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.

Another man dead at Villawood and the government shrugs

Murdoch’s Australian newspaper often reports news by simply republishing whatever the government tells them (this story has subsequently been updated but below was the original text of the story):

Immigration authorities are investigating the sudden death of a detainee at Sydney’s Villawood detention centre this morning.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship said the 36-year-old Fijian national had been held in Villawood since August 17.

Detention services provider Serco was also providing a report to the police and the department on the circumstances surrounding the man’s unexpected death at about 10am today, it said.

In fact, as Greens Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon said this morning – and I heard directly from a detainee inside Villawood – the situation is very different (and by the way, what’s the role and responsibility of the company that runs Villawood, Serco?)

Responding to the suicide of a Villawood Immigration Detention Centre detainee this morning and the ongoing hunger strike of up to 20 other detainees the Greens have renewed their call for the federal government to speed up processing of refugees and to abide by Australia’s international treaty obligations, Greens Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon said today.

“The tragic death this morning of a young man from Fiji underlines the suffering many asylum seekers are experiencing because of the inhumane handling of refugee applications by the federal government,” Ms Rhiannon said.

“I have spoken to a Villawood inmate this morning and the situation inside sounds tense and distressing.

“From the information I have received some of the asylum seekers saw the young 28 year old man jump to his death.

“Also a hunger strike by up to 20 detainees objecting to their treatment is continuing.

“Yesterday I was at Villawood as part of a delegation of union and Greens members committed to working for justice for refugees.

“Three detainees at Villawood have been already processed by the UNHCR. They showed me their cards that display their refugee status but still the Australian government refuses to accept them.

“Many men broke down in tears as they described to us the suffering they are going through.

“They feel a sense of hopelessness, as their interactions with officials leaves them with the strong impression that the process is
not fair and the Australian government wants them to return to their homeland.

“The uncertainty of their fate, the fear that they will be killed if they are returned to their home country and prolonged detention is having devastating effects on their mental health.

“The Greens are calling for an end to mandatory detention and a more humane community-based approach,” Ms Rhiannon said.

The immigration department called the incident an “unexpected death”.

5 comments ↪
  • Mallee

    The Greens are 'BS' opportunists, yes, they should care about the plight of refugees but they could  not care less that ten aussies were murdered on 9/11 with thousands of otherrs to justify the invasion of two countries. If they were fair dinkum and cared about the invasions, (as they claim) they would expose the 9/11 lies as part of the lying justification for those invasions and continual hate being generated.

    At least the Germans are not as stupid as most of our politicians and mass media. The German Focus-Money magazine has now put its 9/11 article on its website. It can be viewed at;

    http://911blogger.com/news/2010-09-18/german-focu

    Any problesm with the link, just go to their home website and practice your german. I am advised that it 'lets it all out'!

    A 'Greens' parliamentray member has been briefed years ago on all this by Dr.  David Leifer, university of Sydney architecture lecturer and that member should be able to appreciate that the wtc and No 7 were 'imploded' with explosives but what do we get? SILENCE and hypocracy, just as with the rest of 'they', who are supposed to be our paid servants, not that of foreign countries.

    The Australian mass media and our politicians are going to have a hard time explaining to the Australian public why they have deliberately deceived and betrayed Australia for so long and so vehemently.

  • Marilyn

    Just before my 50th birthday an Afghan mother of three died suddenly as well and it was covered up until a few days later when I got the news.

    Carmen Lawrence managed to discover that Fatima Erfani in fact had been ill for many months locked up on Christmas Island, unable to make any refugee claim and unable to go home.

    She died at the old age of 27 of a massive stroke due to lack of treatment.   It was a "sudden" death.

    Mohammed Saleh died of untreated cancer and it was covered up until Sophie McNeil got the coroners report showing the negligence of the department.

    Simaplee Phounthong died a sudden death after choking on her own vomit after being given the wrong medication against medical orders by some moron guard.   She was a sex slave and drug addict dumped when she got too old and sick.

    We never learn.

    this is now 20 deaths in custody of entirely innocent people who have never had a trial, or charges laid or anything of the kind.

  • shah

    Australian authorities are inhumane; their treatment of refugees are far beyond human comprehension; Australia must free all the refugees; the death of the poor helpless Fijian man could have been avoided if the authorities had addressed the mental aspect of his health…shame…shame…shame Australia

  • Marilyn

    Ah but Shah, our worthless media are putting the Lifeline phone number at the end of their reports.

    As if people who face being killed give a flying fig about being depressed.

  • Rick Somerton

    I don't agree with the greens on everything but this is one area that I am with them all the way.

    Our politicians need to educate our society on what is really going on. The masses are being revved up by a media interested only in pandering to our fears.

    THese are humans not to be feared but to be embraced. We should be showing the world how a humane society deals with these issues. Kevin Ridd wants to be a leader on the world stage. Here is a chance to show the world.