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.

Hate mail of the week

Here’s a gem from one Albert Landa, delivered on the Sabbath, no less:

I just caught your interview with the ubiquitous Geraldine Doogue(spelling?) and I have heard quite a lot about you and the question which came to my mind, in a nutshell, is this:

‘WHAT DO YOU WANT?!”

What is it that you want to see Israel do? Do you want them to pull out of the West Bank, like now,taking all the settlements with them, do you want them to tear down the wall (shades of Ronald Reagon) which has, I believe. reduced suicide bombings by up to 90%.Do you want to see Israel pilloried in the halls of the UN and throughout the world’s media..Do you want to see Israel immediately take in the millions of Palestinian refugees displaced by the war that was inflicted on them like so many other wars?.Do you want to see Israel stop wingeing about the thousands of rockets being fired into it’s territories, endangering the lives of its citizens on a daily basis.Do you want Israel want to become a perfect flawless democracy, where even those who are hell-bent on its destruction are given full and equal “rights” that are enjoyed by its Jewish citizens.Is this a risk that Israel should obviously be prepared to take so that it can win the approval of even its most anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic enemies, including dismaying, deluded traitors like yourself.Do you imagine the leaders of Israel are this stupid?As far as “perfect” democracies are concerned, perhaps you might like to inform me of the existence of any.I believe that there are times of national emergency, such as the seemingly permanent condition of the state of Israel that it is simply not possible to have a flawless democracy.Perhaps you were thinking of the many Arab “democracies: in the Middle East that you might like to see Israel emulate

You certainly seem to have more confidence in the integrity of Hamas and other avowed enemies of Israel than you do in your own people.Do you think that by taking this stand you are going to win the admiration and respect of the non-Jewish world? Only those of a criminal mind with criminal intentions will grant you this spurious approval and this will only be because at that moment it may be tactically convenient and just one more tactic to weaken and undermine their enemy.Because, make no mistake, even though your blogging and careerist public pronouncements of disapproval of Israel may be used as further ammunition in the Hamas long =term plan for the destruction of Israel, you will be one of the first to have your throat cut by your erstwhile “friends” if they succeed, because in the final analysis, and as much as you may hate it you are, and always will be, a Jew.

Just one other thing.It strikes me that you are wanting to have it both ways.A “bob each way” to quote an Aussie vernacular.On the one hand you like to assure your non Jewish audience of your impeccable Jewish credentials, you know, the child of Holocaust survivors blah blah,and on the other hand, you, in the name of a spurious and totally unconvincing desire for “fairness” want to feel free to attack certain vital policies that Israel is by and large forced to take.Why can’t you accept that the situation in the Middle East between Israel and the Arabs is a state of ongoing war and mutual hatred and distrust.In this situation it does not help to identify with the “other side”.In a time of war, your attitude would be regarded as the most heinous treachery and the appropriate punishment would and should be meted out.

You seem to feel that the “solution” to the Middle East tragedy is soley the responsibility of the Israelis.Perhaps you might like to think about possible contributions that the many Arab countries in the region might make to further this process.I don’t wish to become personal but I see in your situation a certain tragedy.Despite all your protestations, you ARE going to be adjudged a ‘self-hating’ Jew, desparate for the approval of the non-Jewish world, even at the expense of your own people,and, as well, playing into the hands of the enemies of Israel and the Jews.You bring shame, not only to yourself,but certainly to your brothers and sisters.a great people who have suffered enough throughout history and will always need all the friends that it can get.You say that the Holocaust is “in the past”.Yes, in terms of mere time this is true but in other senses the Holocaust is still with us and perhaps it always will be.You make me sad, almost to the point of despair, but at the same time, I am sorry, but you also disgust me.

Albert Landa

11 comments ↪
  • Why can't these spittle-soaked myrmidons understand that the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine by the British was a mistake? It should never have happened. It is a poor, nineteenth century, colonialist response to a problem that should never have heppened in the first place. A Jewish home state? Bah!

  • mr. mike

    He was so angry he forgot to leave spaces between sentences! It's like Masaada2000 condensed down into five paragraphs…

  • Maronite

    "Why can’t you accept that the situation in the Middle East between Israel and the Arabs is a state of ongoing war and mutual hatred and distrust."

    We can't be sure but it is very certain that if Israel ended the occupation, the seige of Gaza and the settlements this would be the first step towards a real and lasting peace. Ongoing war? do the Palestinians have tanks, helicopters, remote control drones, nuclear weapons????? the answer is no. The Thousand odd children killed during the last intifada were mostly killed by a bullet to the head (it takes incredible concentration to shoot someone in the head), many below the age of 10 (take a look at ifamericansknew.org if you don't beleive me), how come we didn't hear this in the news?

     There is no war this is complete fabrication and until and unless people realise that they are being lied to we are never going to have peace on this earth.   

  • Kevin Charles Herber

     

    Sadly, Albert Landa is the archetype Zionist found around the globe, represented in Oz  by AIJAC's Colin Rubenstein and AICE's Albert Dadon, who live in a parallel universe where Jewish/Zionist beliefs supercede the accepted social morays of developed countries.

    It's only when this group of  far right ultra Zionists have died, that the chances for peace in the Middle East will increase dramatically.

    Both the ALP & the Liberals recent kow-towing to the Oz Zionist lobby led by the rich Sydney-based Zionists, will live in political infamy for generations to come. When both political parties take part in State functions for accused Israeli war criminals, who face arrest for war crimes in the UK & Spain, one can see straight through the core values of Australia's current political establishment.

    Rudd & Gillard don't have a ALP bone between them……rank political opportunists all..just like Howard…what a monumental disappointment.

