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Daily Archives: December 21, 2019
Posted: December 21, 2019 at 10:52 am
The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). Well apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Oceania Healthcare Limiteds (NZSE:OCA), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Oceania Healthcare has a P/E ratio of 15.59. In other words, at todays prices, investors are paying NZ$15.59 for every NZ$1 in prior year profit.
Check out our latest analysis for Oceania Healthcare
The formula for price to earnings is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Oceania Healthcare:
P/E of 15.59 = NZ$1.17 NZ$0.08 (Based on the year to May 2019.)
The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. All else being equal, its better to pay a low price but as Warren Buffett said, Its far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (18.0) for companies in the healthcare industry is higher than Oceania Healthcares P/E.
Oceania Healthcares P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.
When earnings fall, the E decreases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.
Oceania Healthcare saw earnings per share decrease by 41% last year. And EPS is down 20% a year, over the last 3 years. This might lead to low expectations.
Dont forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. So it wont reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.
While growth expenditure doesnt always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.
Oceania Healthcare has net debt equal to 34% of its market cap. Youd want to be aware of this fact, but it doesnt bother us.
Oceania Healthcares P/E is 15.6 which is below average (19.4) in the NZ market. The debt levels are not a major concern, but the lack of EPS growth is likely weighing on sentiment.
Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Oceania Healthcare. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.
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Posted: at 10:52 am
By Hannah Campbell
DID you know you can now travel from Wick John O'Groats Airport to the world with Loganair and its airline partners; British Airways, Emirates, Qatar, Turkish Airlines, KLM, United Airlines and Flybe?
The one-stop connections via Edinburgh Airport offer multiple benefits, including through check-in, protected connections in the event of delays and, importantly, the air passenger duty saving on flights from the Highlands and Islands if connecting onwards to long-haul destinations (up to 172 when flying in economy class).
Explore the luxury shopping, ultra-modern architecture and lively nightlife of Dubai with one-stop connections at Edinburgh Airport with Emirates. Dubai is the hub of the Emirates network allowing you to travel even further afield from Wick to the 130-plus destinations across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific. How about going on a safari in Johannesburg? Or relaxing on a yoga retreat in Bali? Connecting flights with Emirates can be booked at emirates.com or via a travel agent.
Another destination worth visiting in the Middle East is Doha with one-stop connections with Qatar Airways. Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a camel ride across the desert! Doha is Qatar's main hub and opens a world of opportunity to explore Qatar's network of 150-plus destinations across Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Oceania. What about experiencing the Gold Coast of Australia, all from your local airport? Start your journey at qatarairways.com or via a travel agent.
Experience over 300 worldwide destinations with United Airlines; fly to Newark, Chicago O'Hare, Washington-Dulles and onwards. Why not take in the amazing cityscape from the Top of the Rock in New York City, with one-stop connections via Edinburgh Airport? If you are in search of sunnier climates fly from Wick to Los Angeles and get an insight into the luxurious lives of celebrities in Beverly Hills. Connecting flights with United can be booked at united.com or via a travel agent.
Fly to over 170 destinations worldwide on the BA network from Wick John O'Groats. Indulge in excellent cuisine or browse the numerous markets on a weekend away in London. Fly further afield from BA's main UK hub at Heathrow. How about exploring the country music scene in Nashville? Loganair and British Airways connecting flights can be booked on britishairways.com or via a travel agent.
For travel closer to home, connect to Flybe's UK network with one-stop connections at Edinburgh. Visit the football museum and soak up the atmosphere at a football game in Manchester or how about a night out in Cardiff? Flights can be booked at loganair.co.uk or via a travel agent.
Visit over 700 destinations worldwide, fly to Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe from Wick John O'Groats. How about a city break to enjoy the beautiful Dutch canals in Amsterdam? Book your connecting Loganair and KLM flights via a travel agent.
Bookable via a travel agent
Turkish Airlines gives you access to more countries in the world than any other airline, via its hub in Istanbul. Fly to Asia, Africa and Oceania with one-stop connections at Edinburgh Airport. Or soak up the atmosphere in Istanbul itself in the shadow of the beautiful Blue Mosque. Book now via a travel agent.
