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.

Alternative Australian government blindly endorses occupying Israel

Liberal opposition leader Tony Abbott has recently been in London attending the Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Forum. Unsurprisingly, the Australian media has mostly ignored the event – I mean, hell, why would they want to cover how the Zionist lobby works to enforce a fundamentalist position on Israel/Palestine? – so today’s front page story in Murdoch’s Australian shows just how extreme Abbott’s position truly is. He loves “democratic” Israel but doesn’t like despotic Arabs. His knowledge about the Middle East has clearly been stolen from the back of a neo-conservative napkin at a kosher bar-mitzvah:

Tony Abbott has used his presence at an Australia-Israel-United Kingdom leadership dialogue in London to deepen his support for Israel and accentuate the split with the Gillard government over Middle East policy.

The Opposition Leader has highlighted the crack in Australian bipartisanship by arguing that Coalition support for Israel is values-based as “the only mature pluralistic democracy in the Middle East” and therefore, enduring.

Interviewed by The Australian outside the dialogue, Mr Abbott attacked the Gillard government’s new position on granting Palestine observer status at the UN, alleged it was motivated by electoral factors and warned that Australia’s election to the UN Security Council for a two-year term must not trigger abandonment of its traditional support for Israel.

“We made the wrong decision and we made the wrong decision for the wrong reasons,” Mr Abbott said. “My main concern is that this issue was not discussed in terms of the merits – it was discussed in terms of the electoral impact.

“Labor MPs felt people in western Sydney might be looking at this in terms of their own religious or political heritage from the Middle East and not from the viewpoint of what is best for Australia.

“Our view is that Australia should have been supported for a term on the UN Security Council because of our values, not because we were prepared to compromise them.”

The two-day London dialogue was striking for the contrasting level of party representation. Mr Abbott attended as Opposition Leader backed by six Liberal parliamentarians including three frontbenchers. Labor did not send a minister; its senior representative was Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Mike Kelly.

Mr Abbott said the Coalition’s rejection of observer status for Palestine was the orthodox one. Labor had shifted to abstain on the vote because “the Prime Minister was rolled by her cabinet and defied by caucus” in an “extraordinary” sequence of events.

In a prepared speech to the dialogue dinner read by senator George Brandis in Mr Abbott’s absence, the Opposition Leader delivered an unusually strong defence of Israel. Mr Abbott said: “While occasionally Israel, like all countries, makes mistakes, it is a bastion of Western civilisation in a part of the world where human rights, including the value of respectful dissent, are not well appreciated. And for no other reason, it is in the interest of the West to show understanding and support for Israel.”

In the interview, Mr Abbott said “bad behaviour should not be rewarded”, adding: “The Coalition position is that there should be no further international recognition of a Palestinian state until the Palestinians are prepared to recognise Israel’s right to exist behind secure borders as part of a two-state solution.”

Speaking outside the meeting, Dr Kelly said Mr Abbott’s partisan behaviour at the dialogue had been “inappropriate”.

Dr Kelly repudiated the Abbott argument that Labor’s new policy was driven by electoral politics.

  • Ned

    "……..'disconnected from humanity….."
    About sums up most of our warmongering politicians and mass media apologists supporting invasions, killing and theft. Look up Gemeral Smedley Butler and his booklet/speech; 'war is a racket'.

  • examinator

    IMHO we're all being conned. All this is simply a extension the principles best encapsulated in the Wizard of Id where Rodney ( the cowardly knight ) says the "peasants are revolting" and the despotic king says "they certainly are " while thinking "they just don't understand the golden rule….he who has the gold rules".
    TA ( is Rodney in this scenario) he is on the side of the power.
    to better follow my thinking remember Australian BUSINESS interests are aligned with the Power which is USA interests.
    If we (Australia) up set the Jewish (Zionist ) lobby the US Zionist lobby will squeeze both us ant the US government. The other Business interests are simply more interested in their profits that to care about the people.
    Note the quote in the ad for the mining interests in the up coming show where the spokes person aggressively says or word to that end 'we are a profit making organization NOT a charity' (so look out).
    translation : people are irrelevant to our priorities WE ONLY WANT TO MAKE PROFIT and don't mess with us.
    The over arching point is that the true Zionist ideology has long since been bought and paid for and used by business types to dominate the 'revolting' peasants. Plutocrats hate democracy even though the top down model isn't the most efficient model… it all about their Lamarckian self interest.

    NB the US 'NEW DEAL' was sold to the Plutocrats on the basis that 'if you don't give the people some crumbs from the pot they'll rise up and take it all (hence the bogey man … communism/socialism sic)'. Since the crash of the USSR , Business has whittled away the benefits gained then. Until the dis-equity is back to that of the 1890's levels. Our advantage is that our constitution incorporated industrial law and associated issues. Where as the older US constitution doesn't. Notwithstanding this Wither goes the US goes go we we are too small to be totally insulated. Fundamental to this is the notion we need the US to protect us. Whether they will is dependant on if they see it in their interests to do so and even if they do it will come with a horrible price tag. It can be argued we're still paying the price through their de-facto financial/ protective insurance hegemony. TA and his lot have a foot in both camps business and US protection.
    It could be argued so does JG but her pragmatism saw her allow the abstention compromise.

    To confirm this one only needs to compare the disproportional increases in executive and average remunerations, levels of off shoring low skill jobs, the generalised lurch to the right by both parties and most telling the triviality( lack of substance/ believability) and cost of elections. The latter means that elections are bought in back rooms for financial/ media support. Also note the hostility against unions primarily because of the money they can amass to compete with business/plutocrats. It's all part of the age old push back by the rich to have a population that is largely distracted/ divided by the trivial therefore both ignorant and manipulatable.

    The US Support by businesses is largely on the basis of protecting their interests(read growth and profit) . The Israeli Right, Zionists (sic) are just tools (you choose your own implications) that play the emotion card. The point is if US business interests change The Zionist etc will become orphans again. They have and continue to alienated the more liberal (read non conservatives) world wide.
    As US power wanes the old tactics failing and with it the power of US business increases. BTW the real winners in any war are ALWAYS BUSINESS the people on both sides always pay one way or the other.