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.

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.

Do Neo-Nazis have the right to free speech in Australia? (hint: yes)

This morning I was interviewed on Radio Adelaide about the limits (if any) of free speech in Australia:

It’s festival season, the Fringe, Adelaide Festival, WOMAD – and we’re all picking out which events we’ll go to – but what about the neo-Nazi aligned Hammered festival?

It’s to be held in Queensland– unsurprisingly it will be heavy metal music.

The festival is organised by the Southern Cross Hammerskins and ‘white resistance’ group, Blood and Honour Australia, which states it’s mission is to “secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

The event be on April 21 – suspiciously close to Hitler’s birthday.

There have been calls to have it banned but the Labor government has refused to, saying it can’t stop ‘morons’ gathering but it will step in if anyone in attendance incites violence or commits racial vilification.

Tim Brunero spoke to Antony Loewenstein, a blogger, activist, author whose works include My Israel Question and online media contributor for New Matilda and Crikey about the controversy surrounding the event.


  • examinator

    Antony, very interesting topic.
    I understand that this was a 7 minute piece i.e. short and meant for well…entertainment consumption and that the producer was looking for a different take ( Jewish .
    Notwithstanding those limitations (context) I am at odds with your conclusion.
    Firstly, I'm somewhat at loss to understand the objective point of always raising that you're a Jew and in particular this context? Yet you in another piece here you make the point about the Zionists stereotyping themselves and all Jews. Aren't you simply adding to the stereotype? That simply being Jewish imparts some special authority to victimhood of prejudice/ and being racially vilified?

    Consider this. I was born of a (USSR repression) Latvian mother whose husband was disappeared by the SS during WW2. She was marched with three children to Germany as slave labour. The youngest a babe in arms died in transit. The surviving daughter developed rickets ( vitamin deficiency that produce children with 'bandy legs) necessitating operations after the war.
    Liberated, sent to Italy shipped to Aust as a 'reffo'. One shouldn't run away with the idea that good old Aussie prejudice didn't raise its head. Was sexually abused by an Aussie (for more advantages for her two children) I was the product there of…I was adopted out.
    She died 11 months later alone after a toxic abortion (same source?).

    My half brother and sister were split up she was adopted he wasn't because of his age and that they were Lutheran. Even though Catholics were prepared to take both.

    I Born with a deformed arm and other disabling factors but a high IQ …I too copped the 'spaz', 'gammy' even “poofta” because I wasn't knock about Aussie et al and later “poker” (machine). Can't remember how many times I was bashed and more times bullied. I even had teachers have a go one case my adopted father overheard the sports teacher 'toughening me up' and then dad 'discussed' his displeasure in the way an ex middle weight boxer might. From then on sports afternoon was library time.

    Anyway Dad was an alcoholic sometimes violent with rapidly failing health as a result of partly because being a survivor (in body) of the Burma railway. He died when I was 15 ….
    Now how is your being a Jew directly give you the special unique insight into victimhood ?
    You choose to be Jewish and you're at least two generations out from the Nazis …I didn't choose my clearly victimised background.
    Nor and I'm not unique. My nights in Crisis intervention and years beyond etc confirm that.

    My point isn't to be nasty or to denigrate you but I have reservations about a journalists 'right' to offend others much less a journalist's authoritative competence to argue the above right.

  • examinator

    Sigh part 2
    guess it all goes back to my assertion that a degree in Journalism doesn't necessarily impart wisdom much less superior forms. In truth, this is better left to those with significant experience and knowledge.

    I have always disputed that journalists are Not a special case beyond the right to report and inform.
    I'd suggest that you are special pleading for your profession…

    I'm sorry but Bolt like most mainstream 'journalists' is a popularist “entertainer(?)”(read sensationalist).
    He “entertains(sic)” by stroking the prejudices of those who aren't challenged to consider more than their worst instincts and much less the probable consequences.

    Bolt's not so noble intentions is born out by the way/manner in which it's done.
    He was not making a serious point by choice of topic and specifically personalising it he was 'shit stirring' not satirising not starting an informed reasonable conversation he was playing to the 'great unwashed's prejudices.

    I'll agree that he's an adept word smith and intelligent and I therefore he can't reasonably claim error in technique, or unintended consequences.….
    He is an expert at what he does, 'being a journalist. Any other 'expert' acting in his field is responsible for what he does and how he does it. You buy a sign a contract, have an operation, have your tax done, on the authority of an expert and it is wrong or they should have known the consequences of their actions they are culpable.

    Even I as an average commenter (according to your system ) knows that Bolt's words feed the masses ignorance, misinformation and inflate a trivial point beyond its proportional relevance …. Expert word smiths can report or inform in a non inflammatory manner. Bolt clearly stepped over the boundary into irresponsibility and incitement.

    Free speech as an absolute doesn't exist never did. All speech is conditional the ideal criteria is the greater good. I fail to see how Bolt's deliberate brown arming is in the greater good.
    I believe that with regard to the the gathering under question the media was irresponsible publicising it for no other reason than 'sensation' for gain. At some point one needs to determine the age old question of what do people NEED to know and what they may WANT to know. Nor do I accept the greater good is served by providing free advertising for what is a viscerally indulgent hatefest.
    Finally, if an article was to generate a discussion it should have been raised in a more calm manner after the event had happened.

    NB I have no issue with loud angry music but when it's purpose is to incite against others it fails the greater good test ( the two aren't synonymous ) therefore no thanks.
    Like it or not reality dictates more people more codified restrictions but that IS another topic.
    Sorry it's so long but it is an important set of topics.