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.

Q&A: Antony Loewenstein and Guardian readers debate vulture capitalism

The recent release of my new book, Profits of Doom (and forthcoming documentary trailer), gives me a unique opportunity to discuss issues too often ignored in the mainstream media.

Today the Guardian hosted a Q&A session in which I engaged for three hours with readers from across the world on vulture capitalism.

Here’s my introductory piece and check out the countless comments:

What strikes me is the sheer waste and ignorance. Governments and private companies, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and Australia, act with impunity and only profits on their mind. This isn’t a conspiracy or an accident, it’s the economic system under which the vast bulk of the world lives and breathes daily. Vulture capitalism is the religion and its followers are ubiquitous in political parties, business, the media and popular commentary.

What’s missing is the human element, responsibility for the actions of corporations and officials that occur in my own country or sphere of influence. Noam Chomsky has presciently written that because we “can do something about it” that’s reason enough to investigate the role of multinationals and governments behaving beyond the law close to home and abroad.

I’ve spent the last three years traveling to war zones, poverty-stricken nations, privatised detention centres, polluted and discarded mines, clothing sweat shops and multinational resource sites in an attempt to understand how the world is truly ordered, away from the spin of the 24/7 news cycle. I witness resistance across the globe and it inspires me.

My book and documentary-in-the-making, Profits of Doom, aims to show how the last 30 years has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state and the implications for society and human rights.

I’m using the thesis designed by Naomi Klein in her 2007 best-seller,The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, and expanding it beyond elites benefiting from disaster by arguing the nature of capitalism itself encourages and enriches exploitation in nearly every aspect of our existence. Alternatives are desperately needed.

One of the most egregious examples of outsourcing is the role of British company Serco, a firm that specialises in running prisons, hospitals, detention centres for asylum seekers, juvenile justice programs and even nuclear early warning systems. Its record, documented in countless UK and Australian government reports and a high-level Serco whistle-blower in my book, is shocking.

“We’re in the human warehousing business”, “Sean” told me. The reality inside immigration centres, many of which I have visited in Australia and off-shore, is isolation with under-trained staff managing distressed and traumatised asylum seekers. Inevitably the mix is toxic for all concerned. But the more refugee boats that arrive, the greater the profits for the company.

Sean told me recently that the bottom line is all that counts for Serco management in Britain and Australia – he reminded me that the company can’t cope with the roughly 10,000 people in its care but never acknowledged this to the authorities – while Canberra struggles to process Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis and Tamils who don’t expect to be imprisoned by misery profiteers.

Vulture capitalism thrives because public debate so rarely articulates the necessary role of the state to care for the most vulnerable in our midst. “The inglorious history of privatising public services moves from failure to disaster”, editorialised the Guardian in late July.

It’s time that serious questions are asked.