Disaster, poverty and misfortune have become great ways to make a fortune. From Afghanistan to Haiti, Pakistan to Papua New Guinea, the United States to the UK and from Greece to Australia, journalist Antony Loewenstein uncovers how companies cash in on organized misery in Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe. Order your copy by making a donation to Truthout today!
The following is a Truthout interview with Antony Loewenstein, the author of Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe.
Mark Karlin: Naomi Klein praises your book effusively. How were you galvanized by her book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism?
Antony Loewenstein: I’ve long been interested in the intersection between politics, money and conflict. My early years as a professional journalist in Australia from 2003 were spent focusing principally on Israel/Palestine, immigration and the Iraq war. In every case, this revealed dark forces making money from misery.
I was inspired by a book, such as Iraq, Inc.: A Profitable Occupation by Pratap Chatterjee, on private contractors in Iraq. I investigated the private companies and nations making huge profits from warehousing mostly Muslim refugees in remote Australia (and also in the Pacific). Increasingly, Israel was successfully selling its occupation of Palestinians to other nations keen to behave similarly toward their own minorities (something that has become even more overt in the last years across Palestine). My first book in 2006, My Israel Question, traversed some of these latter questions.
When I read Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine, and Jeremy Scahill’s Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, it helped join the dots — especially the ways in which they explained how US imperialism, a term too rarely used in the…