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.

A government that shuns asylum seekers deserves sanction

Last weekend Australia’s leading unions sent a letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd demanding a more humane response to refugees (the story is covered in today’s Sydney Morning Herald):

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to express our concern at the growing stance of indifference towards and demonisation of asylum seekers from both sides of Australian politics. Instead, Australian unions restate the need for strong political leadership from all sides of politics that recognises and deals with the push factors that cause people to seek asylum, and Australia’s international obligations to protect the rights of those most vulnerable in our global community.

Political parties should not exploit fear and xenophobia through the dehumanisation of refugees. These attitudes have been building for more than six months, culminating in the recent policy change by the Australian Government to suspend the processing of all new asylum claims by Afghan and Sri Lankan nationals. In devising this approach to deter “boat people”, the Government has successfully alienated thousands of people seeking refuge from persecution, and forsaken Australia’s “fair-go” spirit.

The decision to reopen the isolated Curtin detention facility in Western Australia is also veryconcerning. We want to avoid a repeat of the politics of fear that overcame Australia in the period of 2001 to 2004 – a period that brought shame upon Australia internationally, and divided the nation. It also created a situation of intolerable misery and anguish for asylum seekers, including children who arrived in Australia only to be shipped off to the Pacific Solution, locked into desert-bound detention centres, or placed in limbo through Temporary Protection Visas.

In using refugees as pawns in an election game, Australia is failing in its obligations as a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1976 Protocol to not discriminate in the treatment of refugees on the basis of race, religion or country of origin (Article 3). Sri Lankans and Afghans are being singled out purely based on race. Asylum seekers should be assessed case by case and this blanket decision to suspend asylum claims ignores real security threats existing in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

The Sri Lankan Government’s persistent harassment and intimidation of journalists and human rights activists, arrests of opposition party members and continued incarceration of tens of thousands of Tamil refugees highlights the continuing political and social instability in Sri Lanka. A recent US Department of Statei report notes Tamils in Sri Lanka are also victims to extrajudicial killings and disappearances.

In Afghanistan, civilian casualties remain high, with 2009 representing the highest number of civilians killed in the armed conflict, according to Human Rights Watchii. Ethnic and religious minorities, including the Hazara population – the largest percentage fleeing the country, remain at risk of persecution while journalists continue to face threats in the pursuit of truth.

Permanent migration – including the humanitarian and refugee program – has and will continue to play an enormous role in Australia’s growth and prosperity. It is time to back the words of our national anthem about the boundless plains to share for anybody who has travelled across the high seas. We call on all sides of politics to show some compassion and humanity in a bipartisan way, and we urge the Australian Government to act now to uphold its international obligations and live up to its election promise of a humane immigration and refugee policy.

Australian Council of Trade Unions, President Sharan Burrow

Australian Education Union, Federal Secretary Susan Hopgood

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, National Secretary Dave Oliver

Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, Federal Secretary Brian Crawford

Australian Nursing Federation, Federal Secretary Ged Kearney

Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union, National Secretary Allan Barden

Australian Services Union, NSW & ACT (Services) Branch, Branch Secretary Sally McManus

Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union of Australia, National Secretary Peter Tighe

CPSU – SPSF Group, Federal Secretary David Carey

Evatt Foundation, Secretary Chris Gambian

Finance Sector Union, National Secretary Leon Carter

Independent Education Union of Australia, Federal Secretary Chris Watt

Labor for Refugees (NSW & VIC), Convenor Linda Scott (NSW) and Secretary Robin Rothfield (VIC)

Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, National Secretary Louise Tarrant

Maritime Union of Australia, National Secretary Paddy Crumlin

Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Federal Secretary Christopher Warren

National Tertiary Education Union, General Secretary Grahame McCulloch

The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia, National Secretary Michele O’Neil

Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, Executive Officer Peter Jennings

Unions NSW, Secretary Mark Lennon

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