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.

Who’s behind the Palestinian ‘civil war’?

The familiar narrative used to explain the conflict among Palestinian factions is steeped in the racist ideology that Arab Muslims cannot help but kill one another. In reality, what we are witnessing is an age old strategy of divide and conquer.

The civil war in Palestine is of course a long-held dream of the American and Israeli Right. Israel first secretly supported the sectarian Hamas in order to undermine the secular nationalists of Arafat’s PLO; now they openly take sides with Arafat’s successors in the Palestinian Authority against Hamas, which — as always happens — escaped the control of the puppet-masters who sought to exploit the group for their own ends. But the long-term aim has been achieved: a violently divided Palestinian society, broken down, killing each other off, leaving Israel free to continue its colonization of Palestinian land. As others have pointed out, it’s no wonder that the United States so staunchly supports this policy: after all, it’s what we did to the Native Americans.

It does seems extremely convenient (for Israel) that having recently declared a unity government, Hamas and Fatah have returned to fighting. Why would Israel deal with a unity government and agree to return stolen land, when they can just as easily create inter factional fighting and continue stealing more land? After all, the release of US plans to sink Hamas is just a coincidence, right?

On April 30, the Jordanian weekly newspaper Al-Majd published a story about a 16-page secret document, an “Action Plan for the Palestinian Presidency” that called for undermining and replacing the Palestinian national-unity government.

The document outlined steps that would strengthen Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, build up Palestinian security forces under his command, lead to the dissolution of the Palestinian Parliament, and strengthen US allies in Fatah in a lead-up to parliamentary elections that Abbas would call for early this autumn.

The Majd document is based on a Jordanian government translation of a reputed US intelligence document that was obtained by the newspaper from a Jordanian government official. The document, an official at the newspaper said, was drawn up by “Arab and American parties” and “presented to Palestinian President Abbas by the head of an Arab intelligence agency”. The document is explosive.

Should Abbas give his agreement to the plan – which is not yet certain – he would be complicit in a program to undermine his own government.

Understanding the implications of the document, Jordanian government officials ordered that the publisher’s printing house stop the presses while that edition’s plates were confiscated. “The Jordanian security services, which censor newspapers in advance, intervened during the night to stop our print-run,” confirmed Fahd Al Rimawi, an editor at Al-Majd.

On May 1, the Jordanian government explained its decision in a statement issued by the president of the Jordanian Press Association, Tareq al-Moumani. The statement claimed that Al-Majd had repeatedly published reports “based on information taken from intelligence sources and offends the country’s security and interests”.

The fact that the US has used this formula countless times is completely irrelevant to what is taking place in Gaza. Move along. Nothing to see here.

28 comments ↪
  • gottcha

    It must be bizarre to be a Palestinian. I mean you get to:

    1) Blow up cafes and resaurants with the sole intention on killing as many Jews as possible
    2) Indoctrinate your children into hating Jews and Zionists
    3) Be a victim forever, despite a complete right of return to Jordan
    4) Elect a government completely devoted to dislocating 6 million Jewish people and destroying their homeland
    5) Despite extreme hardship and poverty, your wife has an average of 7 kids (Gaza has the highest birthrate in the world), and these kids are supported by UN welfare agencies, whose main benefactor is the United States.

    And guess what? You don't have to take responsibility for any of it. Hell, it's all the Americans fault. Blame the Yanks and you get to do anything you like. G-d forbid you might have to take responsibility for your own decisions. Hell no.

  • gottcha

    Oh yeah, I forgot to add:

    Even when you kill your fellow Palestinians you get to blame the Yanks for that too. You pulled the trigger because they made you do it.

    Oh, to be a Palestinian. Everything is someone else's fault.

  • Andre

    Like I said Gottcha,

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

    And FYI. It's not the Palestinians that are blaming the US, it's me.

  • BenZ

    No Andre, the Palestinians certainly are blaming the US and Israel. Your narrative is as deluded as theirs. To be expected really, considering you take their propaganda as gospel and repeat it endlessly.

  • Marilyn

    Benz and Gothca – are you totally insane? The US spent $46 million training soldiers of Fatah in Egypt so they could destroy Hamas and last week the IDF opened the Karni crossing for the first time in months to let them through.

    Jesus, even the Australian media managed to report that piece of information.

    The US has always used one group against another to stir up civil wars going back to 1946 when they started the delightful terrorist school called "The School of the Americas" in Fort Benning, Georgia.

    And gothca, being a Palestinian means the IDF can slaughter your children while they study in their rooms, or play in their yards, or sleep in their beds at night, or go to school, or walk down the road.

    It means the IDF can murder babies in the womb, or let women die at checkpoints while giving birth, it means your home can be bulldozed just in case you know someone mean.

    Get a grip on reality you wretched creatures and stop being so damn blind.

  • Clearly the US can't create the chaos from nothing in Gaza. There is no avoiding the responsibility of those with their fingers on the triggers.

