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.

Australia reinforces vulture capitalism on compliant Pacific island

Australia, like so many other Western countries, increasingly believes it should outsource government services to private companies under the guise of “efficiency”. It’s nothing of the sort and merely removes a key level of accountability. In my forthcoming book on disaster capitalism I examine the ways in which multinationals are making a fortune from asylum seekers housed in high-security detention centres.

Today’s Australian offers new details of the permanent facility on Nauru, allowing some companies to make a nice little profit. All in the name of “national security”, of course:

Australia is building imposing double-storey dormitories to hold detained asylum-seekers on Nauru, setting in concrete Labor’s version of the Pacific Solution.

The Weekend Australian has gained exclusive insight into what life will be like in the permanent camp at Topside, on the equatorial island’s baking central plateau, as the initial group of 88 detainees prepares to move out of tents and into the new blocks.

Unlike the flimsy weatherboard huts used in the first iteration of the Pacific Solution under the Howard government, the new buildings are built to last.

Australian and local workmen were swarming over them yesterday to complete the finishing touches in time for a planned handover next week.

The initial stage of the project is a twin-storey accommodation centre of about 1000sq m, containing 44 rooms grouped in three pods, connected by covered breezeways.

For now, asylum-seekers will sleep two to a room of 4m x 3.5m. The centre is the first of 10 planned accommodation blocks in a camp that will cost more than $70 million to build and hold up to 1500 detainees.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has said detainees can expect to spend as much as five years on the island under the government’s “no-advantage” rule, to ensure that asylum-seekers who take to boats do not receive a short cut compared with those who go through proper channels.

Rain was falling yesterday — as it has been for weeks on Nauru, in the grip of its wet season — and the 415 male detainees from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Iran were getting by under canvas.

Separate buildings for kitchen, canteen and administration staff are also to be built, with the project to be completed by year’s end.

While a vast improvement on existing conditions, where people sleep up to 12 to a tent and shower in the converted Howard-era huts, the permanent camp at Topside will lack amenities taken for granted by the inmates of most Australian jails.

There is no airconditioning to keep at bay the 30C-plus heat and heavy humidity, a comfort detainees had in Mark 1 of the Pacific Solution.

Each room will have a single wall-mounted fan. The windows are grilled, but otherwise open to trap seabreezes. Eaves are designed to keep out the rain.

“It’s a bit like the old Northern Territory-style home where you get the air to flow through the whole building,” said Rory Murphy, boss of Brisbane-based civil engineers contractor Canstruct, which secured a three-stage tender for the $70m contract.

“The building is orientated to be as cool as possible naturally.”

The rooms will not have cooking facilities or a sink, let alone the ensuite that is virtually standard in modern Australian prison cells.

Completion of stage one opens the way for detainees to be given greater freedom. They are already allowed to leave the camp on escorted excursions and to compete in soccer and athletics against local teams. But a spokesman for the Nauruan government said the intention was for the camp to be open during the day, allowing detainees to come and go freely before an evening curfew.

Currently, it is guarded by contract staff from Wilsons Security, under the $24.5m deal with the Transfield group to run the camp.

Other contracts totalling $2.07m have been let by the Immigration Department for staff accommodation and meeting facilities at the local Menen Hotel and for telecommunications. An Immigration spokesman said the camp had been generally trouble-free since tensions last November and December sparked a hunger strike and reports of fights among the asylum-seekers.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    Scabby trash racist companies in Australia will do anything to earn a buck it seems.

    Too bad this whole venture is illegal colonising.