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.

Al-Jazeera’s Listening Post on Syria media restrictions

The struggle for democracy in Syria has continued for most of this year. The media has been largely locked out of the country, so independent reporting has been very difficult (though local bloggers have remained essential).

Al Jazeera’s Listening Post discusses the crackdown and I was asked to comment (my last appearance on the show was in February on the Egyptian revolution). My comment is at 9.26:

one comment ↪
  • Hi Antony,

    I'm not sure how to interpret your comment.

    Antoun Issa says just before you that the Syrian blogosphere has been polarized, which "makes it difficult for people outside to truly understand what is going on inside". I get that point. It is obviously difficult to know what is going on, though there are some 'facts' to deal with in ways which aren't being dealt with well, if at all, in our media. For example, since at least five months ago, it has been known that there have been targeted killings (assassinations) of soldiers, security personnel, citizens; and many people in the region would know about the calls by extremist imams, both on-line and on satellite TV, to overthrow the Syrian government and kill people of a particular sect, while there are calls from imams in Syria for people to unite in a peaceful way and to leave their religious differences at home, behind closed doors. Now more recently there are reports of assassinations of professors, and a heart specialist etc, classic terror tactics.

    You say, "By allowing foreign journalists in to try and manage that message, they (the Syrian regime) are trying to change that. They won't succeed, of course." I'm curious to know what you mean by that last statement. Do you know for sure from this distance on the basis of reports on Al-Jazeera, blogs, twitters, and emails, that if you were to visit Syria as a journalist, you would not be influenced by anything that you saw or heard there if it differed from what you believe to be the 'truth' of events now? Your views are fixed, and they are anti-Syrian regime no-matter what? If this is so, doesn't that give a clue as to why Syria is so hesitant to allow a free flow of journalists into Syria. They go in with one strong narrative in their head determined to look for proof to support it and only it. (They have allowed some journalists in, I understand. Groups are taken in through Lebanon. There was a BBC report on SBS from Damascus recently.)

    Have you spoken to people within the Syrian, Iraqi, Lebanese communities here in Australia about their views? Within the Christian communities? There is so much complexity to the story of Syria. I have been going to books I read years ago to develop my understanding of it. (eg Camus' "The Plague", "1984", and more recent stuff by John Pilger on the media ). Even a talk by Bertrand Russell in 1950 informs me about Syria, or in particular, about war and peace, and human nature. But you seem to have such certainty. We are seeing trees, some of us different trees, tragically disfigured trees in some instances, but while we focus on those we are missing the fire-balls which are out to destroy forests. And those fire-balls have been there from the beginning. The Syrian regime didn't ignite them or conjure them up.

    Is there guilt on one side only in your view? I met hundreds of 'good' Syrians in Damascus over the two years I lived there; I doubt if any of them want their government violently overthrown, their country destabilized, though most would have had a very healthy cynicism about the government and would be very definite about wanting reforms.

    I know you had just a sound-bit on Al-Jazeera's Listening Post, so I shouldn't be judging your views on Syria on the basis of that. Therefore, I would value an elaboration of your views.

    Kind regards,

    Susan