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.

Making sure Serco doesn’t soon run every aspect of Australian life

I’m still in Perth, Western Australia and I spent some time this afternoon with activists and union leaders discussing the state government’s move towards further privatisation of public services. This is an Australian-wide problem and a global issue. Campaigns are growing here against the imposition of Serco in many areas of life. A piece in yesterday’s West Australian newspaper highlights the importance of the struggle:

The Barnett Government is secretly planning to privatise a slab of the State’s judicial system in a move critics believe marks the takeover of justice by multinational corporations.

A leaked copy of a draft Bill reveals the Government wants to allow private companies to take over the management of prisoners who have been released from jail on parole or are awaiting trial.

Private contractors would enforce parole conditions, such as drug testing, attending rehabilitation programs and finding accommodation and work.

Part six of the Corrective Services Bill 2011 would allow companies such as Serco, which runs Acacia Prison and is bidding for the right to provide other Government services, to become major players in the State’s justice system.

The laws, which are outlined in a section of the Bill entitled Contracts for Community Services, have been condemned by the Community and Public Sector Union. Union secretary Toni Walkington said the move would compromise public safety as profit-driven companies would be put in charge of sometimes unstable criminals.

“We are alarmed that community corrections in any way, shape or form could be contracted out,” she said.

Shadow minister for corrective services Fran Logan said the Government was selling off “core” public services.

“These contracts are based on key performance indicators and making sure the right boxes are ticked,” he said. “It is not about rehabilitation of people who have been through the justice system.

“What are we going to have? Are we going to have Dog the Bounty Hunter here in WA, tracking people down who have skipped their parole?”

The British Government last year scrapped a contract with company Clearsprings after a 24-year-old man on bail for assault was beaten to death by two other inmates at one of the company’s properties.

Corrective Services Minister Terry Redman said the previous Labor government had begun work on the Bill.

“DCS have been working on this for years and the department has not flagged it as an immediate priority,” he said.

“I expect to be briefed on it in the coming months. Should the Bill be approved by myself and my colleagues, it will then be subject to robust debates and processes.”

2 comments ↪
  • rob alan

    If all public administration events are to be handed out to international.corp why on earth have we govts at all? Even the most passive observer must come to the conclusion the people themselves have no responsible govt and are all just becoming a KahChing source for predatory corporations with govt acting as corporate jackals.

  • Thanks Anthony, great to have you here and thanks for meeting with us.

    Here in WA The Barnett and Gillard Governments are granting corporations the right to control more and more of our common wealth- public services, public assets, infrastructure, utilities, water, air, the natural environment, natural resources, land. The good news is that  all around WA there are many of us fighting to protect communities, public services, public assets, natural places, environments. and public institutions under assault from corporations. There are a growing number of campaigns by refugee activists, unionists, social justice activist, deaths in custody campaigners, anti privatization campaigners and defenders of public services who are directly taking on corporations like Serco and G4S. Events taking place each week. And we are joining hands across disparate areas, fields and locations, for example with environmentalists fighting mining and resource corporations so that people not corporations make the rules and determine the future of their communities.