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.

Can we trust the press to be totally honest over Wikileaks (hint: no)

I wish this interview was more comforting. The idea of a Murdoch editor talking about resisting potential Australian government requests not to publish certain Wikileaks cables requires a suspension of disbelief, not least because he argues about not challenging anything that “could imperil the lives of Australian soldiers, men and women serving overseas in a war effort which enjoys bipartisan support.” That’s Afghanistan. And let’s face it; governments will often claim something is top secret when in fact it’s simply embarrassing:

MARK COLVIN: So how might Australia’s editors react to an approach from the Government along the lines that Mr [Attorney General Robert] McClelland sketched out? Not a lot of them wanted to talk about it today but I’m joined now by one who would – David Penberthy, editor of First thoughts?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Look I think that a lot of editors would respond pretty unfavourably to the request from the Attorney-General to somehow consider unilaterally desisting from publishing any of this material because I think that some of the material – and certainly listening to a lot of what you were broadcasting then in that report Mark – a lot of that is stuff which is wholly in the public interest.

I mean I would have thought that if there are senior ministers, senior world leaders who have serious drinking problems, behavioural issues, that that is something there’s absolutely no reason why aspects of those cables couldn’t be gleefully reported by the popular press.

I would even argue that the fact that it appears that China is wising up to what a dysfunctional dystopia North Korea is, is something which, shining a light on that pretty heartening little titbit of information could actually make the world a better place rather than a worse place.

MARK COLVIN: And what if McClelland came to you and said there was a matter of national security involved in one of these cables, Australian national security?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: You would have to assess it on its merits. I mean I doubt whether any news organisation in Australia setting aside any commercial imperatives because of the inevitable reader backlash that you would suffer – no one in this country is going to gleefully report on something which is a wholly logistical matter which could imperil the lives of Australian soldiers, men and women serving overseas in a war effort which enjoys bipartisan support.

But equally if it emerges that there’s stuff in these 1500 cables about Australia that go to the existence or more accurately nonexistence of weapons of mass destruction, you know stuff which might cause a bit of political embarrassment for people who are still in politics but has absolutely no operational bearing on the way the war on Afghanistan is being conducted or would endanger our remaining deployment of troops in Iraq, I think that instinctively any editor would think long and hard before agreeing to what the Attorney-General somewhat cutely calls an informal protocol.

Because it must be a pretty informal protocol because we’ve got rid of D notices in this country.

MARK COLVIN: I was going to ask you about the D notices, don’t notices. They petered out in the mid-90s. But for instance at one stage they protected the identity, the new identity and the whereabouts of the Petrovs, the famous defectors from Russia.

And the argument was that the Petrovs might be at risk from the Russians. They could be assassinated if their whereabouts were known. Would editors go along with that now?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Well look I don’t know. I mean it would be something which would be decided on a case-by-case basis. And I think that if there was any evidence that someone was going to wind up being executed as a result of recklessly publishing any kind of information, particularly you know a person who had been working in the national interests of Australia, you know you’d think long and hard about it.

But I think that as a general instinctive rule particularly when this is quite a different round of leaks this time from WikiLeaks. A lot of the stuff that’s come out has been fascinating and harmless. A lot of it has shed light on a lot of diplomatic toing and froing which ordinary citizens are never privy to.

And I think that any blithe acceptance of a request from the Attorney-General, or worse any sort of suggestion that we’re going to somehow be locked into not reporting this, the absurdity would be if they were that worried about it they should stop the leaks in the first place.

Because we’re going to end up with this ridiculous situation where Fairfax, News Limited, the ABC – all of us are being told what we should do by the Attorney-General. Yet out there in the social media landscape no one’s going to be abiding by what some bloke called Robert McClelland has got to say about it and it’s all going to get published anyway.

MARK COLVIN: And that’s the other question I was going to ask you. Do the editors really have any power anymore?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Well I think that you know that the daunting and excellent thing about the media these days Mark – and you as a frequent Tweeter know this yourself – is that information cannot be controlled. Nobody has a monopoly on information anymore.

So in a landscape where some you know fairly colourful young Australian guy who’s set up this website is quite clearly going to be madly publishing whatever lands in his lap, rest of us are going to look like saps if we sit here abiding by rules which don’t seem to apply to anybody else out there in the social media landscape.

MARK COLVIN: Thank you very much David Pemberthy, editor of

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