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.

The Left should oppose repression

I’ve spent most of my professional life skewering the unhinged tendencies of the Right (not least debunking its support for Israeli violence). Sadly, some on the Left are equally ideological and blind to their own propaganda.

Western support for Cuba remains fairly strong on the Left, despite the vast evidence that Fidel Castro ran a police state for half a century. His brother, Raul, sadly continues to intimidate dissidents. Many of these people, despite the rantings of die-hard Castro supporters, are not on the US payroll, simply asking for true democratic reform.

An article in this week’s Green Left Weekly is a classic case of unthinking Cuban propaganda masquerading as analysis. The writer, Sydney academic Tim Anderson, claims – and has done so for years against anybody who mouths any criticisms of the Cuban regime, including my good self – that my forthcoming book, on the internet in repressive regimes, is really a front for a US-funded campaign to destabilise Washington’s enemies:

Australian journalist Anthony [sic] Loewenstein paid a brief visit to Cuba and announced that Cuban dissident Oscar Espinosa Chepe had been jailed for simply “opposing the Castro regime”. In fact, Espinosa Chepe had done this for many years, on various internet sites.

What led to his arrest and conviction in 2003 was taking several thousand US dollars from US government programs authorised under the Helms Burton Act, designed to overthrow the Cuban constitution.

Loewenstein has a blogger project (and pending book) almost identical to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) “internet freedom” campaign against Cuba. The US Government specifically funds RSF for anti-Cuban campaigns through the “Centre for a Free Cuba” and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The NED says it “works with a number of groups that support the work of independent journalists and other media within Cuba … to foster free press and promote an independent civil society in Cuba”. However the NED has been linked to the US-backed 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela and the 2004 coup in Haiti.

While the RSF targets 15 countries in its “internet freedom” campaign, Loewenstein is preparing a book on six of these: Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China. The US Government has current economic sanctions (for different reasons) against Cuba, Iran and Syria, and maintained sanctions against China for 50 years.

If one is looking at threats against “independent journalists”, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) those countries with the highest numbers of journalists killed are: Iraq, Algeria, Russia, Colombia and the Philippines — three of these being US allies.

Let me try and understand the logic here (without laughing too hard.) Reporters Without Borders runs some campaigns against designated US enemies (though also bravely defends oppressed journalists the world over.) I visited many countries on an RSF list and therefore, by definition, my work is suspect and really an attempt to undermine the nations and individuals standing up to American aggression. The anti-intellectualism and ignorance of the case is startling (and is based on not even reading my book, which isn’t out until September). I visited the countries I did because internet repression is pervasive in their societies, dissent is changing as a result and US involvement is often problematic.

I’ve been accused in the past of taking money from the US to fund my overseas travels last year (and yes, the CIA wires money to me weekly). There is a strain of the Left that argues only public solidarity with US “enemies” is appropriate to show a unified front to the world.

The problem is, for me as a human being and journalist, many of the nations in my book commit gross human rights abuses and remaining silent is neither moral nor legitimate. One either believes in human rights or you don’t. You either support the rights of individuals to live in freedom, read a free press and meet without fear or favour or you don’t. It’s possible to do all this and still slam US foreign policy, the crazy US embargo against Cuba and campaign strongly (as my new book does consistently) against foreign meddling in non-Western nations.