The next time you fly to the world, choose Wick John O'Groats Airport to Edinburgh and discover the world with Loganair's partners.
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POV: Trump’s Executive Order Aimed at Protecting Jews Will Have a Chilling Effect on Freedom of Speech at Colleges – BU Today
Posted: at 10:47 am
Most of us think of Judaism as a religion, rather than a race, color, or national origin. So here is the first thing about the Executive Order on Anti-Semitism President Trump signed on December 11 that has raised eyebrows: his order draws attention to anti-Semitism by making it a potential Title VI violation. Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.
However, since the executive order concedes that Title VI does not cover discrimination based on religion, how can it serve the protection of Jews from anti-Semitic harassment?
It asserts that (d)iscrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individuals race, color, or national origin. This means that Jews may claim a violation of their civil rights if they feel discriminated against on the basis of their (perceived) race, color, or national origin as Jews.
This all sounds strange when we consider that the worst excesses of anti-Semitism had to do with the definition of Judaism as race. At the same time, the executive order does nothing to protect Jews from religious discrimination, which does not fall under the protection of Title VI.
And thats the problem.
The introduction states that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in the United States and around the world. Specifically, it claims that (a)nti-Semitic incidents have increased since 2013, and students, in particular, continue to face anti-Semitic harassment in schools and on university and college campuses. [In other words, the main thrust of this executive order is to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment in schools and on university and college campuses across the United States.
Branding views that are critical of Israel as anti-Semitic and making these views actionable, as the Trump Executive Order on Anti-Semitism does, will have a chilling effect on the freedom of speech at schools, colleges, and university campuses that rely on federal financial assistance.
It is not immediately apparent what kind of speech is flagged by the policy statement. In order to make anti-Semitism actionable in the sense of this interpretation of Title VI protection, Section 2 of the order refers to the May 26, 2016, definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), signed by 32 of its member states, including the United States, which states, Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities. This definition was adopted by the US Department of State and posted on its Office of International Religious Freedom website. According to that website, as a member of the IHRA, the US government encourages other countries to adopt the same standards.
In addition, the Office of International Religious Freedom and the Executive Order on Anti-Semitism also refer to a list of examples included in the May 2016 resolution that many perceive as troubling because they conflate anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews) with anti-Zionism (criticism to the State of Israel). Such examples include:
While the IHRA declaration and the State Department website include a statement to the effect that criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic, the Executive Order on Anti-Semitism does not distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate criticism of Israel. Omitting this sentence from the policy directive opens the door to civil rights proceedings being triggered by entirely legitimate Israel-critical protests on campus. Furthermore, including Israel-critical campus protests in statistics of anti-Semitic incidents leads to a misreading of trends and likely exaggerates the threat against Jewish students.
Branding views that are critical of Israel as anti-Semitic and making these views actionable, as the Trump Executive Order on Anti-Semitism does, will have a chilling effect on the freedom of speech at schools, colleges, and university campuses that rely on federal financial assistance.
As I pointed out in a recent opinion piece, we need to be careful when citing statistics. Hiding behind vague references to the rise of anti-Semitism are two potential fallacies. One fallacy hides behind the naturalistic imagery we use when speaking of social trends as waves and the like. Speaking of social movements as waves increases our sense of helplessness in the face of impersonal forces of violence. The other fallacy hides behind the conflation of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Anti-Semitism is hateful, whether you define Jews as a community of national origin or as a religious community. Criticism of Israel may be painful to Jews and friends of Israel, but it is not necessarily a form of anti-Semitism. It can be part of a legitimate struggle and advocacy for Palestinian rights and a form of protest against Israeli human rights abuses of the kind tracked by Israeli human rights organizations such as Btselem.
