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.

We should not tolerate fear-mongering over asylum seekers

Is it possible to have a rational, respectful and mature debate in Australia over refugees, considering the actual numbers of those arriving (by plane or boat) is so low? We are a country of asylum seekers and surely benefit from a well-managed program of immigration:

[A] United Nations report revealed Australia received 6,170 asylum applications in 2009 – 30 per cent more than in the previous year.

That is 1.6 per cent of the total around the world, where 50,000 applications were made to the United States and 42,000 to France.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says the Government’s softened stance on border protection is behind the rise.

“Clearly we have an Australian problem here and it’s a product of Australian policy forces,” he said.

But Immigration Minister Chris Evans has rejected the Opposition’s claims.

Senator Evans says Australia is getting more people because more people are fleeing Afghanistan.

But he says Australia’s proportion of the world total is still very low.

“We’re getting less than 2 per cent of those fleeing to industrialised countries, but we are seeing increased arrivals from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka,” he said.

“While the situation in those countries remains difficult, we’ll continue to see people arrive.”

Australia is ranked 16th out of 44 industrialised nations in terms of how many asylum seeker applications are received.

The Refugee Council of Australia released today this very sensible statement:

Last night’s release by UNHCR of 2009 statistics on asylum applications in industrialised countries emphasises that Australia’s share of global asylum applications remains very small, the Refugee Council of Australia says.

“In 2009, Australia received 6170 asylum applications, just 1.6% of the 377,160 applications received across 44 industrialised nations,” Refugee Council CEO, Paul Power, said. “Of the 44 nations, Australia was ranked 16th overall and was 21st on a per capita basis.

“No doubt some politicians will try to make political capital out of an increase in asylum applications in Australia of 1400 on the previous year. However, the applications received in Australia must be viewed in light of the numbers of the 286,680 applications received in Europe and the 82,270 applications received in North America.

“The industrialised countries with the largest number of asylum applications in 2009 were the United States (49,020), France (41,980), Canada (33,250), United Kingdom (29,840), Germany (27,650) and Sweden (24,190).

“Afghanistan was the single largest source country of people making asylum applications in industrialised countries. The 940 applications lodged in Australia by Afghans made up only 3.5% of the international total of 26,803. Afghans were four times more likely to lodge an application in Norway than in Australia.
“These figures should put to rest any claims that Australia is being ‘flooded’ by asylum seekers. The only flood we are seeing is of self-serving political rhetoric.

“It is clear that refugees continue to seek protection in stable democracies which respect international law and human rights. Even though Australia’s share of asylum seekers is small, Australia should still be proud to be included among those receiving countries.

“Our country is making a modest but valuable contribution to protecting people from persecution, a practical demonstration of Australians’ strong opposition to oppression.”

4 comments ↪
  • Sukebe

    You dodooders are not telling the whole truth, the number of asylum seekers per million of population for the following countroes shows that Oz is punching away above its weight – far too much:

    France – 641/mil (poor France but manyonly use France as a stop over poiont).

    Australia – 280/mil

    USA – 162/mil

    Canada – 102/mil

    Japan – 0/mil

    Most of these asylum seekers deliberately bypass other countries just

    to get to Oz and its generous handouts.  What about our own poor?

  • Marilyn

    Sukebe, do get a grip you silly person.

    Every day 20,000 people arrive in Australia and no-one gives a toss.  If every asylum seeker came on the same day they would be here by 8 am on 1 January, and "boat people" would be here by 2.45 am.

    Now asylum seekers come here from every corner of the world, most of them from China, so why on earth you continue the whine that we have too many or that they pass over or through other nations is beyond me.

    The reality is that if every one of the 20,000 people who arrive here every day is allowed to claim asylum if they want to and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

     

    Sukebe: take a powder or a joint or whatever it takes to calm you down, you geopolitical fruitcake conspirator…are you freekin' serious?

    The UN Convention on Refugess, to which Oz is a signatory, gives them the right to land in Oz..and if they do, we have to accept them.

    These people are in distress…real distress…I reckon if they made it to Oz by leaky boat, we should give them an award for sheer guts.

    And also, in WA in the next 10 years, 450K workers are needed to service the next mining boom…and Oz can only supply 300K…we need more people…let 'em come I say.

     

     

     

    and yes..

  • Mustafa

    we are humans, we should have sympathy for human race, asylum seekers take the way to australia by a leaky boat, where the possibility of sinking is anywhere in the sea, they are not here to save them, they come here to save thier families future. If a country can save someone's family so I thing he will be more loyal than the countries regional citizen. There is not always a chance like this to help people, world is circle, bad situation comes on every body. So we should have a heart of giving to others, cause we don't always live for our self.