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.

Rudd government treats refugees as political footballs

Welcome to Australia, a Federal government that wants to be “tough” on asylum seekers, clearly makes policy on the run and is increasingly reminiscent of the previous Howard regime. Brutes.

The only major party in Australia that makes humane sense is the Greens and people remember (look at the UK, where Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is the most popular leader since Winston Churchill, not least because he appears to be a man of principle, though time will tell, of course):

The Greens have accused the federal government of a discredited Howard-like approach to asylum seekers by deciding to reopen a West Australian detention facility.

On Sunday, Immigration Minister Chris Evans announced the government would reopen the centre at Curtin Air Base in a bid to ease overcrowding and potential conflicts at Christmas Island.

The decision came just a week after a freeze was put on Afghan and Sri Lankan refugee applications as a deterrent to new arrivals.

Senator Evans said Curtin would be readied immediately to hold 200-300 Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers whose refugee applications had been suspended.

“Previously it’s been used for this purpose and initially we’ll be upgrading the facility to accommodate that cohort of persons who have had their asylum claims suspended,” Senator Evans told reporters in Perth.

“We need to find an appropriate secure facility to deal with these asylum seekers.”

Greens immigration and human rights spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young slammed the move, saying it was another example of “policy-on-the-run” from the government.

“The immigration policy, the refugee response from the government, is a dog’s breakfast – it’s one announcement after another without the real follow-through of any type of practical long-term or humane approach, from the Australian government,” she told reporters in Adelaide.

Senator Hanson-Young said Curtin – 40km southeast of Derby in Western Australia’s far north – had in the past been described as “a living hell hole”.

She said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was trying to win votes, but warned “the Australian public are smarter than that”.

“Everything he’s announced over the last couple of weeks harks straight back to the days which were discredited under the Howard government, where we detained vulnerable people in the middle of the desert, where we detained children behind barbed wire,” she said.

“This is a government who said they would work to dismantle that regime and now we see them implementing it themselves.”

Senator Evans said the first group of single-male asylum seekers – who are subject to a three-month freeze for Sri Lankans and a six-month freeze for Afghans – would be moved from Christmas Island to Curtin as soon as upgrades were finished.

In addition, 60 single-male detainees would immediately be moved to the Darwin detention centre, and a group of about 70 unaccompanied minors moved to Port Augusta, in South Australia.

While that move was planned for Sunday, it was delayed until at least Monday, after a charter plane suffered mechanical difficulties.

Senator Evans said “a couple of hundred or so” people would be moved off Christmas Island “in the next week or two” to ease overcrowding.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the new policy was “another example of failure by the federal government”.

“We’ve seen now people being transferred to Darwin, which the government said it would do once Christmas Island was overflowing, and we now see a complete end to offshore processing in this country,” he said.

Mr Morrison said the costs of dealing with asylum seekers in Australia were spiralling out of control.

“How much is it costing them in midnight flights, these charter flights, all around the country as Christmas Island spills over?,” he said.

“How much is it costing to put in place all these new centres and facilities being reopened at Curtin?

“The cost is mounting and the government’s failure continues to increase.”

Senator Evans said he did not know the final cost of expanding Curtin, but the government would “invest considerably” in the centre.

Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power said the use of the Curtin facility to house asylum seekers was completely inappropriate.

“It is one of the most remote places in Australia and facilities would have to be built,” Mr Power said.

“This population of asylum seekers will include torture and trauma survivors, and services for them will be nigh on impossible to deliver.

“It is hard to think of any good policy reason to pick this remote location instead of locations closer to available services.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    OK let's look at some law.

    1.   It is not legal in any terms to lock up asylum seekers if there is no process on foot, not even Al Kateb allowed for detention with no process on foot.

    2.    Stopping refugee applications based on country conditions is utterly bogus because it is nothing to do with country conditions in particular or general but only individual circumstances.

    3.  I wonder when they will fly in the old stand bys of black panadol (aka batons), tear gas and water cannons to destroy further these guys who have not committed any crime.

    The fucking notion that these parasites think they can illegally stop applications and then punish the people again by putting them in this hellhole deserves many appeals to the UN and the High court and fuck the pollies and our gutless frigging MSM that have been feeding the hysterical drivel that 4.600 people are a fucking flood.

    Pakistan copes better with 1.7 million Afghans and 1.3 million still displaced by the Taliban and terrorism.

    What a pissant, depraved and filthy place this is.

    And Scott Morrison should be told the shut the fuck up with his ignorant whining.

    I wonder what happened to the notion that everyone has the right to seek asylum and Evans supposed standards for detention.

    of course it should be noted that there is no law on the planet that allows us to jail refugee claimants simply for arriving.