Opposition to the existence of a Jewish State is as old as the Jewish State. Some ultra-Orthodox and ultra-liberal Jews have opposed Jewish statehood, albeit for different reasons. Neturei Karta and the Satmar Hasidim oppose a secular Jewish state for religious reasons. In their understanding, only the Messiah, and hence G-d himself, can end the exile, return the Jews to the land of Israel, rebuild the temple, and bring about the kingdom of G-d. To these religious Jews, Zionism is rebelliousness against the divine edict of exile. Other Jews, devoted to various doctrines of internationalism or post-nationalism, believe that all nation states are evil. For them, Jewish statehood falls short of the ideals of Jewish ethics, and makes Jews and Judaism into stooges of capitalism and colonialism. Neither of these groups can be called anti-Semitic, simply because they subscribe to views critical of Jewish statehood even though both deny the right of Israel to exist.
The executive order was welcomed by many Jews and organizations combating the rising tide of anti-Semitic hate speech and violent incidents that target Jews simply for being Jews. Anti-Semitism is real and it is a danger to Jews, and of late, also to people who socialize with Jews, attend synagogue services on High Holidays, or simply shop in a kosher market. But the executive order neither combats white supremacism nor offers law enforcement a useful tool to fight bigotry in its many forms.
It merely instigates a new era of government interference in American campus life and policing of speech that feels like the beginning of a new McCarthyism. Liberal watchdogs see the measure as advancing the ongoing conservative crackdown on freedom of speech at universities and colleges under the guise of both side-ism. As reported by Erica L. Green for the New York Times, the brain behind the new executive order is the head of the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Kenneth L. Marcus. His intention, and that of the most vigorous supporters of the measure, is to create equivalence between anti-Zionism and anti-Judaism. The executive order provides legal backing to the Education Departments growing number of investigations of academic programs and campus free-speech policies triggered by complaints of discrimination or anti-Jewish bias. Palestinians and advocates of Palestinian rights fear that the measure aims to suppress advocacy and academic freedom. Prestigious Middle East Studies programs have already been scrutinized by the Education Department for anti-Christian bias. With the new executive order, it is now possible to threaten colleges and universities with withdrawal of federal funding if they are found to be critical of Israel.
A measure aimed to curtail freedom of speech on campus in the name of protecting the civil rights of a particular minority does not advance the protection of speech or the rights of all minorities to be free of harassment. It intimidates colleges and universities to the point of curtailing academic freedom and political rights of faculty and students who believe it is their right and responsibility to criticize the State of Israel. We need to fight anti-Semitism on and off campus, but we also need to protect freedom of inquiry and political speech on campus. This measure appears designed to do neither. Rather it seems designed to harass faculty and intimidate student activists by casting aspersions on contested political speech.
POV is an opinion page that provides timely commentaries from students, faculty, and staff on a variety of issues: on-campus, local, state, national, or international. Anyone interested in submitting a piece, which should be about 700 words long, should contact John ORourke at email@example.com. BU Today reserves the right to reject or edit submissions. The views expressed are solely those of the author and are not intended to represent the views of Boston University.
Posted: at 10:47 am
Most Americans think their basic rights are being threatened, a new poll shows.(Photo: Robert Clay Reed, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
MostAmericans surveyed92%thinktheir rights are under siege, according to a pollreleased Monday.
Americans are most concerned that their freedom of speech (48%), right to bear arms (47%) and right to equal justice (41%) are at risk, saysthe Harris Poll/Purple Project, which surveyed 2,002 peoplenationwide.
"When you frame something as a threat, it creates a bit of a political response, and it creates division and encampments of special interest," said John Gerzema,CEO of the Harris Poll. That's why political parties and lobbying groups warn supporters with strident language, he said: It's easier to drum up backingfor a political cause by talking about an issue in terms of "threats."
But when you start to consider which rights and freedoms really matter, Gerzema said, pollresponseschanged and Americans re-prioritized which values they cared about most.
When asked what rights and freedoms Americans would miss if they were taken away rather than which ones are threatened poll respondents' concerns generally ticked upward.
Sixty-three percent said they would missfreedom of speech if that right was takenaway, while nearly half would missfreedom of expression (46%) and the right to equal justice (45%).
"When you look at the things we really value, what makes America so special is these core tenets of our Constitution," Gerzema said."I just find it interesting to note how much Americans really value this."
