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.

Exploiting Papua New Guinea with its people barely acknowledged

This story in the Wall Street Journal is typical of reporting on PNG. “Development” is framed as the saviour of this nation, despite the fact that decades of resource exploitation has left the vast bulk of citizens poor.

I’m currently in the country researching a book on disaster capitalism, filming a documentary and a host of other thangs, so such articles merely bring fatigue. Note the complete lack of local voices. In fact, having travelling around here for 3 weeks, a key component of how Western multinationals view the place is that land-owners are routinely shunned or bought off:

Royal Dutch Shell is getting serious in its pursuit of a piece of Papua New Guinea’s oil and gas wealth.

Around six months after signing a strategic alliance with Papua New Guinea’s state oil company, the Anglo-Dutch oil major is setting up a representative office in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation.

Shell’s strategic alliance with Petromin, signed Aug. 18, includes a joint study of major basins in Papua New Guinea with the potential to contain big oil and gas deposits. The study is due to be completed this year, and could be a springboard for Petromin and Shell to participate in projects together.

“The opening of the office affirms Shell’s interest to invest in Papua New Guinea and offers opportunities for us to work more closely with our partner, Petromin,” Ton Ten Have, Shell’s Vice President Commercial Asia, said in a prepared statement.

According to a BP study, Papua New Guinea had 15.6 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves of natural gas at the end of 2010. That figure likely underestimates the true resource as Papua New Guinea has been lightly explored up to now.

“We welcome the increased presence of Shell and believe it will further facilitate our close cooperation for future opportunities in Papua New Guinea,” said Joshua Kalinoe, Petromin’s managing director. “Together with Petromin, Shell will help Papua New Guinea realise the full potential of its energy resources.”

Shell’s move comes as several companies look to bring in partners on projects in Papua New Guinea.

InterOil said Sept. 30 it had mandated Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley and UBS to find a strategic partner for its proposed multibillion dollar Gulf LNG project. Citing a person familiar with the situation, Deal Journal Australia reported Feb. 7 that Korea Gas is in talks to form a consortium with Mitsui and Japan Petroleum Exploration to join InterOil’s project.

Separately, Canada’s Talisman Energy last year appointed Sydney-based advisory RFC Corporate Finance to find an investor for four licenses in the forelands of western Papua New Guinea, which contain a mix of gas discoveries and exploration targets.

ASX-listed Oil Search also opened a data room on its offshore gas fields in the Gulf of Papua in the final quarter of 2011, and has already held preliminary talks with international companies with LNG expertise.

one comment ↪
  • examinator

    I'm a bit rusty on my pigin but it goes something like this
    Em e bugga up tru !
    Have you seen what foreign investment has done to Keravat 30 miles out of Rabaul? I've seen pictures and I'm not ashamed to say I cried.
    I grew up there surrounded by teak and kamare trees and miles of Virgin jungle.
    May the Duk duk (Spirit evoker ) dance and curse the capitalist's spirits. And I'm neither religious or nui gin.