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 eternal victim

My following article appeared yesterday in the Canadian magazine Adbusters:

Each side in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict believes criticisms in the media are biased, but the Palestinians are the ones doing almost all the suffering and dying these days. Antony Loewenstein argues for reality-based coverage.

Israel’s highly decorated Chief of Staff, Mordechai Gur, once said, “we make no distinction between civilian and military targets.”

Ze’ev Schiff, once the country’s leading defence analyst, further explained Gur’s remarks: “the Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously…the army, he said, has never distinguished civilian [from military] targets…[but] purposely attacked civilian targets.”

The reason was clear then and now. According to this deluded theory, the Palestinian population will pressure its leaders to cease hostilities with the Jewish state and simply accept colonization and expansion.

Israel’s recent war against Gaza must be seen in this light.

These realities are largely ignored in the Western media. Israel is a religion that only the bravest dare challenge publicly in the United States.

Instead we have to listen to claims about the Israeli Defence Force being “unsurpassed in its moral traditions.” Now, with over 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza murdered and a handful of Israeli soldiers killed by the Israeli army, many may disagree.

How can we think rationally about this conflict, which consumes more column inches than virtually any other issue in the world? Laugh at the black humor of it all, the supreme irony of Israeli soldiers leaving graffiti in Gazan homes that reads, “We came to annihilate you.”

As a Jew, I wonder what my family’s Auschwitz ghosts would think about that.

Israel is the eternal victim, surrounded by enemy states and peoples and desperately in need of deadly weapons to kill them as easily as possible.

Or so its most energetic supporters would like the world to believe.

But who really does anymore?

Washington has been happy to provide freedom bombs for Israeli wars and reliably despotic Arab friends.

Hamas rockets threatened Israel’s nuclear facility at Dimona during the recent war, according to Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspaper. The Iranian-backed militia are allegedly so crazy that they would risk destroying nuclear warheads and consequently spreading radiation across the occupied Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab states.

But then, Muslims are irrational and have a death wish.

The Zionist lobby regularly complains that the Western media is inherently biased against its noble mission of enforcing apartheid in the West Bank. During the Gaza onslaught, however, virtually all journalists were barred from entering the war zone. The result was unconvincing managed spin, pissed-off journalists and horrific pictures of Israeli devastation from local, Palestinian sources.

Just another win for the well-oiled, Israeli PR machine.

When Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that there was “no humanitarian crisis” in Gaza during days of ceaseless bombardment, this lie was all too evident. Bloggers, human rights workers, Arab journalists and civilians all told a vastly different tale.

I spent hours watching Al Jazeera English on its YouTube channel – Australia’s previous conservative government, like the Bush administration, opposed the network’s “alternative” perspectives and pressured satellite channel providers to restrict access – and often just laughed at the screen. War is peace. The Palestinians will thank us for destroying their homes. We are fighting a war against terror. You’re either with Hamas or us.

I know which side the civilized world has chosen.

Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney-based journalist, bestselling author and blogger. Visit his website: www.antonyloewenstein.com.

one comment ↪
  • Glenn Condell

    Again, wonderful stuff Antony.