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.

When will the media stop ignoring Serco?

Here we go again. An article in the mainstream media that discusses the obscene amount of money the Australian government is spending on keeping refugees in detention but no mention of Serco, the British multinational running the detention centres and the company receiving a good bulk of the money:

Offshore processing of asylum-seekers is five times more expensive than holding illegal arrivals in mainland detention facilities.

In pursuing the offshore option the Gillard government is making a $735 million budget bet that it will be able to stem the flow of boatpeople in the next three years.

Figures contained in the Immigration Department’s brief to the incoming government show $471.18m has been allocated for offshore processing of illegal arrivals in the 2010-11 budget.

But Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yesterday remained committed to the Christmas Island detention centre.

“Why is there a detention centre at Christmas Island? It’s because that’s where people arrive; it’s because it’s obviously the easiest part of Australia to get to, it’s closer to Indonesia than mainland Australia,” Mr Bowen said.

The $471.18m cost of offshore processing compared with a 2010-11 budget allocation for onshore detention facilities of $93.76m.

As at September 9, when the brief was prepared, the Christmas Island detention centre held 2464 illegal maritime arrivals, including 47 crew for the boats that brought them.

Mainland facilities held 2363 illegal arrivals.

Yesterday Christmas Island held 2743 detainees, including 51 crew, and there were 3493 illegal maritime arrivals in onshore detention.

This was 30 detainees in excess of available capacity, even including contingency accommodation.

4 comments ↪
  • Scott Stewart

    I agree and it is worth pointing out that servicing asylum seekers in the community is a lot cheaper again. Give them the right to work and it is less again, hell they'll pay taxes as well and be a net benefit to society in the $'s and cents analysis alone. Serco get a lot of press internationally, the British press have no qualms digging the boots into Serco and their regular mishaps and negligence in the persuit of profit as well as the waste of $'s they represent. We see none of this critique in Australia.

    I do object to you using the term 'illegal' in the post, giving into the racist language of liberals and the government, who struggle to get away with it. They wriggle in unlawful as that is technically correct and try imply illegal as they say it. Though there is no law broken seeking asylum in Australia arriving by any means. No one see's the need to say illegal detention every time say detention. Yet the only laws being broken here are international laws on refugee rights.

  • Eryl Jones

    I'm glad someone else reacted to the word 'illegal'.  It's not illegal to seek asylum.  Even parts of the TV media have stopped using the word 'ullegals' in favour of the correct term.

    They are 'asylum-seekers' and using that other is just feeding the covert racism which leads people to become so angry about a very small number of desperate people.

  • Marilyn

    I have written to the useless press council yet again over the use of the word "illegal', they have ruled twice but the msm just refuse to get it.

    And Bowen is an idiot.

    Most refugee boats get to Ashmore Island but we then transport them some 1800 km west to Christmas Island instead of taking them to Darwin.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    ILLEGAL (just in case you missed it) 

     

    The linked Australian article by Sid Maher has 387 words in total with 7 occurrences of the word "illegal" (5 x "illegal arrivals" and 2 x "illegal maritime arrivals").