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.

What the French are doing here in Cairo to protest the Gaza blockade

An American friend of mine, currently living in Cairo, just sent out this missive about current activities here in the Egyptian capital. I also just returned from the French Embassy protest, witnessing around 1000 riot police surrounding around 300 French protestors, demanding the Egyptian government open the borders into Gaza and allow decency to return to the region:

I drove by the French embassy on my way downtown at 7AM. There seemed to be some hundreds of people sleeping in sleeping bags on a 4 or 5 metre footpath across the embassy’s wide frontate. There were perhaps one or two hundred riot police standing shoulder to shoulder facing them, motionless… none of them even slouching. I got to the small hotel where I do some reservations work for my wife’s favorite relative. The Gaza protest guests who had checked out yesterday or the day before were back in large numbers, having, surprise, surprise, surprise, been refused permission to cross into Gaza. Some large contingent of French participants was said to have gone to the French embassy to sit-down and protest the absence of a French government statement on the issue or something.

So that’s what I saw on the way to town and they were still there in some dozens at 4PM, the police maintaining their line of the morning and not encroaching on the territory of the thinning remnants. In the centre of the frontage they occupied, some half the people in front of the police line were gathered around a speaker standing at a slight elevation on the footpath with a megaphone of some sort. The riot police were starving them out through the day, perhaps. There were dozens and dozens of riot police passenger vehicles so perhaps 200-300 riot police, most of them inside their trucks sticking their heads out to look as the whole thing geared down. Some of the hotel guests talked of joining the French in the morning but surely they were turned away.

I doubt very much the Egyptian authorities will let them into Gaza. Or assemble anywhere again. It’s not like Canberra or Washington DC where their are large park areas where protestors are allowed to assemble. The protest at the embassy had little impact on traffic at &AM as there were few police trucks and the protestors were all prone sleeping. But at 4PM traffic was backed up to Independence Square (Midan Tahrir) and after observing this stuff for 3 years, though not previously of this scale, it’s usually a good guess that they’ll disperse any crowd that threatens to bring Midan Tahrir to gridlock. It’s just a big roundabout, not a place where any number of people can gather without bringing traffic to a halt.

Neither this morning nor evening did I see news crews or people being allowed to assemble anywhere in the area outside the cordon of police enclosing the protestors.

Just guessing, none of them will get to Gaza (where the main news lately has been about the construction of a partition wall along the Egyptian border to frustrate construction of the tunnels… which will now just be dug deeper).

2 comments ↪
  • gabrielle

    What are you going to do for the Egyptian Journalists getting arrested by the torturer mubarak police right now, December 28, 2009 20h21

  • jonathon miller

    Hi Gabrielle,

    And exactly what is it that you are doing for the Egyptian journalists being jailed by the Mubarak led regime? Are they being jailed for their views on the situation in Gaza? 

    Don't forget that this is actually the Gaza Freedom march, and to a degree it is also exposing the Egyptian regime as part of the Israeli nexus of colonisation and subjugation of the Palestinian people.

    Instead of asking such blind rhetorical questions aimed at delegitimising and derailing the issue of Gaza and the Palestinians, and if you are concerned about the plight of Egyptian journalists, then maybe you could post some links here to highlight what it is that you are concerned about.