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.

Hold the champagne, Bin Laden’s murder doesn’t remove Western occupation of Muslim lands

Time.com’s Tony Karon, one of the most perceptive journalists in the American mainstream, writes that the US killing of Osama Bin Laden is all about symbolism and will do nothing to help the Western position in the Arab world:

Before leaving for a vacation in South Africa in December of 2001, my editor asked me to prepare an obituary for Osama bin Laden for TIME.com on the assumption that he might well be killed in Afghanistan while I was on the beach in Cape Town. Almost ten years later there was finally a reason to call up the old file: President Barack Obama said late Sunday that the al-Qaeda leader had been killed in a U.S. raid in the Pakistani city of Amadabad, and that the U.S. was in possession of his body.

But where killing or capturing Bin Laden might once have been imagined to be a decisive turning point in a struggle between the U.S. and its challengers in the Muslim world, today, the death of America’s erstwhile nemesis is little more than an historical footnote — a settling of accounts for a spree of ugly crimes and the elimination of a symbol of global jihadist nihilism, perhaps, offering justice and closure for the victims of 9/11 and other atrocities. But it does little to alter the challenges facing the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan or any other major country in the Muslim world. That’s because much to his chagrin, Bin Laden and his movement have achieved only marginal  relevance to power struggles throughout the Muslim world. The strategy of spectacular acts of a terror had briefly allowed a band of a few hundred desperadoes to dominate America’s headlines and its nightmares, but on the ground in the Muslim world al-Qaeda had largely been a sideshow.

The U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq put it in conflict with nationalist insurgencies in which al-Qaeda had a limited, if any role. By the middle of the past decade, already, the U.S. was talking of its prime adversary in the region as being an “Axis of Resistance” led by Iran and comprising Syria and non-state but nonetheless popular nationalist actors such as Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. And that “resistance” front had little time for al-Qaeda, while Bin Laden’s spokesmen reserved some of their most venomous rhetoric for Iran, Hizballah and Hamas.

Those groups remain far more powerful than al-Qaeda ever was because they’re rooted in national movements and conditions, and have built popular support bases over many years.  Just as Lenin’s Comintern proved an unworkable model for global revolution, so did al-Qaeda prove to be a chimera. The center of gravity of opposition to the U.S. and its allies in the Muslim world  remains with nationally-based movements who are confronting a specific enemy around a clear set of grievances and goals that are at least conceivably attainable. Hamas or Hezbollah are not much interested in restoring a Caliphate to rule from Spain to Indonesia; their goals are far more specific and localized. And in the end, while Bin Laden’s movement could blow things up, it failed to ignite any sustainable forms of struggle – like Che Guevara (also remembered more as a T-shirt icon of rebellion than for his rather unfortunate ideas of how it should be pursued), Bin Laden found that simply taking spectacular military action against even a hated foe would not necessarily rally the masses to join him in struggle or confront their own local tyrants. (Indeed, as much as they hated the U.S., many Arabs seemed unable to “own” 9/11, instead blaming it on the CIA or the Mossad, insisting that “Arabs could not have done this.”)

No decent people will grieve at Bin Laden’s passing. But nor will his elimination alter the challenges facing Washington in an Arab world that has found its own ways — quite different from Bin Laden’s — for challenging the writ of the U.S. and its allies in the Muslim world. Bin Laden may have desperately sought the mantle of champion of Muslim resistance to the West, and a traumatized American media culture may have briefly granted him that role in the months that followed the horror of 9/11, but where it mattered most, among his own people, Bin Laden was an epic failure.

4 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    And how many times has he died now?

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Bin Laden is NOT dead..believe me.

    His ‘death’ has been staged by the CIA..believe me.

    There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq….believe me.

    Israel is a democracy…believe me.

    How come no-one believes me?

  • Joanna Austin

    Brilliant. Two things that remain quietly heartbreaking;

    1) that Nationalism is the real culprit again and again; and

    2) that so many of us are delighted at the death of a person.

  • So-So Soren

    Hold the champagne, Bin Laden's killing doesn't remove Muslim colonization of Western lands.