Thepoll results come at a juncture in American politics where friction and division aremore apparent and Americans are overwhelmingly frustrated by the discourse. In fact, another recent survey,aPublic Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos poll, shows that thedivisivenational debate over just about everything has convinced many that the country is headingin the wrong direction. More than nine of 10 in that poll said its crucialfor the U.S. to try to reduce that divisiveness.
Divided we fall?: Americans see our angry political debate as 'a big problem'
Talk it through: Learn how to discuss complicated, controversial issues that matter ahead of the election
Even among Americans with opposing political views, a majoritysurveyed in the Harris Poll/Purple Project55% want more meaningful conversations.
How can this be done? Talking about issuesin a way that de-escalates tensionsfrom a threat and helps Americans find common ground, Gerzema said. So does finding common ground on shared values and freedoms, both at the dinner table and between the political aisle, he said.
Even if Americans don't agree on a contentious, politically charged topic, they can find shared values in the things that Americans tend to take for granted, he said.
After all, only 16% of Americans thought their right to own propertywas under threat, but 44% would miss that right. Same goes for free speech, which 63%said they would miss if it was gone 15% more than felt free speech was at risk of being taken away.
Gerzema's advice to the folks in Washington? Focus on the things that are fundamental to the American way of life.
"There is something wonderful going on underneath the surface, and that's what I wish our leaders in Washington would pay attention to," he said. "You start to see the true, softer side of America's rough-and-tumble political reality."
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote
Trump’s Executive Order Targets Federal Funding to Universities in Suppression of Speech on Palestinian Rights – International Middle East Media…
Posted: at 10:47 am
(photo: A classroom in Gaza destroyed in Israels 2014 attacks. Credit: Active Stills, Basel Yazouri)
U.S. President Donald Trumps recently announced executive order would continue his dangerous attackson hard-fought democratic rights.
Abusing federal funding tobully universitiesinto suppressing academic freedom and freedom of speech in support of Palestinian rights under international law isanti-democratic and anti-Palestinian.
Palestinians call for cutting institutional ties with Israeli universities because they are partners in Israels apartheid regime and its crimes against Palestinians.Israeli universities are complicitin designing, implementing, justifying and whitewashing Israels system of racial oppression.
This order is not about combating antisemitism, but rather stifling criticism of Israel and ebbing the steady growth of accountability measures coming out of US campuses that give Palestinians hope.
We have no doubt that principled academics and students will continue to stand up to attacks on the rights to education and academic freedom,wherever they may occur.
~ Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) / United States
Washington State’s Mike Leach responds to Donald Trump impeachment: ‘I’m yet to hear what he did wrong’ – Sports and Weather Right Now
Posted: at 10:47 am
PULLMAN Mike Leach took an interest in Donald Trump more than 15 years ago when he read the now-U.S. presidents literary work while flying from Lubbock, Texas, to New York City with his family.
Leach made it through Trumps book, How to Get Rich, and put in a call to Trump Enterprises, hoping to arrange a meeting with the business mogul and popular television personality.
The two eventually connected, building a relationship around Leachs interest in politics and business, and Trumps passion for football. Washington States eighth-year coach still keeps a framed photo of Trump in his Pullman office, signed by the president: To Mike, keep up the good work.
Leach then spoke extensively about his friendship with Trump at a 2016 rally held at the Spokane Convention Center, giving the Republican presidential candidate a ringing endorsement.
Three years later, just down the road from that same convention center, Spokane residents gathered Tuesday for a different type of rally, in support of Trumps impeachment, which came less than 24 hours later after a near party-line vote from the U.S. House of Representatives. Trump, whos been accused in two articles of impeachment abuse of power and obstruction of Congress wouldnt be removed from office unless the Senate decides to vote him out early next year.
Leach, whos been busy with recruiting obligations, the early signing period and preparation for the Cheez-It Bowl, said he hasnt done much research or spent lots of time reading about Trumps impeachment, but the coach backed his old friend on Thursday after WSUs early afternoon practice in Pullman.
I havent followed it too closely, but its clearly political, Leach said. That doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
And Im yet to hear what he did wrong. So, youve got to have a crime, I would think.
Trump has been accused of trying to convince Ukraine to investigate supposed wrongdoings by former Vice President Joe Biden, who projects to be a strong opponent for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Trumps late-July phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is what triggered the series of events leading to Trumps impeachment.
