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.

The mad rush for privatising everywhere

Privatisation fundamentalists never rest. It’s a religion, with politicians and many in the media believing (aka pretending) that “efficiency” will be achieved by selling off public assets. Dream on, suckers.

One:

The Federal Government has quietly privatised its migrant language services across a large section of Sydney, drawing a furious response from teachers who will hit the streets today in protest.

The Adult Migrant English Program, which offers 500 hours of government-funded English classes to new migrants, is provided by a TAFE NSW-led consortium in significant parts of the inner city, west and south-west.

But the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is set to award the contract to a consortium led by multi-national education corporation Navitas, largely because it is offering to provide the service more cheaply.

“Obviously the successful tenderer represents the best value for money” a spokeswoman for the department said.

“The department is required to comply with commonwealth procurement policy and obviously a central tenet of that is competitive tendering,” she said.

The contract has been won by a consortium led by private provider Navitas, a multi-national company which spans a vast education empire.

The company’s net profit surged 31 per cent to $264.3 million last financial year, and its chief executive Rod Jones entered the BRW top 200 rich list with a personal wealth of $275 million.

It is set to provide services in the Blacktown, Central Western Sydney, Fairfield, Liverpool, Inner City and Inner West regions from July next year with assistance from small providers such as Mission Australia, Macquarie Community College and City East Community College.

Navitas and the Department said the quality of teaching would not fall as a result of the new provider.

But the president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Bob Lipscombe said Navitas teachers were paid less than their public counterparts and in many cases were not as well qualified.

“A key part of how you support people who enter through immigration is language skills,” Mr Lipscombe said.

“But where you’ve got profits at play and where the return to shareholders is a significant consideration, there is a real risk that the provision of those skills will be compromised.”

Two:

The state’s finances, the environment and households will be far worse off because of the Keneally government’s reckless power privatisation, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: “The awful truth is that the Keneally government in its last gasp has punctured a hole in the state’s future.

“Board members who resigned from the state-owned companies were right to label this as an irresponsible fire sale. Within seven years the state’s finances will be worse off.

“Treasurer Eric Roozendaal has squandered opportunities to use public ownership to reduce household electricity bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“He has destroyed the medium term security of hundreds of jobs in the retailers, and he has done so at a much smaller price than if the government had waited until there was more certainty about carbon prices and future coal costs.

“NSW households will face even higher electricity bills as the new private owners seek to extract more profit.

“The Keneally government has thrown away one of the most important keys to bringing down NSW’s greenhouse gas emissions. Private control over the baseload generators that produce more than 60 million tonnes of CO2 each year will make it much harder to reduce the state’s dependence on coal.

one comment ↪
  • Gary Lord

    "It’s a religion, with politicians and many in the media PRETENDING that “efficiency” will be achieved by selling off public assets."

     

    Fixed.