chapter  6
36 Pages

Proximity 3: Global space

Of all orders of social possibility, perhaps the broadest that can be subject to harm is that constituted by the overriding political, cultural and power structures which inform our world. As with local space, the character of this broader region and the possible harms that attach to it derive from collective experience and its roots in communal life. Unlike that space, communality here is expressed in terms of the most all-encompassing descriptions of social practices that humans engage in, not just those determined by their immediate communal concerns. Violations to this region and the collective actors which shape it seem therefore even further removed from personal levels of concern, though, ironically, their effects can be wholly destructive – not just for individuals, or even local communities – but for human life itself. The possibilities for control here are, accordingly, also total. It is no surprise then that attempts to secure control of this social space have been such an historical source of contest and conflict.