     

  • The Albert Landas of the world have entered into an existential  covernent with G-D.

    Antony is interfering or questioning that bargain.

    To do so   is blasphemy. There is no possible way you can talk about human rights to those with that mindset.

    Be true to yourself Antony and realize that those with a fundamentalist  " No Surrender" mindset  cannot be  assuaged.

     

  • Marilyn

    Why don't they admit that Israel does not actually exist and never has?  It is nothing more that squatters in Palestine stealing and killing.

    No borders, no constitution, no legality.  Nothing says that Israel exists and it never has.

  • Apartheid Denier

    I just love how they drag in the Holocaust, like all the terrible things that are inflicted on the Palestinians on a day to day basis (including the incarceration of minors) are O.K. as long as one race is living in freedom and the other in a concentration camp. Take the labels off each of the people living in this land and look at them as equals (which is congruent with International Humanitarian Law, I'M GUESSING) one people are the agressor and the other are the oppressed, why should we live in the past if it suits one people's objectives and not the other?

    To use the Holocaust as a defence is immoral and wrong (to the people who lost their lives in that tragic event). Period! If Israel was in the right as it claims it wouldn't need to drag in the Holocaust. At the end of every defence we here about suffering, anti-semitism and the Holocaust, you know the last time I went to Westfield the place was far from empty. The Jewish people have acheived remarkable success over last 7 decades and probably more so in Australia than in any other country in the world, so don't insult the intelligence of the Goys by crying Anti-Semitism it's very weak and cowardly.

     

    How come all forms of Israeli terrorism and covert ethnic cleansing is referred to as self-defence and all forms of Palestinian resistance to an incredibly heartless occupation referred to as terrorism. I would suggest to every Zionist Jew, Christian and whoever else to look beyond what Zionism and the mainstream press are telling you (Operation Cast Lead began when Hamas reacted to Israeli bombings which broke the Cease fire, yeah thats right!).  

    Israel has every right to defend itself and if you do some research on the type of weaponry Israel has it can easily defend itself against a feebly armed Hamas, but the Palestine should also have the right to defend itself.

  • 'WHAT DO YOU WANT?!'

    Not wanting to answer in Loewenstein's place but I'd say: For Israel to abide by International Law (UN Res. 242) would be a good starting point…

  • mrfridayman

    Anthony, your editorial comment "Here’s a gem from one Albert Landa, delivered on the Sabbath, no less:"  is a little bit rich coming from a Jewish boy who posted the item on the Shabat no less.     If one had  made a similar type comment about another person's belief no doubt you would have attacked that poster for being whatever.       There is no need to attack people for their religious beliefs or lack thereof.      Attack the argument.

  • mallee

    Gerladine: 'ubiquitous'? Being there or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; omnipresent.

    Go Geraldine!

  • Good interview Antony with Geraldine. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/saturdayextra/default.ht
    You clearly showed the problems with Israel's continued siege on Gaza and the ever-expanding settlements and lawlessness that exists in the  West Bank with Israeli soldiers looking on as Palestinian farms are burnt.
    I agree with your comments about (1) the problem of those in the diaspora giving knee jerk responses to situations in the Middle East (despite the facts) and (2) the need for international pressure to encourage Israel to see that it is not "business-as usual".
    The challenge for us in the West is the political establishment (despite the rhetoric of a 2-state solution) has shown no effort to penalise Israel for expanding into East Jerusalem – evicting Palestinians, blockading Gaza, allowing settlements to expand.  Instead Israel continues to be rewarded with billions of dollars in US military aid and unquestioned support for Israel in the UN General Assembly despite the Richard Goldstone's Fact-Finding Mission in Gaza.
    The question is how do we get the Rudd's and Gillard's of the world to wake up to this situation?  Australia has behaved abysmally under the Rudd and Howard government's.  It is embarrassing to see Australia behave so unfairly towards Palestinian people.
    It staggers me that in the 21st century 'we' can support an occupation of nearly 4 million human beings for more than 40 years.  There is no justification.  How many young Israeli and Palestinian lives have been destroyed by this madness that is occupation?  As you mentioned all that occupation does is breed extremism – so the longer it continues the worse it will get.
    I am deeply saddened by the Mr Landa's of the world who have placed their own ethnic identity before our common human identity.  To do so just perpetuates the fear, mistrust and violence that hinders prospects for peace rather than enhance reconciliation.
    I realise Mr Landa feels betrayed by the international community for the horrors of the Shoah, the pogroms of Eastern Europe and Russia and the expuslions from European countries in the medieval times.  I realise Mr Landa is repulsed by the anti-semitic statements  that continue to be spoken today by certain international leaders and pushed by right wing fanatical groups – but please Mr Landa – what Antony asks for his understanding – he asks for an end of the diaspora community from simply defending one side at all costs.  This is an irrational and counter-productive response.  You are a reasoned human being who can see the diversity of humanity on either side of the Green Line.  We are not all the same as our ethnic/multi-ethnic label is projected in the media.  There is opportunity for change and new ways of existing as a people.
    Thanks again Antony for speaking up!
     
    Marilyn – I am not sure how your statement helps the dialogue without some clarification.  The danger with such short statements is they may hurt more than help in the conversation.  Israel has existed historically, there are 5.4 million Jewish-Israelis today.  The question is how can the 11 million people in this region of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories negotiate a peace deal that protects the security, political, identity, meaning and justice needs of each other.
    It will happen, but only when we are all generous enough to listen to the other and gracious enough to admit that our versions of history need to be changed to one that is compassionate to each others story.