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.

On Halper, Judaism and humanity

Following my recent publication of American/Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper’s comment on the Australian Jewish community and Israel, I received an email from George Salzman, Prof Emeritus in the Physics Dept at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (but currently based in Oaxaca, Mexico):

Dear Antony Loewenstein,

I’m writing to complement you on the quality of your weblog, and especially of your  Comment Rules, which provide a lucid guide for holding on to open yet valuable exchanges on the internet. Jeff Halper’s discussion of his recent experience in Australia is actually not so shocking to anyone who has thought about the dynamics of nation states and the value system promoted and ruthlessly enforced by the global capitalist system at its ultimate historical moment. The issues Halper raises are evidentaly important to those who identify themselves as Jews, but I believe he is somewhat mistaken in writing

“. . . In my view, Israel is being used as the lynchpin of your ethnic identity in Australia; mobilizing around a beleaguered Israel is essential for keeping your kids Jewish. I would go so far as to accuse you of needing an Israel in conflict, which is why you seem so threatened by an Israel at peace, why you deny that peace is even possible, why a peaceful Israel that is neither threatened nor “Jewish” cannot fulfill the role you have cast for it, and thus why you characterize my message as “vile lies.” . . .”

My belief is that there are many good people who quite honestly want Israel to be at peace with the other nations and do not have a psychological need for ‘an Israel in conflict’. Certainly many individual Israeli Jews are in favor of peace, I know many American Jews are, and I suspect that is also true of Australian Jews. The problem, I believe, is the widespread false conviction among many Jewish peoples of all national ethnicities that ‘We Jews are unique and very special. We are superior to the goyim.’ In his enlightening study, Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine, Joel Kovel argues, quite convincingly, that it is the ideology of Zionism that is at the heart of the immediate conflict. In his exploration of largely taboo considerations, e.g. the violence and murderous parts of Jewish religion, Kovel has taken an important step.

But I think he hasn’t gone far enough. What is, I think, at the heart of the ‘Jewish problem’ is the ideology of ‘being Jewish’, i.e. being apart from and inherently different than and superior to non-Jewish people. That is what we need to overcome. We, and all peoples, need to recognize that we are of a single species and that ethnic differences are simply cultural, as are national characteristics. They have nothing to do with genetics. Every child at birth enters this wonderful world without ethnicity. The culture into which the infant emerges at birth then imposes its ethnicity on the developing baby. It imposes its language, its tribal and/or national cultural values and practices, and the social norms of behavior.

Above all else we are human beings, and should cherish the children — all children — the only true organic link of humanity to the future. I’ve tried to explore some of these and related issues in a series of articles listed here.


one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    I agree. Shlomo Sand's book will be available in English on 1 October this year and I will be snapping it up as soon as I can.

    The thing is this. All religions are made up by men for various reasons of ritual or subjugation or both. Some to beat down women, others to beat down the next tribe but they all claim "specialism".

    The reality is that all people are born equal with inalienable human rights and they should not be brainwashed at birth into thinking they have to believe is such and such a thing.

    I had Lutheran, Methodist and Anglican people in my ancestry.

    I rejected them all by the age of 6 because it was all nonsense and fairy tales.

    To hear Bruce Wolpe, a man I thought was intelligent, proclaim that he is jewish because his mother was was hilarious.

    Can't jews think for themselves and reject it?

    Good grief, it is not some holy covenant from the made up god.

    I listened to Atzmon's "debate" with the horrible Cohen and Aaronovitch last night. Hilarious stuff wasn't it?

    Anyone can stop being a jew as easily as they can stop being catholic or anglican, the specialism drives people nuts.

    As for zionism. If you take things into the perspective of the 21st century, it is such a pissant idea.

    Steal a bit of dirt, kill or kick out the natives and then call it "theirs".

    Pathetic bleats really when we now consider they claim the jews of Europe who settled after WW11 were escaping nazi Germany.

    Which did not exist.