Arabia and are only slightly less well-off than most Western European countries.

    Gottcha’s idea that cutting of US aid (most of which is in the form of military hardware) would somehow heap financial misery upon Jewish children and families is actually quite hilarious.

    Handgrenade bagel anyone?

  • gottcha

    It's good to see you do some reading Jon. Here at least you base your claims on research.

    Where you go astray in this appraisal is in your assumption that GNP is directly related to US foreign aid.

    As you point out Israel's GNP is higher than many of its Arab neighbours put together. It's quite astounding considering the country has no oil isn't it? And if as you claim that US foreign aid is in the form of weaponry, how do you account for those industrious Jews producing so much?

    They have the world's first de-salination plant in Israel and are conducting world-class research in many other areas. The country has no natural resources and yet it produces so much!

    You can criticise the Israeli Jews for many things, including their treatment of the Palestinians, but you must give them credit where it is due.

    What you also failed to mention Jon was that Arabs living inside Israel proper, share this high standard of living, they get to vote and to go to university without doing the mandatory military service. They even hold seats democratically elected seats within the Israeli government.

    Lastly Jon, your statment that I said 'cutting of US aid (most of which is in the form of military hardware) would somehow heap financial misery upon Jewish children and families is actually quite hilarious.' is not what I said at all.

    What I said was 'to actively wish financial misery upon Jewish children and families is really low.' You need to read more carefully Jon, before you lash out.

  • reynard

    how on earth did this lead article degenerate into a tired old slanging match between the two entrenched (and deranged) sides of the m/e question? no wonder there is no hope of peace

    the US is not facing another GD – it (and the rest of us) is facing a "greater depression" – the biggest and worst and longest yet – and it's all thanks to Nixon taking the US off the gold standard, the fiat money printing of the US Fed and the total incompetance of those who have been running the US Treasury for the last 40 years. Complicit have also been successive central bankers in Europe and Australia who have done what they have been told by the US and printed their own fiat money (at growth rat4es in excessive of 10% per annum) and sold their gold and silver reserves. China, it appears, is making exactly the same mistakes. Their sins have been compounded by the lies they have told in regard to inflation and unemployment figures.

  • Basil Brush

    Gotcha,

    The Third Reich (the Fascist Govt by which all Fascist Govts are judged), was democratically elected.

    Rather than spending your time lookong thorough dictionaries (Macquarie or otherwise), a quick skim through any book on twentieth century history would make you look smarter.

  • gottcha

    Basil Brush:

    Yes, Hitler was elected democratically but then he passed legislation that enabled him to become a dictator. But, any student of history would know this. Let me give you some tips Basil Brush.

    Why Israel isn’t a “fascist” state:

    The epithet “fascist” has become a favoured slur that is ubiqutiously hurled with intellectual abandon at anyone or any ideology that is disliked. As George Orwell, once remarked:

    “The word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else … Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathisers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.”

    Lefties commonly apply the term to Israel, but any serious study of the characteristics of fascism reveals this to be without foundation.

    1. Fascism is anti-socialist. AS Kevin Passmore of Cardiff University explains:

    “Fascist nationalism is reactionary in that it entails implacable hostility to socialism and feminism, for they are seen as prioritizing class or gender rather than nation. This is why fascism is a movement of the extreme right. Fascism is also a movement of the radical right because the defeat of socialism and feminism and the creation of the mobilized nation are held to depend upon the advent to power of a new elite acting in the name of the people, headed by a charismatic leader, and embodied in a mass, militarized party. Fascists are pushed towards conservatism by common hatred of socialism and feminism, but are prepared to override conservative interests – family, property, religion, the universities, the civil service – where the interests of the nation are considered to require it.”

    But the pioneers of the Zionist movement, who were Israel’s founding fathers, were explicitly socialist Zionists. These included Ben Gurion, Rupin, Borochov, and A.D. Gordon, to name just a few. These socialist Zionists founded socialist kibbutz collective agricultural communities. They established the Israeli Labour Party as Israel’s dominant political movement and created a very powerful trade union movement that was centralised in the Histadrut. These facets of Israeli society are all fundamentally incompatible with fascism.

    2. In his Doctrine of Fascism, Mussolini wrote:

    "Fascism is therefore opposed to that form of democracy which equates a nation to the majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number."

    Those who cast the epithet “fascist” at Israel are only displaying their own superficial intellect and erudition. Sciolism is the word that comes to mind.

  • rob

    your article seems to imply that the US Fed is trying to hide the amount of money printed by not reporting M3. I thought money printed is already accounted for in M1. so sorry, no conspiracy here.
    M3 measures money in large instutions and liquid assets on top of whats already accounted for in M2. which in the current overheated market with so many new funds, hedge funds, funds of funds, funds of funds of funds (you get the idea) is near impossible to account so the fed has just given up (their excuse anyway).
    Not reporting M3 will mean the state of the economy is less clear especially the inflationary presures from the market. If there is anything sinister that can be draw from this it would be they are trying to cover up the broader inflationary effects of the excess credit supply in the system. The amount and availbility of this cheap credit is what has created the housing bubble and indirectly the resources bubble. ANd yes I agree with you that this bubble needs to burst soon and it will be extra extra painful. the longer we prolong the correction the more painful and not reporting M3 can be interpreted as a clumsy and naive tactic in extending the bubble.

  • viva peace

    I tell you what. If the US pulls up the foreign aid drawbridge, Egypt, the PA, Jordan, Iraq, and South Arabia will suffer infintely more than Israel. Israel's per capita GDP is 4 to 10 times higher than the surrounding Sunni basket cases. Israel has ten times more Nobel Prizes than the entire Muslim world combined, a thriving biotech and tech. sector and the world's finest scholars in every discipline.