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.

How “liberal media” covers all those war-mongering Western leaders. Oh wait…

A typically astute Medialens analysis:

Liberal journalism is balanced, neutral and objective, except when it’s not. A BBC news report on Hugo Chavez’s latest election triumph in Venezuela commented:

‘Mr Chavez said Venezuela would continue its march towards socialism butalso vowed he would be a “better president”.’ (Our emphasis. The article was subsequently amended, although the ‘but’ remains)

The ‘but’ revealed the BBC’s perception of a conflict between Venezuela’s ‘march towards socialism’ and Chavez becoming a ‘better president’. Despite the appearance of neutral reporting, the ‘but’ snarled at both Chavez and socialism.

second BBC article described Chavez as ‘one of the most visible, vocal and controversial leaders in Latin America’.

Another found him a ‘colourful and often controversial figure on the international stage’.

Is Chavez more ‘controversial’ than war—fighting leaders like Bush, Blair, Brown, Obama and Cameron? How many tens or hundreds of thousands of people has Chavez killed? Imagine the BBC reporting: ‘David Cameron is an often controversial figure on the international stage.’ In fact the term is reserved for enemies of the West.

The same bias is found in editorials that often express, or reflect, the passionately partisan views of owners and editors. In 1997, the Independent proclaimed that Tony Blair’s election victory ‘bursts open the door to a British transformation’ to a ‘freer land’. (Neal Ascherson, ‘Through the door he can begin to create a freer land,’ The Independent, May 4, 1997)

For the editors of the Guardian, Blair’s triumph was ‘one of the great turning-points of British political history… the moment when Britain at last gave itself the chance to construct a modern liberal socialist order.’ (Ibid)

If that wasn’t enough, the Observer described how Blair would create ‘new worldwide rules on human rights’, no less, and enforce ‘tough new limits on arms sales’. Blair, Jack Straw (foreign secretary from 2001-2006) and others would make this part of a new, ‘ethical’ foreign policy.

In his newly published autobiography, Last Man Standing, Straw ‘dismisses an “ethical foreign policy” as an “unhelpful” label’, Peter Wilby notes. Was that all it meant to him? Wilby explains:

‘The abiding principle of Straw’s life is that Labour should be in power. What it should use power for is something he hardly seems to think about.’

7 comments ↪
  • examinator

    Antony,
    Hmmm Very true .
    the last paragraph explains it to a 'T'
    a. Every long term organization, business, political party or philosophy's primary objective is its own survival and dominance.
    b. The organization is a means by which individuals fulfil their personal wants and needs. hence they adopt the interests of the business as their own.
    b. The media is a BUSINESS not necessarily an objective information source.
    c. As a business it needs a local audience (the more the better) .
    d. To gain this support the organization/ candidate must appeal to the widest portion of their market. That means adopting their market's mean ( ergo end of objectivity).
    PS the media has two markets …those who pay for its existence (not subscribers…businesses or the Govt ) and the audience (consumers).
    e. In capitalist world the golden rule of power applies " those who have the gold rule".
    Therefore none of this article is a surprise.
    The question I would ask is what are we as individuals doing to change the way we read , think and project our views …i.e. do we even try to be objective on serious issues ?
    After all we either drive the media or allow it to drive us and thereby entrenching the power of the golden rule.
    My pet target one is the fantasy of ' Absolutes', either right or wrong much less when it's decided on emotional ground .

    • Kevin Herbert

      I don't follow your reasoning.

      Could you explain further.

      • examinator

        Kevin,
        "The abiding principle of Straw’s life is that Labour should be in power."
        What it should use power for is something he hardly seems to think about."
        i.e. His is an example of how ANY long term organizations primary objective is its own primary purpose…. to survive and prosper gain power to maintain it's own existence . and his life principal was to aid that objective.
        I went on to explain that the media is no different i.e. it's primary purpose is its own longevity to achieve that it need to make a profit. In order to achieve that those who run also take on those fist two objectives. the means of how is subordinate and will change to what ever they need to do to achieve the first two . et al .
        The rest is marketing expedience. I showed the principals and the corporate reasoning.
        i.e. the media will show what it thinks the audiences want to see/read because it pays better than what is objectively correct.
        e.g. try and prove with hard objective facts to the Americans at large that their empire is every bit as blood thirsty, callous and indifferent to foreigners than say the Romans, and they'll threaten to charge you as an enemy (Wikkileaks). And you may simply disappear (rendition). As for the people in some places the best you could hope for is violent abuse and a bashing.
        So one shouldn't expect any media outlet to be objective and therefore an impeccable source of unvarnished spun truth … does this help?
        I guess I could have been brief and said "I'm not surprised" but that isn't a conversation nor is it informative ! I'm not here to push an agenda rather to be informed and inform where I can reasonably do so.