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 will clearly keep detainees warm at night

Despite a company such as G4S having a shocking human rights record in Britain and globally, this clearly has little impact on the firm receiving new contracts. After all, failure is rewarded in disaster capitalism. Privatisation will make everything more “efficient”, haven’t you heard?

The Guardian reports on the latest British experiment in vulnerable people’s lives:

A lot of care has been paid to the interior decoration of the new centre designed to hold families facing deportation from this country. Each of the nine apartments is named after a flower – lavender, iris, orchid – and pictures of these flowers are painted on the doors to the flats. The centre has an indoor play area for young children, decorated with animal murals, and a recreation area for teenagers, with a pool table. There’s a computer zone, a mosque and a non-denominational prayer area, as well as family-friendly communal kitchens. Outside there is a mini-adventure playground and extensive gardens.

There are also two boundary fences that make it impossible for residents to leave the premises unsupervised, and the centre is staffed by workers from the security firm G4S, paid by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Guests are brought here by escorts, after being arrested at their homes. Belongings are x-rayed, and adults are taken aside to be searched on arrival. The pretty, white-gabled building will be inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons.

Officials avoid referring to Cedars as a detention centre, describing it instead as a “pre-departure accommodation centre” to hold families whose immigration requests have failed and need to be removed from the country. The children’s charity Barnardo’s (which campaigns for an end to child detention) has been contracted to work with the children who are housed there, and its chief executive, Anne Marie Carrie, says its involvement will ensure that the new regime never recreates the scandals of the old “immigration removal centre” Yarl’s Wood, particularly the notorious, now-closed family unit, where families of failed asylum seekers were held (often at length).

But there is a lot that is confusing about the new site. Is it a detention centre? Does it represent an end to the detention of children, which the government promised in its coalition manifesto last year? Is the presence of Barnardo’s a constructive attempt to ensure that conditions are better, or (as some asylum charities argue) just a useful fig leaf?

Earlier this year, it began to be obvious that far more children were being detained at the ports than the coalition had anticipated when they promised to end child detention. During an unannounced inspection of a holding facility at Heathrow Terminal 4, prison inspectors witnessed a G4S member of staff, wearing latex gloves, telling a five-year-old French boy: “You’re a big boy now so I have to search you.”

All G4S staff working at Cedars are being trained by Barnardo’s in child welfare, but Carrie admits to some unease about cooperating with G4S, which has a mixed record on working with asylum seekers.

“I’m not an idiot. I know that there are concerns about them as an organisation,” she says. “But we’re not there to work for G4S. Their job is to run the facility on behalf of UKBA, they are accountable to UKBA. I’m accountable to the children and families who are in there, and I’m accountable to my wider stakeholders, and to my staff at Barnardo’s.”

Struggling for the best way to describe the place, she says it looks like an “upmarket” holiday resort, perhaps a bit like Center Parcs, before adding: “Let’s not pretend it’s that, but … It looks the best facility it can be. It looks family-centred, child-centred …”

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