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.

Who really wants Serco to remain in Australia? Not the people

With so many unanswered questions, privatisation is not the way forward for helping people. But then again, that’s not the point, is it? It’s about profit above humanity:

The private company that runs the Christmas Island detention centre should be stripped of its contract, and control of the network returned to the Commonwealth, says the union representing its workers.

The head of the Christmas Island union, Kaye Bernard, warned privatisation of the detention centres – which have been stricken by riots, overcrowding and suicide attempts this year – has failed and ”compromised” employee safety.

She has accused Serco, the British company reaping millions of dollars from its five-year contract with the federal government to run the swelling immigration detention centres, of misleading a parliamentary inquiry on the extent of training it provides to workers. She said the company, which does not provide access to its records to immigration department staff within the centres, is guilty of significant under-reporting.

Politicians, including opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, will travel to Christmas Island tomorrow for inquiry hearings.

In her submission to the inquiry, Ms Bernard has called for an independent audit of the Serco contract by the Commonwealth Auditor General, and for Serco logs to be tabled.

”Given the extent of breaches of the contract that has compromised the safety of workers, we have little or no confidence in Serco continuing in the contract,” she said. ”We are asking for the public service to do away with privatisation. Clearly, privatisation has not worked.”

The Christmas Island union represents the army of private guards, administration staff, drivers, cleaners and other workers who keep the North West Point and Phosphate Hill detention centres in operation.

The CPSU, which represents the public servants working for the Department of Immigration, supported the call for detention centres to return to government control.

In its own submission to the inquiry, the CPSU has detailed complaints that Serco guards are not adequately trained, are giving incorrect information to asylum seekers, do not keep sufficient records, are overworked, and that workplaces are unsafe.

”Serco should employ and roster sufficient guards,” the CPSU said.

Immigration staff reported being embarrassed by Serco behaviour towards asylum seekers.

There are 75 immigration department staff on Christmas Island, and 338 working in detention centres across the network. Serco has refused to disclose its staffing levels.

Nine in 10 departmental staff at detention centres reported being stressed. One said: ”Christmas Island – I’ve seen things go wrong badly and the staff just don’t know what to do.”

Serco sent a legal team to Christmas Island last week to prepare its records in advance of the inquiry.

In its submission, Serco says it is performing its role in ”extremely difficult” conditions due to the increased number of asylum seekers last year, and overcrowding.

Serco said its training meets the minimum standards under the contract, and staff are given an induction course, with select staff receiving crisis management training.

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