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.

Private companies doing rather well in anti-immigration wave moving across world

Disaster capitalists look for ways to make money from misery, crisis or fear.

The growing wave of anti-immigration sentiment sweeping the world suits such companies just fine. It’s an area I’m investigating for a forthcoming book and this New York Times piece perfectly captures the mood in Britain; the dangerous nexus between government rhetoric, firms claiming to “solve” the problem and profitability. And who really benefits from all this? Some governments with short-term political gain and corporations that convince officials that only they can “efficiently” manage the issue:

The boy was 13 when a dawn immigrationraid abruptly ended his father’s four-year quest for political asylum in Britain. By nightfall of that day in 2005, father and son were hundreds of miles from home, locked in the privately run Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Center here, scheduled for deportation to their native Angola in the morning.

Instead, shortly after midnight, the despondent father, Manuel Bravo, 35, walked to a stairwell with a bed sheet and hanged himself. The note he left said why: so that his orphaned boy could stay in Britain.

Indeed, the law did not allow immigration authorities to deport an orphan who had no one waiting for him. A British family the Bravos knew through church took the boy, Antonio, home to Armley, the working-class suburb of Leeds where they had settled in 2001.

Antonio, now 19, is an apprentice electrician who aspires to be an engineer. Not far from his father’s hilltop grave, he shares a century-old house with five British roommates and regularly visits the family who raised him. “I want to make my dad proud and not feel like he gave his life away for no reason,” he said.

But next month, Antonio faces the threat of deportation all over again. Under changing laws, instead of qualifying for citizenship this year, as he expected, he is not eligible to apply. His temporary residence permit, granted on humanitarian grounds, is expiring with no clear path to renewal.

Antonio’s story is emblematic of one nation’s escalating efforts to repel unwanted migration, through an enforcement system partly run by private contractors.

The Bravos had entered the world of outsourced immigration enforcement. In effect, they were in the custody of the Anglo-Danish company now known as G4S.

Its guards drove them past the brick villas and open fields of Bedfordshire to an old military base where the Yarl’s Wood detention center, developed by the company in 2001, lies behind barbed wire.

Contractors now run 7 of Britain’s 11 immigration detention centers, where capacity has grown 75 percent since 2001. Mr. Bravo’s one day in custody is documented in rare detail in inquest records. What still haunts Antonio is the moment when G4S transport guards discovered a brand-new clothesline in his father’s bag. They took the rope from Mr. Bravo, who was under treatment for depression, but never alerted Yarl’s Wood. G4S declined to comment for this article on its operations, either in general or with regard to the Bravo case.

A nurse at Yarl’s Wood, employed by another subcontractor, confiscated Mr. Bravo’s antidepressants and did not ask if he was suicidal — for fear, she testified, of putting the idea in his head. Official inquiries concluded that these lapses made no difference.

Father and son were escorted through eight locked doors to their room, where Antonio waited while Mr. Bravo made last-ditch phone calls.

One was to the vicar, who had been unable to reach government officials. “He was really struggling,” Mr. Kaye said. “He was terrified of going back.”

When Mr. Bravo returned to their room, Antonio said, he brought bad news: their deportation was set for 10:30 a.m. “He said, ‘Whatever happens, be brave and strong and I’m proud of you.’ ”

Antonio was sleeping when security cameras recorded his father’s suicide. The ombudsman’s 2006 report complains that for hours no one accepted responsibility for waking the boy to tell him his father was dead, and later, no one explained that he would not be deported alone.

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