    However, responsibility extends to those who supply the guns. The situation has been very tense, with Fatah still smarting over their loss, and having failed to lose the born-to-rule attitude, remaining hopeful of the Hamas-led government collapsing. The US released funds to Abbas, not for food, nor medical supplies, but guns, and soon after 400 armed and trained Fatah security personel enter Gaza, which is already a tinderbox. In this situation, it seems safe to assume that the results indicate the intent.

    And the general background , as Sarah Roy has explained, 17 years is one of deliberate de-devolopement in the Strip. In a World Bank reprot from just a few years back, the authors noted that given the economic realities in Gaza, the lack of open conflict was miraculous and testiment to the incredible "social cohesion" that endures there despite the intense pressure. Seems the pressue of the last 12 months is finally producing the expected results.

    Maybe it's just me, but as appalling as the situation in Gaza is, the role played in it by external agents verges on the barbaric.

  • BenZ

    Seems the pressue of the last 12 months is finally producing the expected results.

    Well, that and Islamic incitement to Jihad.

    You won't see starving (yes, starving) Ethiopians or any other culture wantonly shooting each other in the street and diverting most aid money into killing people.

    Perhaps they could try getting their blood-soaked hands on the billions that Suha Arafat has in her bank account…

  • Thanks for the lesson in human behaviour BenZ. In a disaster, you'd never see people rampling others to save themselves.Only Palestinians do that sort of thing.

    Bigot anyone?

  • gottcha

    Andre,

    What does your comment below mean? I'm not aware of you saying anything to me. And what does 'move along' mean? Do you have issues with my differing opinion?

    By the way, there is plenty of evidence that the Palestinians blame the USA and Israel for many many things. Look even deluded Marilyn blames the Americans.

    'Like I said Gottcha,

    Move along. Nothing to see here.'

    Why don't you shock us Andre and Marilyn and actually criticise the Palestinians for murdering Israeli children. How about it — prove you can be fair-minded. Condemn the Palestinians for their violence or will you make excuses for their behaviour again.

    And as for moving along. I've been thinking about doing that too. I actually feel sick when l click on this blog now. You know, it makes me feel ill wondering what hate-filled propaganda 'm going to come across here. Some of the stuff you post here is so disturbing it wrecks my day. Thank God you represent a tiny radical minority.

  • gottcha

    Why are Jewish lives completely meaningless to you people?

    Why do you post endlessley on the suffering of the Palestinians and yet not even mention the suffering of Jewish people?

    When Palestinians are killed in the conflict you publish links and stories and condemnations; and yet, when the Arabs blow up cafes or murder Israeli citizens, your silence is deafening. Why is this?

    These are relevant questions that go to the source of many people's horror about this blog. You claim to want peace, but you incite hatred and intolerance. For peace comes from listening to all the voices — not half of them. It comes from love — not condemnation. And it comes from tolerating all perspectives — not silencing those who disagree with you.

    It's time you guys practiced what you preach.

  • Andre

    Gottcha,

    The murders of any people are a tragedy, Jewish or Arab alike. It just so happens that the ones dying in far greater numbers happen to be Arabs and when they die, it is usually reported as being justified, while Jewish deaths are a crime.

    It's very telling that those who share your bias always refer back to "Arabs blow up cafes" when the last time such an event took place was in 2005. Was the event deserving of condemnation? Of course, but since then we have witnessed massacres perpetrated by Israel on the Palestinians and Lebanese population, which more often than not, included womens and children.

    Like I stated in another thread, the truth is not fair and balanced. When the overwhelming volume of evidence condemns Israel, that is what we will do.

    Ignoring and justifying what Israel is does is was incited hatred and intolerance, not talking about it. And more to the point, refusing to accept the root causes of the problem by blaming the victims is the epitome of inciting hatred and intolerance.

    BenZ,

    Interesting that you should mention the plight of Ethiopia, a country who the US is using to launch unprovoked attacks inside Somalia, that has led to hundreds of thousands of refugees and hundreds of murders. They many not have money to feed their own people, but they manage to find it when they are called upon do do America's dirty work.

    You may not realize it, but you just proved the point of this thread. Thanks again mate, you're a star.

  • gotcha,

    If this site devoted a thread to every occasion when "Palestinians are killed in the conflict" the archive would be considerably larger than it is now.

    Though I must admit it's a slightly more sophisticated rhetorical device than the usual. But asked in a more plain form your question is – why do you pay more attention to the victims of oppression than you do to the casualties the oppressors suffer in enforcing subjugation?

    It's the old 'balance' furphy; the attempt to suggest that this is a conflict between equals, rather than an impoverished and controlled population vs. the military force of a state power. And so there should be a perfect 'balance' of coverage given to the 2 sides. If not this "incite[s] hatred and intolerance". No, but nice try.

    If you can find somewhere that Antony has said the lives of Israeli Jews are "meaningless", I'll leave this blog and never return.

  • BenZ

    Andre and Antony also have very little to say when Arab-Muslims are murdering other Arab-Muslims, as is the vast majority of carnage in recent memory.

    It must become difficult, after a fashion to find new and innovative ways to Blame the Jews when Palestinians are killing each other…

    Better just to say nothing.

