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.

Germans behind the Nazi terror were often very ordinary

A fascinating new museum has just opened in Berlin documenting the often faceless bureaucrats behind Hitler’s Final Solution. Such almost casual brutality was driven by ideology but also a strong desire to advance one’s career. What’s killing a few Jews between the hours of nine and five?

The center also reveals the worst historical legacy of the German Federal Republic. The fact that thousands of murderers and their accomplices were able to lead quiet lives in post-war Germany, undisturbed by the criminal justice system. The site of the exhibition is probably the most historically contaminated place in Berlin. The complex on what was once Prinz Albrecht Strasse, just a stone’s throw from today’s government buildings, was the headquarters for the Third Reich’s brutal repression.

In 1933 the Gestapo made the former art school at Prinz Albrecht Strasse 8 its headquarters. The adjacent Hotel Prinz Albrecht became the SS headquarters in 1934 and that same year the SS intelligence service, the SD, took over the Prinz Albrecht palace on nearby Wilhelm Strasse. It was from this complex of buildings that Hitler’s officials administered the concentration and extermination camps, directed the deadly campaigns by the SS death squads and kept an eye on the regime’s opponents.

The “Final Solution” that was discussed at the famed Wannsee Conference on Jan. 20, 1942 was also prepared here. A group of ministerial officials and SS functionaries based here chose the venue for the conference of high-ranking Nazis, where the plan for the murder of Europe’s Jews was hatched.

Hitler was rarely at the complex. He preferred to stay away from Berlin, sometimes ruling from his Wolf’s Lair military headquarters and sometimes from his Bavarian mountain retreat. But this was where the brains behind the Nazi crimes, such as SS leader Heinrich Himmler and SD chief Reinhard Heydrich, had their offices.

Climbing the Career Ladder

And they surrounded themselves by men who didn’t necessarily fit into today’s stereotype of a Nazi war criminal, neither boorish sadists nor bloodless bureaucrats. They were ambitious university-educated men, aged around 30 and more likely to be ideologues than technocrats. They alternated between serving at the Berlin headquarters and in foreign posts, like young managers at a big company making their way up the career ladder. And after the rupture of 1945 most of them simply faded away into the background.

Erich Ehrlinger, for example, a lawyer from Giengen in southern Germany, who at the age of 25 was already a staff leader at the SD main office, before becoming a commander in the German security police in Ukraine and leading the 1b Einsatzkommando, or mobile death squad. A case against him in 1969 was dropped because he was deemed incapable of standing trial. Yet Ehrlinger lived for another 35 years.

Then there was the Munich businessman, Josef Spacil, who joined the SS at the age of 27. He was stationed in an occupied area of the Soviet Union as an SS economist, then came back to Prinz Albrecht Strasse to serve as a department head. He appeared as a witness in the Nuremberg Trials but was never prosecuted himself.

Photographs of a group of young lawyers, Werner Best, Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Hans Nockemann, stare down from the walls — all were born in 1903. “One easily forgets that National Socialism was a young movement,” say Andreas Nachama, the director of the new documentation center.

one comment ↪
  • Mallee

    They were just like us, as we are now.

    We do not ask questions about;

    9/11.

    When the war in Afghanistan was planned.

    Why we invaded Afghanistan.

    When we planned to invade Iraq.

    Why we invaded Iraq.

    How it is that we allow the propaganda of warmongers to prevail and fill our media.

    How it is that we pay the media to lie to us.

    How we sit back and even allow our mass media and politicians to lie to us.

    How is it that we elect politicians who are subservient to foreign country's interests above our own.

    Why are we paying to be at war, killing and invading others.

    Why we are sitting back and allowing warmongers to spruik further war, say with Iran.

    Why are we condoning lands being stolen and people's social infrastructure being destroyed.

    Why are we spending a fortune on war when we could be saving lives elsewhere or building our infrastructure for the future.

    Why do we tolerate a controlled mass media, why do we buy the stuff they advertise when we know if we don't, they go broke and might realise that they cannot get away with the continual lies.

    The list goes on and we sit in judgement of those dumb Germans in the 1930's who allowed their government to wipe away freedoms, carry out wars and mass murder. They were so dumb they did not realise that the firing of the Reischtag (sp?) was not done by a simpleton communist but was a false flag event to blame and arrest the communists and execute many. (NATO 'Operation Gladio" in the 1970's was a similar scam) Not many Germans thought much about that. They enabled Hitler to take away their freedoms without a whimper.  Just as we are allowing our Western Governements to do now on the pretext of the 'concocted war on terror' based largely on the 9/11 false flag mass murders. (and others)

    We are frigggin idiots, maybe just cowards, who knows, but usually it dos not pan out as one hoped when we sit back and enable ourselves to be controlled. We end up in cattle trucks going to concentration camps.

    So we are just ordinary, going about our affairs; just as the wild pigs find a free feed in a paddock, after a week they do not care about the fence to one side of their regular feed source, the next week they ignore the extension of the fence at 90', then the third side is placed, then the final side with an enttrance, happily feeding away as the farmer comes along and places the gate, even then they come back the next day when the farmer closes the gate. What does the pig care, so long as he gets a feed?

    Yep, we are just ordinary people, no different to the suckered Germans.

    However, we have one large advantage now and no excuse to being like the pig, with the world's largest public meeting place and the world's 'instant library'  available:

    SENATOR CONROY, IT IS CALLED THE INTERNET!!!!           Hands off!