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.

Here’s why the New York Times (and much of the Western press) doesn’t get Haiti

One of the great gaps in Western media coverage of Haiti is the constant ignoring of American and corporate complicity in keeping the place on its knees. It’s something I saw during my visit there last week.

A story in yesterday’s New York Times was a perfect example of this curse. There is barely any mention in the piece below that a Western company has yet again come in to “save” Haiti. Sovereignty is something to be traded. Independence a distant dream. One of the key points I kept on hearing there was that the nation was controlled by foreign governments, Washington and NGOs. Challenging that is key:

Armed mobs have marched on it. Desperate presidents have fled it. Crowds have partied outside its majestic gates.

But after more than 90 tumultuous years of history, the National Palace in Haiti, which was heavily damaged by the January 2010 earthquake, ended up as little more than a potent symbol of the stalled recovery. It is now being hauled away.

The J/P Haitian Relief Organization, a charity run by the actor Sean Penn that has done extensive removal of rubble in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, has begun razing it. Piece by shattered piece, the 92-year-old, E-shaped, gleaming white French Renaissance palace that contrasted with Haiti’s misery will be ripped apart over the coming months and carted off.

This week, dozens of spectators looked on as buckled walls supporting its listing signature dome, which once proudly flew the Haitian flag, came down in a cloud of dust.

While some commentators have lamented losing a historical treasure — and expressed some annoyance at the fact that an American-run nongovernmental organization was doing the work — many spectators seemed glad to see an eyesore go.

“It was very painful to see the palace after the quake,” said Luc Fednan, 45, as he watched the construction crews at work.

“It is like one of your children died, and now it’s time to do the funeral,” he said. “That’s the case of the palace.”

Images of the shattered palace, housing the residence and official offices of the president and his staff, made vividly clear the force of the magnitude 7.0 quake on Jan. 12, 2010. The president at the time, René Préval, was at his private residence at the time, but several people were killed there, as well as at other heavily damaged or destroyed government buildings.

Sensitive papers and materials were eventually removed, and government business is now conducted in trailers and smaller buildings constructed around the palace.

When President Michel Martelly took office in May 2011, he said that reconstructing the palace, even if it were possible, would not be a priority, given the hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in tents. At least 350,000 people remain without homes.

But presidential aides said he came to believe that progress toward recovery was being made, with rubble removal, new building projects and more children returning to school, and that the world was stuck on the image of the palace’s collapse.

Government-commissioned studies declared the palace a lost cause, said Damian Merlo, an adviser to Mr. Martelly. In a meeting with Mr. Penn to discuss other matters, the issue of the palace came up and Mr. Penn offered to demolish it, Mr. Merlo said.

He said he did not know how much it would have cost the government to do the work.

The government has not decided how or when it will build a new palace. Some pieces of the old one will be preserved, perhaps to be used in a museum or memorial, officials said, but most of the debris will go toward needed landfill in a nearby slum and the rest to a city dump.

“It was important to remove because it was a symbol of the tragedy,” Mr. Merlo said. “As the president implements policies and things improve, the damaged palace is a reminder of what happened.”

Benjamin Krause, country director for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, portrayed the project as a mostly Haitian endeavor, bowing to the sensitivities of a country that threw off French colonial domination but has wrestled with foreign intervention, and the level and form of international aid to accept, ever since.

He said all but 15 or 20 of the organization’s 330 workers were Haitian, as were the vast majority of laborers on the project. He said the charity was well suited for the work because it filled about 50 dump trucks per day as part of its rubble removal efforts.

In some ways it is just another tumultuous chapter for the palace. At least four different structures have stood on those grounds. One was destroyed in a revolt in 1869, another was bombed in an attack in 1912 in which the president was killed.

The current palace was designed by a Haitian architect but completed by American naval engineers in 1920 during a United States occupation.

“There is a somewhat painful fact that this bookends its history,” said Laurent Dubois, a French professor at Duke University who studies Haitian history. “It points directly to the strong and ongoing role of the U.S. in essentially shaping the possibility of Haitian sovereignty. It was completed during a U.S. occupation and this end emerged because Sean Penn’s organization is involved in its demolition.”

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