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.

Neo-liberalism only helps the corporations, nobody else

As Britain’s conservative government embarks on a massive program of privatisation, Britain’s Channel 4 Dispatches discovers that many major multinationals, including Serco and G4S, are doing very nicely, thank you, out of the public cuts:

Channel 4’s Ben Laurance writes in the Daily Mail:

It has been a week in which public sector workers have been told to tighten their belts. Millions have learned they will have to pay more into their pensions, work longer and receive less when they retire.

Their only comfort, as the Coalition -Government fights to close the yawning gap in Britain’s public finances, is Messrs Cameron and Osborne’s regular reminder that ‘we are all in this together’.

Recent revelations about the scale of top salaries in local government – Britain’s highest-paid council chief executive receives almost £300,000 a year and scores are paid more than the Prime Minister – undermined this feeling of mutual pain.

But a new investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme has revealed that the taxpayer is funding far bigger individual pay packages – in one case we found, an astonishing £10 million a year.

This is no ordinary tale of Fat Cattery. These multi-million-pound deals are being paid to the heads of the ‘outsourcers’ – the giant private companies that say they can do a better and more efficient job collecting bins, say, or providing nursing care than the State.

They are private companies but they are also the creation of the Government’s drive to outsource services. The lion’s share of their turnover – and of their executives’ enormous pay packages – comes from the public purse. But there is little in the way of public accountability.

These outsourcers already account for £79 billion of state expenditure every year, a figure which is set to grow if the Government fulfils its pledge to put nearly all state-run services out to contract.

In Canterbury Serco collects rubbish, trims trees, maintains road signs, cuts grass and looks after public toilets.

Surely a company with such close ties to the shrinking public sector is going to be feeling the effect of government spending cuts?

Not according to the company’s chief executive Chris Hyman. Serco’s profits grew by a fifth last year, and the company reckons to have an order book of £16.5 billion.

In the meantime the people at the top of these companies are earning a fortune. Nick Buckles is the chief executive of G4S, which provides, among other services, security guards and prisoner transport. In 2009 he made £3.8 million in salary, bonus, share options and extras.

In the same year Serco’s Chris Hyman, an evangelical Christian with a penchant for racing Ferraris, received a pay package of more than £5 million.

2 comments ↪
  • Libertus

     

     

    PRIVATIZATION & WARS TWO SUBJECTS TWO RIVERS FROM WITCH LIFE CAN EITHER, FLOW OR CEASE TO BE.

    WE HAVE ALREADY EXPERIMENTED WITH GIANT CORPORATIONS, THE RESULT A CATASTROPHIC FIASCO.

    CORPORATIONS ARE NOT THE FUTURE HUMANS ARE.

    NOT ONE BUT TWO NUCLEAR MELTDOWN IN AN AREA NOTORIOUSLY KNOWN FOR EARTHQUAKES.

    GREED-INHUMANITY-ABSENCE OF CONSCIENCE=TOTAL ABSENCE OF VISION.

    AS AN ORGANISM OUR OWN BODIES ARE RENEWED EVERY FEW YEARS, EVERY SINGLE CELL. WHY CAN'T WE DO THE SAME WITH EVERYTHING ELSE.

     

    AN OTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE

    No Terror No Torture Just Truth.

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