Proximity and distance

A powerful, erudite and timely polemic

Ireland after NAMA

This crisis is inherently spatial. Where should the axe fall? Where will sovereignty be located? What shape should society take now, or in the future? However, these questions of ‘whereness’ or spatial form are by no means the only spatial issues we need to consider. There are also all sorts of issues to do with proximity and distance. Take a story in today’s Irish Times. Christine Lagarde has been in Latvia telling the people there that their austerity has been worth it; that toughing it out is for the best. And in the process she’s telling everyone else – people far from Latvia, such as people here in Ireland – to look at their example and get on with the suffering.

Lagarde can easily say such things. She hasn’t (although please correct me if I’m wrong) had to endure much austerity in the last few years. Like her fellow IMF…

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