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.

Serco and G4S can’t believe their luck in a brave new world

Britain’s future is a privatised world of guards managing and monitoring “undesirables”. Australia and much of the world is following suit. Company G4S may have lost a contract to remove asylum seekers from Britain but its employees will inevitably be working elsewhere soon, possibly doing this to people:

A Zimbabwean asylum seeker whose deportation from Britain was halted after his wrist was broken while he was being restrained by security guards is to be flown back to Africa tomorrow on a British Airways plane.

Khu Mlotshwa, 31, claims he was assaulted by security guards in June when the UK Border Agency first attempted to deport him from Britain.

During the struggle on the Virgin Airways flight, Mr Mlotshwa, who was handcuffed and wearing leg locks, alleges he was punched and kicked by guards and had his wrist twisted back.

A Home Office investigation has now exonerated the two G4S security officers – even though one of the guards can be heard on CCTV saying that Mr Mlotshwa “put up a good fight”.

Earlier this month Jimmy Mubenga, 46, an asylum seeker from Angola, died when he was being deported by G4S guards from the UK. That death is being investigated by Scotland Yard, who have arrested three G4S guards.

Mr Mlotshwa now says he is terrified of being forcibly removed from the UK again. “It was a terrible and frightening experience which I fear will be repeated tomorrow,” he told The Independent. “These escorts are evil, they are really evil. They do these things to you and then the whole thing is covered up so that they get away with it.”

Meanwhile, another multinational making money from the imprisonment of people, Serco, is forced to take stock (via the Financial Times):

Serco has withdrawn a demand for a 2.5 cent “cash rebate” from its leading suppliers and apologised unreservedly to them after the government ordered it to explain its actions.

The outsourcing company, which runs prisons, nuclear facilities, schools and ports for the government, had written to its 193 largest suppliers demanding that they make the payments or risk losing future contracts, in an effort to meet the coalition’s request for multimillion-pound savings on procurement contracts.

But the decision angered Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister in charge of the government’s efficiency drive, who wrote to Serco seeking an explanation of the action.

Mr Maude believed he had received an undertaking from Chris Hyman, Serco’s chief executive, that the savings it would put forward would not come from suppliers’ payments. The government wants smaller companies to get a bigger share of government business.

Serco said on Monday that it had now told the Cabinet Office that its most recent offer of savings to the government would not result in any of the cost saving programme being passed on to suppliers.

The company said in a statement that it had a continuing procurement process with its supply chain partners, which has been underway for more than five years.

“More recently we have also been working with the Cabinet Office as part of their efficiency programme, which has involved discussions with our leading suppliers. As a result our plans evolved and we decided not to seek or accept any contributions from our suppliers, who had recently received letters asking for rebates.

“As a company that values our relationships with all our supply chain partners, large and small, we deeply regret this action and apologise unreservedly to them for the concern that this has caused. We are now communicating this to our supply chain partners and retracting the letters.”

Mr Maude has been pressing the government’s biggest contractors to accept lower margins to help reduce the budget deficit, but to date only a handful have signed agreements to renew existing contracts. Serco has yet to finalise a deal.

A letter was leaked to the Sunday Telegraph, which quoted one supplier who received the demand as saying it was “brutal” and “absolutely appalling”.

In the letter, Andrew Jenner, Serco’s finance director, said the “cash contribution” was required to meet the Cabinet Office’s demands to cut Whitehall expenditure. He said Mr Hyman had given a “personal commitment” to the Cabinet Office that Serco and its supply chain would provide “total support” to the plan to save £800m from central government procurement this year.

The letter said: “I am asking you to offer us a rebate of 2.5 per cent [exclusive of VAT] on Serco’s full-year spend with you for the 2010 calendar year in the form of a credit note. Like the government, we are looking to determine who our real partners are that we can rely upon. Your response will no doubt indicate your commitment to our partnership but will also be something I will seriously consider in our working relationship as Serco continues to grow.”

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