A Description of the Classical Body Politic: its head, heart, arms, feet, etc.
The classical body politic consists of several parts, the same as how the human body is made up of many different parts and organs. The various parts work together to achieve overall success. The body politic can be defined as a metaphor used in the understanding of the unity and complexity in a polity by comparing it and its operations to that of the human body. Functions and offices of given institutions of government and social classes can be seen as parts of the human body. It is worth noting that the hierarchy of social and political values that comes as a result of the comparison goes hand in hand with the traditional assessments of the organs of the human body in medieval and ancient philosophical and anatomical texts (Harvey, 2021).
According to Harvey (2020), one of the primary parts of the body politic is the head. It is metaphorical and representational of the head of the hierarchy and hence stands for the king. The head is therefore the ruling value and other parts of the human body and the body politic are subject to it. The heart is the other essential unit whose main function is to unify the entire body. The wise men and counselors are linked to the important task of the heart. The arms’ purpose is to safeguard and defend the kingdom and as such, the knights stand in the place of the arms, as defenders of the kingdom. On the other hand, the merchants are linked to the legs as a result of their progressive tours around the world while the laborers are equated to the feet since they operate close to the earth and support the body (Harvey, 2021).
In What Ways was the Classical Body Politic Healthy and Sick?
To a great extent, the classical body politic was healthy as it represents inclusiveness. It also depicts a clear representation of politics. Plato was a supporter of the idea as he wanted and believed in social equity. Each person fits into various parts of the system, which makes it possible for the human body to operate appropriately. In the real sense, each body part is crucial and ought to be given fair attention and respect. When all body parts are not considered, the body becomes sick rather than healthy. All representatives of the political hierarchy should also work together for the overall goal of the system. The head or leaders should take precautions when it comes to the welfare of those below them and the roles involved (Harvey, 2021). All body parts are essential.