Leach, asked if he thinks Trump will be removed from office, said, Thats a foregone conclusion he wont be.
Its unclear to what extent Leach and Trump communicate these days given their respective schedules, but in July at Pac-12 Media Day, Cougars offensive lineman Liam Ryan shared a humorous story about a phone call between the two.
He comes out an hour late to practice and were like, Where the heck is Leach? Ryan said. He comes out and were all dogging him, Coach, where have you been? Where have you been? And hes all like, I was upstairs watching you from the window. Were like, Why were you watching us? Hes like, I was talking to Donald Trump. Im like, What? Youre late to practice for talking to Donald Trump? Hes like, Yeah, thats one of my good friends. Then he goes on to tell the whole story.
Leachs political beliefs and willingness to voice them as a public figure whos also led one of the most impressive runs in WSU football history, have helped make him one of the more polarizing characters in college athletics.
The coach set off a social media storm in June 2018 when he shared, and later removed, a doctored video of a Barack Obama speech from his personal Twitter account. Leach posted a complete transcript of the speech, saying, I agree that the video was incomplete. However, I believe discussion on how much or how little power our Gov should have is important.
Leach has also formed a close friendship and traveled with former Washington state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, a Republican. The two taught a popular not-for-credit class at WSU last spring, titled Insurgent Warfare & Football Strategy.
WSU has supported its coachs freedom of speech and encouraged Leach to share his views in a personal capacity.
In 2016, after Leach appeared in Spokane for Trumps rally, the university released a statement regarding employees who express personal views.
Free speech is a form of diversity diversity of opinion and diversity is a core value of WSU, the statement read. As a public institution, we serve as a platform for the expression of a wide diversity of views and opinions and value the opportunity to do so. The opinions of any one employee, however, do not in any way speak for the institution.
Posted: at 10:47 am
Donald Trump's impeachment is a rebuke against the global new right and its assault on democracy and the rule of law.
On Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives finally voted to impeach Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, including abuse of power and obstructing Congress and the rule of law. There are many possible reasons to impeach Trump, but these relate to his efforts to extort the government of Ukraine into launching a fake investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 Democratic nominee.
Trump now becomes the third American president to have ever been impeached. But he is unique and distinct in one way, as the only president to be impeached for using his public office to interfere in U.S. foreign policy and betray a foreign ally for personal gain.
Although the power of impeachment is largely symbolic since Trump will almost certainly not be removed from office it still marks an act of resistance against the rising tide of the global right, and its assault on democracy and the rule of law.
Cas Mudde is one of the worlds leading experts on right-wing extremism, populism, democracy and the global new right. Mudde is the Stanley Wade Shelton UGAF Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia and a contributing writer for the Guardian. He is the author of several books, including The Far Right in America," On Extremism and Democracy in Europe and Populism: A Very Short Introduction" (withCristobal Rovira Kaltwasser). His newest book is The Far Right Today.
In our conversation, Mudde discussed how Donald Trump's authoritarian populist movement is similar to (and different from) related movements led by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other such leaders around the world. Mudde also detailed the goals of what he calls the "populist radical right," explored its understanding of reality and "common sense" and explained the role of racism and nativism in this global assault against liberal democracy.
Mudde also issued an important warning to the Democratic Party and other defenders of liberal democracy in the U.S. and around the world: They must offer a positive, alternative vision to that posed by global right-wing extremismif they hope to defeat it. IfDemocrats simply run as the anti-Trump party in 2020, Mudde suggests, they will most likely lose.
This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
You are an expert on the global new right. How does it make you feel to watch their power and influence grow and take hold with Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and many other leaders and movements around the world?
I feel sad and I feel stressed, in part, because I believe that the type of politics that is truly detrimental to liberal democracy is winning. I also feel that way because the divides in this country are so deep and fundamental that there are more and more people with whom I can't have a real conversation because we just live in different worlds.
Democracy is prefaced on some shared reality and a basic consensus about the truth. Trumpers and other members of the right-wing have rejected that premise. Without such a common understanding, how is it possible to engage in basic decision-making about politics and society?
