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.

Afghans, your nation is paradise so please bugger off home

This is truly criminal. The Australian government is seriously claiming that Afghanistan is safe for its citizens but I’ll allow you to read their choice of words:

Refugee groups fear a “flawed” government assessment of Afghanistan will unfairly taint asylum-seekers’ applications to stay in Australia.

The assessment by the Australian embassy in Kabul, dated February 21, says many ethnic Hazaras in Afghanistan are fleeing the country as economic migrants, not genuine refugees, and that they are living in a “golden age”.

However the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice was today condemned by refugee groups and greeted with scepticism by academic experts.

The Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre’s executive director and principal solicitor, David Manne, said the document was “notorious” and was one of the “key sources” used to reject Afghan asylum claims.

2 comments ↪
  • gordon

    You've got to love the way that at the same time Australian troops are waging war and creating refugees in Afghanistan, the Australian Govt. is agonising over what to do about those wretched boat people. The whole idea of cause and effect seems to be suspended as far as the consequences of the Afghan war are concerned.

  • Marilyn

    Can't go upsetting the fucking quota old son.  Here are the acceptance rates the media do not want to talk about.

    QUESTION TAKEN ON NOTICE

    BUDGET ESTIMATES HEARING: 26 MAY 2010

     

     

     

    IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

    (48) Program 2.1: Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance

    Senator Parry (L&C 78) asked:

    What is the acceptance rate by nationality of onshore protection claims and how

    does that compare with acceptance rates in the United Kingdom and in North

    America?

    Answer

     

    :

    Table 1 below sets out, for the top eight nationalities, primary decisions (grants and

    refusals) and primary grant rates arising from applications for Protection visas by

    non-Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) for the full year 2008-09 and 2009-10 to

    11 June 2010.

    Changes in grant rates between years may reflect, in part, changes in circumstances

    in countries of origin or changes in the composition of particular caseloads.

    Table 1: Non-IMA Protection visa primary decisions and grant rates

    2008-09 2009-10

    Nationality

    Primary

    decisions

    Primary

    grant rate

    Primary

    decisions

    Primary

    grant rate

    Afghanistan 51 92% 81 90%

    China (PRC) 1202 15% 1093 20%

    Egypt 91 42% 129 46%

    Iran 158 84% 219 88%

    Iraq 174 88% 184 91%

    Pakistan 210 66% 233 71%

    Sri Lanka 417 80% 243 67%

    Zimbabwe 252 76% 292 75%

    Source: DIAC systems data as at 11 June 2010

    Table 2 below sets out, for the top five nationalities, primary Refugee Status

    Assessment (RSA) decisions (approvals and refusals) and acceptance rates for

    Irregular Maritime Arrivals for the full year 2008-09 and 2009-10 to 11 June 2010.

    There has been a steady decline in the primary acceptance rates of the main source

    countries over the past few months, in particular since March-April 2010, due to

    significant and emerging changes in country information.

    Table 2: IMA Refugee Status Assessment primary decisions and primary

    acceptance rates

    2008-09 2009-10

    Nationality

    Primary

    decisions

    Primary

    acceptance

    rate

    Primary

    decisions

    Primary

    acceptance

    rate

    Afghanistan 178 99% 1703 84%

    Iran 10 40% 91 60%

    Iraq 21 81% 203 65%

    Pakistan 0 0% 14 36%

    Sri Lanka 14 29% 412 69%

    Stateless 3 100% 253 66%

    Source: DIAC data as at 11 June 2010

    Comparisons between Australian grant rates and acceptance rates in other countries

    are extremely difficult for a variety of reasons. These reasons include different

    systems of refugee status determination, differences in calculation methods, and

    differences in the characteristics of the caseload (such as difference in ethnicity or

    religion).