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.

That well-planned chaos

Tony Karon, Rootless Cosmopolitan, June 14:

Coming, as he does, from Fox News, Tony Snow is obviously a deeply cynical fellow, but this takes some beating: Asked to comment Wednesday on the bloodbath in Gaza, he answered: “Ultimately, the Palestinians are going to have to sort out their politics and figure out which pathway they want to pursue — the pathway toward two states living peaceably side-by-side, or whether this sort of chaos is going to become a problem.”

Everyone following the conflict in Gaza knows full well that the reason for the violence is not that Palestinians have not “sorted out their politics” — they’ve made their political preferences abundantly clear in democratic elections, and later in a power-sharing agreement brokered by the Saudis. The problem is that the U.S. and the corrupt and self-serving warlords of Fatah did not accept either the election result or the unity government, and have conspired actively ever since to reverse both by all available means, including starving the Palestinian economy of funds, refusing to hand over power over the Palestinian Authority to the elected government, and arming and training Fatah loyalists to militarily restore their party’s power. Unfortunately, after three days of some of the most savage fighting ever seen in Gaza, that strategy now lies in tatters. Fatah is, quite simply, no longer a credible fighting force in Gaza, where it has long been in decline as a credible political force.

7 comments ↪
  • I'm no fan of religious political parties. But frankly I think Fatah has a lot to answer for. They arrogantly assumed they would win the last elections despite their ineptitude and corruption. Once Hamas won and the world shunned them, Fatah thought all it had to do was challenge Hamas's leadership as the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people and they would eventually be back in power with the assistance of Israel and the US and the EU would start funding the PA again. Hamas is far from angelic, and it sounds like their take over in Gaza has been fairly brutal with talk of some Fatah leaders being executed. But you can see where they're coming from. Interestingly, it seems like militarily they've won a decisive victory against Fatah in Gaza, and the most militant among the Hamas rank are likely to use this fact to push more of their Islamic agenda. Of course, that's conjecture on my part, we'll just have to wait and see.

    So yet again, the bastions of civilization, democracy, secularism, etc have played a pivotal role in increasing the prestige of an Islamic political party. Sound familiar?

  • Marilyn

    I blame Israel almost entirely and they are aware of it and are laughing about it.

    For 59 years they have been trying to force this, for 40 years they have been brutalising the Palestinians and arming one faction or the other to kill each other.

    The US sticks their ignorant noses in at every opportunity because they are led around by AIPAC and the other toadies who got it so very wrong in Iraq.

    This is a terrible tragedy because Israel supported and armed and started Hamas to help them get rid of Fatah, now they are arming Fatah to get rid of their own hand made Hamas.

    The reality is that Israel does not want and has never wanted peace – they simply want the arabs dead and gone so they can have the land.

  • Jon

    What a load of hogwash. The current violence in Gaza is purely a Hamas creation – an attempt to control the security services in Gaza to ensure hegemony in Gaza. The brutality of the Hamas militia in the past few days as detailed in the newswires is brutal and criminal.

    If Hamas really cared for their people they would give up their pathetic ideological worldview and come to a genuine acceptance of a two state solution – not stupid hudnas or the such like – a real end to the conflict.

    Unforunately, as if Gaza isn't bad enough – things will only get worse – no aid to Gaza, an even tighter closure policy at the crossing points and pure misery. All so Hamas can maintain their ideological purty and not condescend to behave like normal actors in the international community.

  • viva peace

    One can only laugh. It seems as though the Muslims are finally getting their wish to push people into the sea. Except it is EACH OTHER.

  • viva peace

    These people follow a Death Cult and now they are committing suicide. Let them go for it, so the rest of us no longer have to hear from these truly awful whingeing human beings.

  • Andre

    Viva,

    Just wondering if El Salvador and Honduras also follow a death cult. People were killing each other there also after US interference in their country.

  • Actually Hamas have said they will not induct the Sharia over Gaza and the Hamas PM has asked for restraint. If you take off the racist glasses you can see quite clearly that Hamas, while not a choir group, is fairly disciplined and rational in its actions. Rational here means following a course of action based on a logical framework which is largely predictable (as opposed to rational in the scientific sense).

    Remember Hamas played by the rules, they won elections and they even seized all suicide attacks in Israel. Where did it get them? Boycotts, targeted assassinations, the kidnap of their ministers. At the same time Fatah has been corrupt, arrogant, inept and openly and unquestioningly supported by all the major players – Israel, the US and Europe. Fatah gets this support because they understand what rules of the game. Palestine is never to exist. The Palestinians are merely to be the untouchables of greater Israel. Fatah will be the mafia bosses who run the Palestinian slums in what's left of the Palestinian land in the West Bank after the wall and major settlement areas have been completed. If the Palestinians behave themselves, they might be fortunate enough to provide some cheap labour for Israeli industry. But that's only a maybe. In recent years Israel has preferred migrant labour from places like the Philippines.

    So Hamas was left with two options, play by the rules and eventually disappear into oblivion, or take matters into their own hands.

    Of course crimes have been committed, and there is no excuse for that. Ideally the people who have committed these acts should be punished. But the situation is so horrible that what would normally be common sense is mere fantasy now. Gaza is a harsh, cruel place. People with guns get the power. That's what victimhood does to you.

    So yeah frankly, I hate to say this, but Hamas did what from their perspective was the only logical course of action. They're sending a pretty clear message, we're a force to be reckoned with so speak to us. Stop calling us a terrorist organisation, we're a political force whether you like it or not.