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.

Only military force will keep PNG LNG on track

The political situation in Papua New Guinea remains tortured but one thing is constant; resource exploitation.

PNG’s Gary Juffa writes in a powerful Facebook post that history appears to be repeating itself and disaster capitalism must be resisted:

It appears that the lessons from Bougainville have yet to be learned. In an announcement this week, the Papua New Guinea Government has ordered military troops to the Southern Highlands to quell land owner threats and secure the project site for oil giant ExxonMobil. One wonders if this is the right thing to do. The information surrounding the deployment of troops suggests that the deployment is also for the purpose of preparations for the elections. If this is true, then why only Hela Province is the next logical question. 

The deployment of troops in developing economies to quell civil unrest, landowner issues, tribal concerns and so forth is nothing new worldwide. One only has to examine the events past and current surrounding oil, gas, gold, diamonds, copper, timber and other such resource developments throughout the world especially in developing nations and one can see parallels to what is happening in Hela. Ever since men became fascinated by the treasures of the earth, on it and in it, man has gone to great lengths to satisfy his curiosity and satiate his fascination, exploring, speculating, digging, mining, extracting, building, inventing, processing, manufacturing and all along the way, waging war and killing his fellow man. History has been filled to the brim with man’s violent and destructive antics on earth ever since he realized his superior intelligence to all creatures. 

History certainly provides lessons for all who examine the subject of the Bougainville Civil War. In Bougainville 20,000 lives were lost in a horrible civil war that lasted 10 years stretching from 1988 to 1998. There are a variety of explanations given for the war but fundamentally, the war was waged for economic purpose. Really, in retrospect, everything else is merely relative to that primary reason. If one were to examine the story of “Brokenville” more explicitly, one is led to conclude that the war was a result of hasty attempts to kick start the mine again by a government egged on by big business, to ensure the continuance of operations and therefore the continuous generation of profit. Profit, history teaches us, has been the major reason for wars since the first time man took a club up against his brother. In the case of Brokenville, the guilty parties are both Bougainville Copper Limited (the mining company operating the mine) and the Papua New Guinea Government. The Australian Government was unusually silent during the developing stages of the Bougainville War, although their media like to claim that they had a hand in alerting PNG Defence Force about the engagement of Tim Spicer and Co. This seeming lack of overt input by the Australian Government continued up until the Sandline Crisis, ending only with the offer to broker a peace deal after the expulsion of the mercenary force engaged by the PNG Government to eradicate the rebels on Bougainville.

no comments – be the first ↪