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.

Our online tolerance for brutality in war

Barely a day passes when another horrific video doesn’t emerge from Syria, showing either the “rebels” or government forces engaged in some act of terrorism/death/flesh eating.

The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson:

I first heard about the Syrian rebel who was supposed to have eaten a heart on Monday, when a friend who lives in Beirut tweeted something cryptic about abuse videos. Against my better instincts, I opened one of the links he attached to his tweet. It showed soldiers (or was it militia members? Rebels? It can be hard to tell in Syria, sometimes) beating prisoners, whipping them with ropes. In the YouTube sidebar, there were a host of other videos, some tagged in Arabic and others in English, broadcasting their sickening contents: “18+, Basher Assad Soldiers Mutilating,” and so forth. After the warnings about graphic content, whatever video there is simply rolls, and whoever has chosen to click on it, whether over or under eighteen, watches it, and then lives with what he or she has seen.

Such videos have increasingly come to represent a new weapon in modern wars-by-terror. The phenomenon is not unique to Syria. One recent, much-commented-on video depicts the decapitation-by-chainsaw of a Mexican gang member by rival narcos. Violent networks around the world seem to have taken inspiration from Al Qaeda in their efforts to terrorize captive societies by filming, and broadcasting, the executions of their enemies. This began, to my knowledge, when Al Qaeda filmed Daniel Pearl’s decapitation, in 2002, and was followed, during the Iraq War, with a raft of real-life snuff videos courtesy of Al Qaeda and its allies: Margaret Hassan, a kidnapped British relief worker; the young American Nicholas Berg; many who got less attention because they were not Westerners. How many have we heard described in news reports since then? Usually, our television channels and newspapers have shown discretion, and what we have seen is, at most, merely a screenshot of the hostage looking abjectly into the camera—but we all know what came next. Most of us, I suppose, never think of actually looking up the video that shows the deaths themselves, because that would be prurient, brutal, and yet we all know they are out there. And, no doubt, there are plenty of people who do look for them.

It’s sobering to acknowledge that, for a previous generation of television viewers—not so long ago—the most terrifying thing they had ever seen (and for many it induced enduring fears) was the shower scene in “Psycho.” That’s so much “Captain Kangaroo” compared to what we can watch today, and if there were ever any question that what one sees on a screen has before-and-after consequences, consider these videos from the world’s killing grounds. If you want to see what someone looks like as he is stabbed, as he is told he is about to die, as he is beaten to death, or cut into pieces, it is all just a click away.

Once, some years ago in Iraq, where I was spending long periods of time reporting, I decided I had to look at one of these videos. Kidnapping and decapitation in front of a video camera was the nightmare fate that potentially awaited all of us there, and, on a Web site that offered a couple of dozen, I chose one at random to watch. It depicted the decapitation of a middle-aged Turkish trucker whose crime had been to carry cargo between Turkey and Baghdad, which was then under American military control. According to Al Qaeda’s extreme interpretation of what made an enemy, his was a crime that merited death, for the goods he ferried to Baghdad meant that the American troops, or the puppet government they defended, would be equipped with toilet paper, or mineral water, or gasoline.

In war, you kill a man, and, to take away the fear that you feel, you objectify him, you humiliate him, before or after his death; you exult in his death; you persuade yourself you have truly conquered him. This ritual is as old as mankind, and it is something we unlock every time we go to war, or cheerlead others into fighting a war for us. Maybe ninety-nine out of a hundred soldiers, or some even greater number, will limit themselves to doing what they have to do, and kill because they must, because their society asks them to, telling them that it is us and them, or because everyone around them is doing it, too, and because of the belief that if they don’t, they will be killed. But some number will also feel the need to desecrate the corpse, will pose for photos with it, will cut off an extremity, or eat a part of that body in an attempt to vanquish not just the flesh of the dead victim but his spirit, too—and, perhaps, destroy their own.