What the Body Says About the Federal Government

Body_TreeThe perspective I have been developing is called the Back-to-the-Body Perspective. It assumes that “the truth is within you,” namely, in your flesh, in your bone, in your body. The postulate of this perspective is that the human body is the paradigm of any organization, including the government. In fact, the body has suggestions on how to solve all kinds of social problems.

I have been offering these postulates for discussion and have been encouraging readers to test them in different ways. Does it help us understand society? Does it help us find solutions for social problems? Are we better off looking for inspiration within the body itself rather than in the writings of, say, Karl Marx or Plato or Adam Smith?

karl_marx_bodyNo advocacy is made that traditional theories are to be discarded. It is true, though, that no ideology has served humanity to satisfaction. Marxist countries have their problems; capitalist countries have their problems. Nazism and Fascism left a trail of destruction. Command economies have their problems. There is no question that the world has not been well served by ideologies.

test_resultsIt seems beyond question, then, that traditional views can be both tested and improved by comparing them with what happens in the human body–in other words, by taking the body as an example and paradigm. Thus, the body becomes our common standard, our common ground, our common goal, and our common measure. On the foundation of the body both East and West can have a common standard to communicate and interact; both north and south; both capitalist and socialist; both right and left; both young and old; both past and future.

The Body and the Federal Government

What lessons, then, can we glean from the body in order to understand the role and function of the federal government? There are two ways of looking at the federal government: first, we can look at the federal government in its relationship to the people and the nation. In this case, the federal government plays the role of the “brain” in relationship to the people. The people’s role is that of the “stomach”; and culture plays the role of “heart.”

presidential_palaceThe second way of looking at the federal government is to consider it in its constituent parts of legislative, executive, and judiciary. The Back-to-the-Body Perspective postulates that these three parts, also, interact according of the paradigm of the body. Thus, the legislative plays the role of “stomach”; the executive plays the role of “brain”; and the judiciary plays the role of “heart.”

Another tenet of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective is that the three parts of the body—and also the there three parts of the government—are independent, autonomous, and sovereign in each one’s individual area. Thus, the stomach is sovereign; the brain is sovereign; and the heart is sovereign.

Limits on Sovereignty: the Stomach, the Brain, and the Heart

The body is, therefore, composed of three sovereign parts: a sovereign stomach, a sovereign brain, and a sovereign heart. This sovereignty is not absolute but is relative to an area. Tensions are then to be expected among the three sovereign areas. This happens both in the body and in the government as a reflection of the body.

In another post I have endeavored to clarify the functions of the stomach, brain, and heart and the areas in which each is sovereign (click here for further clarification). The stomach is a metonymy for the living vitality of the human being. It is through the stomach that the human being expresses his or her will. The brain is the “executive power,” which receives the will of the stomach and implements it. The heart “feels” the will received from the stomach and the implementation of it through the brain. That is like the judiciary power. The heart can block everything if it does not “feel” right. The heart corresponds to the Tao in Taoism.

Tensions among Stomach, Brain, and Heart

separationThe three areas of the human being are independent and sovereign it each one’s domain. Each, then, needs diligence and vigilance to guard its own independence—and also care not to infringe upon one another’s area. It is for the stomach to set the will, but it is only the heart that can determine how the person feels with regard to a certain will. Once the heart approves a will, the heart sets a purpose. That purpose is then conveyed to the brain for execution, and the brain will make adjustments to the purpose according to science and logic. But the brain needs to hold that purpose sacred and immutable.

Feedback between the three areas keeps the body in tune with reality. Life prospers. Here, the stomach seeks life; the brain seeks liberty; and the heart pursues happiness. A person who lives this way is the Übermensch as foretold by Nietzsche.

Why Government that Governs Best Governs Least

free_peopleWe can see now that, if any evil will penetrate a country, it will do so through the government, in three ways: First, the government becomes disconnected from the will of the people. Second, the government disregards the rulings of the courts. Finally, the government becomes infested by ideology and imposes its own will on the people. Thus, Thomas Jefferson summarized the kernel of government when he states, “Government is best which governs least.”

I conclude with a quote:

O come! in the depths of the mountain world, the secret of our heart will repose like the precious stone in the mine; in the bosom of the woods that tower into the heavens, we will feel as among the pillars of the innermost temple, where the godless do not draw near, and we will sit by the wellspring regarding our world in its mirror, the sky and house and garden and ourselves…  We are happy, we are again like the ancient priests of nature, the holy and joyful ones who were already pious before a temple stood. (Friedrich Hölderlin. Hyperion. iBooks.)

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
August 3, 2014
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

Photo Credits:

Photo: Body-Tree
Author: Beth Scupham
Source: http://bit.ly/1s1l60R
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Karl Marx
Author: thierry ehermann
Source: http://bit.ly/1o3tP0V
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Test Results
Author: Biblioteca de la Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias del Trabajo Universidad de Sevilla
Source: http://bit.ly/1lpG81V
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Presidential Palace
Author: Martijn.Munneke
Source: http://bit.ly/XvjG1H
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Separation
Author: Lin Mei
Source: http://bit.ly/WUvOcN
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Freedom
Author: Moyan Brenn
Source: http://bit.ly/1oo4k93
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


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