This question of alternate realities is about much more than people who do not care about the truth. I believe that most people on the radical right actually think that they are basing their arguments on the facts. They believe that we are being swamped by immigrants. They believe that the conspiracies they spread are true and that the only reason other people do not accept these conspiracies as being true is because the mainstream media doesn't talk about them. This makes matters much more difficult, because if it was just simply ignorance then we could have an argument about the facts.
It goes much further than just different opinions. Those who are members of the right wing and those outside it have different truth organizations. What the New York Times is to many liberals, Fox News is to many conservatives. Fox News, despite how inaccurate it is, is the media of record for conservatives. As such, they hold it in high esteem.
Has this illiberal, anti-democratic right-wing movement constructed its own reality? Or is it something else?
There are two parts of the far right. On the one hand there are the neo-Nazis who in fact are not very new in their beliefs and ideologies. Todays neo-Nazis stand for roughly the same things as their predecessors.
But the radical right isn't that much different from the mainstream. The idea of nativism is pretty much based on the idea of the nation-state, which is a dominant principle in most politics, particularly in Europe . For example, the idea that Germany is a country of Germans. If that's the case, everyone who is not German is a threat.
Authoritarians believe in law and order from their own point of view. They even believe in some version of democracy. But for these members of the far right, democracy is pretty much just unfettered majority rule.
Minority rights are, for them, almost by definition undemocratic. The far right does not want something completely different than what many in the more mainstream of society want. However, they have a very different interpretation of what "democracy" and "nation" mean.
How did the global new right come into power?
From a more European perspective, it is a result of a combination of changes. For many people, social democracy has outlived its purpose because it has successfully created a welfare state, to the extent the public wanted it. This moment with the rise of the far right is also a consequence of broader globalization and the integration of markets but also immigration, which has fundamentally changed society and has also created tensions that were always present but just not as salient.
For example, I grew up in the Netherlands. Those years ago, my school was almost completely white. I believe we had one nonwhite student in my high school, and everyone wanted to be friends with him because he was considered cool. If you were to go to my former high school now, it will probably be between one-third to one-half nonwhite.
When I was young, I assumed that Dutch people were white, but that was never an issue me. It didnt feel relevant to me. At present, issues such as whiteness and what it means to be Dutch or Muslim have all become relevant.
Why are these members of the radical right and other more mainstream conservatives as well so compelled toward simple explanations about the world?
Simple things always give people a feeling that they understand the world and that they can control what happens around them. What members of the right-wing and especially the far right have is a very essentialist understanding of categories. When they talk about what it means to be white, they do so as if that category is objective and fixed and has never changed. Whiteness, in fact, is something different than what many people thought whiteness was 50 years ago in the United States and elsewhere.
When we explain to people who believe in these essential and fixed categories that whiteness is dynamic and changing and that itself is evidence of how social integration is possible, they will still say, "Oh yeah, but certain groups can be integrated and others cant." What they assume to be some natural state of being of racial homogeneity is not true. The very ideas of whiteness and race are constructs.
How do you make sense of the relationship between what was the mainstream right here in the U.S., that being the Republican Party and the more radical elements of the far right?
There are significant differences between, for example, the role of far-right ideas and people within the British Conservative Party, the U.S. Republican Party and Marine Le Pen's National Rally in France. The mainstream right has pretty much always been pro-market.
Even when they were open to immigrants, they were considered guests, particularly in Europe. As guests, they were expected to adjust to the country they were in. Even the whole concept of tolerance which most social democrats, for example, would stand for is still a hierarchical concept. It means that, I, the real authentic native person, tolerates you, the immigrant. In practice, I have the power to tolerate you. Now, that was never really a problem as long as the number of immigrants was small.
When that number became bigger, it became much more problematic. And you see this in the most extreme form in the United States. One of the key reasons why Donald Trump won in 2016, and why his type of politics win, is a massive fear of the U.S. becoming a majority minority country.
A changing society, white fears of becoming a minority in their own country, and of course 9/11 and rampant Islamophobia helped to create this moment with Trump being president.
