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.

What real democracy doesn’t look like

Let freedom reign:

President Bush and his foreign policy muse, the onetime Soviet Jewish dissident Natan Sharansky, are planning a June rendezvous in Prague, at a conference to promote democratic reforms around the world.

Just over two years ago, the newly re-elected Bush was riding a wave of apparent success in his campaign to democratize the Middle East. It was a season known as the “Arab Spring Revolution.” Millions of Iraqis voted in democratic elections. The Lebanese toppled their Syrian-puppet government, ending Syrian occupation of their country. And Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced that he would allow candidates to run against him.

At the time, Bush pointed to a book, “The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom To Overcome Tyranny and Terror,” as his foreign-policy bible, telling The New York Times it was “part of my presidential DNA.” He invoked it in his second inaugural address in 2005, to which he invited Sharansky, the book’s author. Then an Israeli minister and leader of his own Yisrael B’Aliyah party, Sharansky became Bush’s ideological partner in the drive to change the Arab world.

The tide has since turned. The “Arab Spring Revolution” has lost its momentum, and so has the Bush administration. Tens of Iraqi civilians and American soldiers are killed in Iraq daily. The Lebanese government stands incapacitated by the Islamist extremists of Hezbollah. And crackdowns against human and political rights activists and outspoken bloggers in Syria and Egypt are on the rise.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry when reading such nonsense. Bush’s so-called democracy agenda has never been anything other than rhetoric, brutal violence and racism. Iraq was never on the road to real freedom, Lebanon was viciously invaded by Israel last year and the Palestinians continue to languish under occupation. The policies of the Bush administration have only worsened the situation of all Middle Eastern people.

Sharansky talks about peace and democracy, but it’s the kind that is uniformly rejected by most Arabs, and rightly so. US-style capitalism is not the model aspired-to by many around the world. Real freedom is, but as Robert Fisk has often said, freedom from us is the key, something most Western powers are unwilling to offer.

With a majority of Iraqi lawmakers now calling for US withdrawal, Israeli soldiers assaulting protestors and Iraq in the grip of ever-growing violence, Bush and his “muse” Sharansky have brought misery, destruction and revenge to the Middle East.

The mass exodus out of Iraq – the largest since the Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from Palestine in 1948 – will create new realities but one thing is clear: true democracy is not the real goal of Bush and his minions. Witness the Western response to the election of Hamas in 2006 for evidence of how “we” deal with Middle Eastern democracy.

one comment ↪
  • al loomis

    pretty sure about that, are you?

    the yanks have been pretty consistent in their treatment of foreigners throughout their history. military assault has been their primary tool of engaging with all their neighbors, from cherokee to nez perce, to mexico and philippines, vietnam, laos and cambodia, and now their ‘neighbor’ du jour is iraq.

    when i look back at american history, i am amazed that anyone thinks they are more peaceful than timur the lame, more democratic than genghis khan.

    even when they found themselves on the ‘right’ side of wwll, it was only to preserve their hegemony in the pacific. they only joined the european war because hitler honored his commitment to japan, and declared war on the usa. this would have been a bitter disappointment to dubya’s grandfather, who was the banker to the nazis in america.