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.

Talking about the role of Serco negatively affecting public freedom

It’s a discussion that rarely occurs in Western countries where Serco (and other corporations) are increasingly intruding on our lives. As citizens we are meant to silently accept the influence of these unaccountable firms. Privatisation will set us free, apparently.

Resistance is most certainly not futile. Take this recent piece by Zoe Williams in the Guardian:

One Society has produced some data on pay differentials, called A Third of a Percent (this is the pay of a UK low-paid worker compared to their chief executives). They found that private firms whose main income came from the public sector paid CEOs far more than the highest paid public sector employee. So, for instance, “Serco, which receives over 90% of its business from the public sector, paid Christopher Hyman an estimated £3,149,950 in 2010. This is six times more than the highest paid UK public servant and 11 times more than the highest-paid UK local authority CEO.”

It’s hard to compare Hyman to the lowest paid Serco employee, since the bottom figure visible on the collective bargaining records is for a Docklands Light Railway passenger service agent, at £35,000. But that almost certainly doesn’t represent the bottom of the pay spine – for the period from 1 April 2009 electricians in Serco’s Integrated Services bargaining unit were subject to a pay deal with a minimum rate equivalent to £10,358 a year.

Not wishing to pick on Serco, since the situations in A4e, Capita and G4S are similar, these companies do, when they have a profit glitch, behave like any other big four with a stranglehold on the money supply: they squeeze suppliers. Last year, worried about local authority cuts (which of course hadn’t happened at this point), Serco sent out a letter to suppliers demanding a 2.5% reduction in costs, on the basis that, “Like the government, we are looking to determine who our real partners are that we can rely upon. Your response will no doubt indicate your commitment to our partnership”. They rescinded this after widespread outrage, but the message will have been easily recognised by anyone who’s ever objected to the working strategy of a major supermarket: we’re your conduit to the public cash cow, and you’ll do as we say.

Meanwhile in Australia, Serco operates with government backing (though public opposition, such as this Facebook page Serco Watch, is growing):

A lucrative IT contract for the new Fiona Stanley Hospital has been awarded to a British company in what has been touted by the state opposition as a continued disregard of keeping local jobs in Western Australia.

The decision follows the opposition’s outcry about the need to protect locally resourced jobs after BlueScope Steel axed more than 1000 staff in Victoria and New South Wales because it could no longer compete in the export market.

Now controversial hospital operator Serco, which is primarily a British company, has awarded British Telecommunications the IT services contract as part of a “boys looking after boys” deal, according to opposition spokesperson for IT strategy Andrew Waddell.

Mr Waddell said Serco had followed a similar path when contracting BT on behalf of the British government’s National Health Service.

“[The British Government] didn’t think they were getting value for money running their hospitals but the difference with the outsourcing model is that no one takes responsibility,” Mr Waddell said.

“If there is a crisis at the Fiona Stanley Hospital say in 10 years time, who will take responsibility for that? Not the government of the day.

“They will say it’s up to the people that they outsourced it to and there doesn’t seem to be anything in the contract to rectify a problem if a problem like that arose.

“Who will be forced to fix things? In the end it’s the public that cops the brunt.”

He said although Serco’s early tender included shopping around for providers, there was no evidence to suggest they had done anything more than automatically contract BT.

“That’s the amazing thing, local rules were bypassed and local providers were given no opportunity,” he said.

“The situation was made worse by the fact that many of the key performance indicators relating to IT services at Fiona Stanley were not included in Serco’s contract.

“Several performance parameters that were included in the contract had key information blacked out.”

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