In the most basic sense, what do these right-wing movements and parties have in common internationally? And how are they different?
What the radical right has in common, from [Jair] Bolsonaro to Trump to Le Pen, is a combination of nativism, authoritarianism and populism as an ideological core. However, that does not mean that they are all part of one movement. Actually, the ties between the different groups are very slight. This is in part because they are nationalists first. The radical rights leaders are not very interested in building global networks. On top of that, they come from very different traditions and operate in very different organizations.
Bolsonaro did not even have his own party until a few weeks ago. Trump has taken over the Republican Party. Whereas Marine Le Pen is a product of her party and political culture. This fourth wave of the far right exists in extreme heterogeneity, but they do share some common ideas.
What is populism? And how is it being used by the mainstream news media and others, correctly or otherwise?
Populists believe that they are the voice of the people where the people are never the full population. The people are those who share the same interests and values as the populists. However, populism is not by definition nativist or racist. There are inclusive populist movements as well. For example, in both Spain and Greece left-wing populists were pro-immigration. Populists are also not necessarily white either.
But at present, populism is almost exclusively right-wing I describe them more accurately as the populist radical right. Populism is only one part of their ideology. Nativism, which is a more ethnic interpretation of the people, is predominant. Therefore, when the populist radical right talks about the people they mean the people of a certain nation. That nation can be multiracial, but often it is not.
How does the populist radical right envision the world? What is their version of common sense?
The common sense of the radical right wing is that like wants to live with like. This means implicitly that whites want to live with whites. The Dutch want to live with the Dutch. In Europe, we do not like to talk about races. We talk about Dutch culture and the like.
The common sense of the right is also shown by how they like to talk about the animal world: Tigers don't live with lions. For them, that is common sense. That's natural. That's the other thing that the right has always done, which is to believe in natural differences. They believe that it's unnatural for the state to intervene because that goes against the inherent nature of what human beings are. Human beings want to be with people like themselves. They claim they want to go back to the natural order, and that in a natural order everyone knows their place. That means ethnic minorities, but also women and in various cases, gays and lesbians, etc.
Why do Trumps followers embrace him given that his policies, and that of these right-wing populists more generally, will hurt most of his own rank-and-file supporters, both economically and in other ways?
The vast majority of voters for the radical right, let alone for Trump, are not destitute. They actually have an economic buffer, as Brexit showed. These voters are willing to pay a price for what they consider to be freedom. I'm not sure that Trump's voters, and other radical right voters, are nave. I believe many of them just find it much more important that there are fewer immigrants around them. In these voters' minds, it means they will make more money.
To take one example: There are many people in the United States who find it more important to make abortion illegal than to improve their personal economic well-being. Their voices are as rational as that of someone who votes on the basis of their wallet. They are not being misled. There is another myth about Trumps voters that needs to be highlighted. Some people argue that Trumps voters see him as some sort of God. They do not. The vast majority, even among his most ardent supporters, see all of Trumps flaws.
What they like is, first and foremost, that Donald Trump is not of the professional political class. Trump is screwing up the system. That is what his followers want out of him. What that should tell outside observers is not so much what is wrong with Trump but why so many people feel angry towards mainstream politicians and the political professional class more generally.
In the U.S. there is wage stagnation. We have growing economic inequality. The welfare state is being dismantled in many countries. We have massive corporate interests, and mainstream parties have failed. The Republicans have failed at least as much as the Democrats. But this idea from the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party that if Trump is defeated there will be some return to the so-called good old days of the 1990s is really being blind to the problems that have created Donald Trump and his movement.
How can liberals and progressives do better in the struggle over language? For example, there are all these worries about the health of liberal democracy in the U.S. and the West. But too many Americans hear liberal" and that comes with negative associations about black and brown people, gays and lesbians, and of course big government. Conservatives have been masterful in programming that negative association. Liberal now means something bad.
The right wing has been incredibly successful in winning the battle over language. I think it is most visible in terms like political correctness," which is a weaponized term that has very little to do with what it was originally about. At present, free speech is a very potent example of how the right has weaponized language.
