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.

British distractions

Being in London, one is able to read an amazing array of media, most of which, it has to be said, is pretty ordinary and lacking in global context. When I used to live here years ago, I viewed many of the British papers as the best in the world, able to critically analyse government and debate issues that much of the Western media would ignore. Last week’s departure of Blair, however, unleashed a sickening amount of praise for a man whose so-called legacy will be the bloodbath in Iraq, and little else. Something to be truly proud of, dear Tony.

Like in Australia, where the possibility of the departure of John Howard is causing fear in the hearts of the commentariat, many of whom can’t imagine cosying up to the other mob, many writers here in Britain have benefited drinking Blair’s drool over the last ten years. Remember, most journalists aren’t into the truth, they prefer to keep those in power happy and denigrate the weakest in society. After all, far too many reporters see themselves as being part of the elite and able to create news. Sycophancy is a lucrative business, well rewarded by the Murdoch stable, amongst others.

There are some unintentional gems in the English media environment (like the Telegraph blogs) or releasing information such as this in today’s Observer:

The ubiquity of the drug [in Afghanistan] has now created the world’s worst domestic drug problem, a crisis threatening to engulf any hope of economic revival. The first nationwide survey on drug use, by the Afghan Ministry of Counter-Narcotics and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, estimated that one million in this nation of 30 million were addicts, including 100,000 women and 60,000 children.

Britain is a fascinating nation, even if it’s unsure of its place in the world (though the Daily Mail wants to imagine the British Empire still in full swing.)

7 comments ↪
  • Jon Rosenberg

    You need to be a bit more picky about what you read, Antony. I doubt that I have read even four remotely complimentary articles.

    Look elsewhere in the Guardian, Observer and Independent and you will see that the staff reporters (rather than outside opinion writers like Will Hutton) are eating Tony alive .. and have been for the last few years.

    It has all become a little old hat. It has all been said a thousand times in the last year since the Brown coup made Tony's exit inevitable.

  • Carrie Lewis

    The praise which British journalists heap upon Blair never ceases to amaze me given that this man has involved his nation in the murder of 650,000 Irakis.

    What I can't work out is why the British Union of Journalists haven't voted to boycott themselves over the carnage caused by their country.

  • gottcha

    Antony

    I think it's fair to give Blair credit for being one of the dominant forces in resolving the problems between the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland.

  • Andre

    That's partly true Gottcha.

    Blair entered the process while it was already under way, and yes, he did see it through. Though it goed to show how petty he was that he didn't recognize the efforts made by his predecessor, John Major.

  • BenZ

    his man has involved his nation in the murder of 650,000 Irakis.

    Even taking at face-value the widely discredit Lancet Survey figures you quote, are the Islamists, in your opinion, responsible for any of those deaths?

    Or are they immune from responsibility and it could only be Bush/Blair/Howard who went door-to-door killing civilians.

  • Andre

    On the contrary BenZ,

    The Lancet has been recognized by key advisers to the British government as not only credible, but an underestimate.

    Secondly. there is the issue of cause and effect. There were no car or suicide bombs going off in Iraq pre-invasion, so the occupation forces are responsible for what is happening by the fact that the chaos was seeded by the illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq, and the criminally negligent occupation.

  • viva peace

    Actually the overwhelming majority of dead Iraqis have been murdered by their fellow Muslims.