  • gottcha

    So, my reply to Andre is gone — deleted?

    You guys are amazing the way you delete anything you don't agree with. My reply to Andre was polite and relevant. You are just outrageous the way you click and delete (censor) comments you don't like.

    I reckong I've about had it here. Honestly, you are not interested in hearing anything that you don't agree with. It's more than censorship, it's plain ignorant.

  • I take it then gottcha that you can't find any examples of what you claimed?

    What a surprise. Yes, much better to bang on in your many many posts, how you're censored.

  • viva peace

    Well Andre have you notified the Oxford English Dictionary with your new definition of "racism?"

    racism. (noun). Any criticism made of Arabs, Muslims, and particularly the holiest of holies – our beloved "Palestinians."

    No wonder you people are so irrelevant to the debate. In fact you people are part of the problem, not the solution.

  • Andre

    Thanks Viva,

    Far be it from "us" people to suggest the current approach to the crisis is not working perfectly well. After all, "you" people have only had 60 years to resolve the problem.

  • Andre

    So, my reply to Andre is gone — deleted?

    Post it again Gottcha. I posted here myself and have had posts disappear. I'm sure there are glitches in the system.

  • BenZ

    I’m sure there are glitches in the system.

    I found the glitch: Antony "Let the Debate Continue" Loewenstein's habit of deleting comments he doesn't like.

  • gottcha

    BenZ

    It's funny that nobody has worked out the humour in your name hey? I guess it shows how unfamiliar the so-called Jews around here are with Israeli humour or culture.

    The 'deletion' glitch is outrageous isn't it. No free speech on Antony Loewenstein's blog unless it's speech he agrees with.

    Hey Michael,

    Haven't you worked out yet that I am ignoring you? I took one look at your neo Nazi hate- blog and I have no desire to engage you in debate about anything. Now, be grateful — if I was Antony Loewenstein, I'd just delete everything you wrote.

  • Andre

    The ‘deletion’ glitch is outrageous isn’t it.

    Yes indeed. There can be only one explanation. Ant is censoring me too. Outrageous isn't it?

    No free speech on Antony Loewenstein’s blog unless it’s speech he agrees with.

    If that were true, nothing BenZ posted would be published.

    How does it feel to be exposed so easily as a liar?

  • viva peace

    Andre

    I have absolutely nothing to do with the Muslim attempts to push the Jews into the sea. If I had had any such influence, I assure you there would have been resolution LONG ago.

    But the issue is racism being redefined, isn;t it?

  • Isn't gottcha amusing.

    After numerous posts telling us how censored he is, he now addresses me directly to tell me he's ignoring me.

    Is he for real?

  • BenZ

    It’s funny that nobody has worked out the humour in your name hey? I guess it shows how unfamiliar the so-called Jews around here are with Israeli humour or culture.

    Yup. http://ninercharlie.blogspot.com/2007/03/wayne-ke

  • BenZ

    If that were true, nothing BenZ posted would be published.

    How does it feel to be exposed so easily as a liar?

    What utter crap Andre.

    Obviously a couple of comments get through, mine included. However these are kept in check by an inevitable pile-on by yourself and like-minded useful-idiots.

    My dissenting comments here are a nice little token gesture. I get it.

    However what is actually in point, are the dozens of other people whose comments are censored as a matter of course. They are polite, civil and Antony doesn't agree with them. So they are deleted.

    Need even more links to this?

    Here's just one: http://ker-plunk.blogspot.com/2007/05/loewenstein

    Or are you prepared for some honesty, and to admit (as Antony refuses to even discuss it) that comments here are censored for no other reason than Antony can't hack it in the real world.

  • Andre

    BenZ,

    Obviously a couple of comments get through, mine included.

    Which proves Gottcha's comment in wrong.

    No free speech on Antony Loewenstein’s blog unless it’s speech he agrees with.

    You are evidently not used to having others disagree with you, so when you are refuted, you cry foul. You are such a whimp.

    JF Beck trolls here and comes up with one or two examples, and you then extrapolate that to be dozens.

    Like I said, you are our best asset BenZ, but if I were you, I'd tone it down a bit. Other posers here might think you're a plant invited here to make Zionists and Israel look bad.

  • BenZ

    JF Beck trolls here and comes up with one or two examples, and you then extrapolate that to be dozens.

    He "trolls"?

    How many examples did he need to come up with exactly? Thus far, Antony is yet to respond to any, even though he was busted well and truly.

    Other posers here might think you’re a plant invited here to make Zionists and Israel look bad.

    Posers? Your best stupid typo yet.

    I have no doubt that like-minded whackjobs you call your readership would be easily convinced I'm a secret Mossad agent. I take time out of my baby-eating plane-hijacking activities to "troll" a site like this. Gosh, I'm busted.

  • Andre

    Benz,

    At least you relearned how to spell my name correctly. I'm flattered.

    So I take it the dozens you are have referred to don't have names? I hate to break it to you, but the voices in your head don't count BenZ.