Free speech in the current context, as used by the right-wing has nothing to do with what free speech initially meant, namely that the state should not prevent you from saying things. Whereas now it is about the idea that the New York Times, for example, must let you write an op-ed for them. This is absurd, this notion that you have a God-given right to an op-ed in the New York Times.
And that free speech should come without consequences.
As used by the right, free speech means, by and large, that you can say something racist and I can then correctly identify it as being racist. But members of the right believe that they can say something racist and no one can be critical of it.
Language is one of the weaknesses, at the moment, of the left in general, but even with liberal Democrats. Hillary Clinton is an example of this, but she is certainly not alone. Many Democrats do this when they talk about hard-working Americans.
In the United States that language has a very racialized connotation. White people hear "white people" when you say hard-working Americans." Whereas many minorities will think, "Oh, you said 'hard-working Americans.' You're talking to white people."
Working class is another example. It is amazing how in the U.S. working class is used to mean the white working class. We also quite often speak about the working class when we actually mean men and not women. Language is a significant part of the political struggle of the left.
Moderate is another example of problematic language. Consider Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Apparently, the narrative goes that they are radical and the American people want a moderate. Now, first of all, the country is polarized. So what does moderate even mean? What does the center mean in a polarized world? Many of the positions that Sanders and Warren stand for are actually supported by a majority of Americans. Why would that be radical? But in practice radical still has that negative connotation and the term moderate has a positive connotation in American political discourse.
What do we do about the old problem that there are individuals, political parties and other groups who use democratic procedures such as voting to infiltrate a government with the goal of undermining if not destroying democracy?
I'm definitely a free-speech extremist. I think that you should be allowed pretty much to campaign for everything. You should have a right to be a member of the Nazi Party and to campaign to create a Nazi state. I actually would prefer to know that beforehand so I can make an informed decision.
We should also, however, not be blind to the illiberal aspects of many so-called liberal democratic parties. If you look at Europe, for example, freedom of speech is pretty constrained. You can't deny the Holocaust. You can't say things that are perceived as racist. Even the U.S. does not have full freedom of speech. A person is not allowed to praise terrorism, for example.
Why should Americans care about British politics and the recent election victory of Boris Johnsonand the Conservatives?
I do not believe that Americans should care that much about the recent British election. Johnson is going to take the U.K. out of the EU, but the EU is going to survive and will not be much weaker because the U.K. is not in it. He will try to get a special relationship with Trump and will not get it. I just wrote a column in the Guardian about this. I do not think that there is a strong lesson from the U.K. elections for the U.S. elections.
Johnsons win does not mean that if a party or candidate goes hard left that they cannot win the election. There are any number of specific factors that played a role in the British election Brexit, which is unique, being one of them. It is important to see things for what they really are. First and foremost, these were British elections. Boris Johnson might look a bit like Trump, but he is still a British politician set in the British context of politics and culture.
What can be done to stop the global ascent of the radical right?
First and foremost, we should see things in the correct perspective. In almost all countries, the radical right is a minority and the vast majority of people vote for liberal democratic parties, be they conservative, liberals or social democrats. That is very important. Hillary Clinton won nearly 3 million more votes than Donald Trump. The radical right is not the majority. The second question, then, is why don't these people vote for the radical right? And why are the people who support liberal democracy not mobilized like those people who vote for the radical right?
Advocates for liberal democracy, for the most part, do not offer anything. This goes back to neoliberalism to a certain extent. Advocates of liberal democracy, the political mainstream centrists, do not offer positive narratives. Yes, the U.S. is a bit different with Warren and Sanders, who are in fact providing positive narratives. But in most cases, this is not true.
Defenders of liberal democracy are basically just saying, Dont vote for the radical right. Don't vote for Trump." "Don't vote for Johnson." "Don't go out of the EU because things will be worse.
Things will be worse is not a very good mobilization strategy. The Democrats do not need to convince anyone anymore that Trump is bad. The people who don't see that now will not see that fact a year from now either. Whatever you tell them, the vast majority of people know that Trump is bad. The point is, they don't think the Democrats are worth coming out for. That is the challenge faced by the Democrats.
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Impeachment won't slow the global rise of the radical right but an alternative vision might - Salon