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Fea­tured Entry

BODY POLITIC, the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a nation as a liv­ing or dead organism’s body. Usu­ally the metaphor­i­cal cor­pus is human, but other forms may be more appro­pri­ate in a given case, such as bovine, octopoid, or amoe­bic.

Describ­ing a country’s peo­ple as a body politic is con­ve­nient, as it allows for not only sim­ple gen­er­al­iza­tions such as “the Enemy,” but also increas­ingly com­plex divi­sions such as hindquar­ters, flanks and filets.

In the same way, a body politic can be described in terms of gen­eral national health as well as spe­cific injuries, growths, obstructions, or even infec­tions at the cel­lu­lar level.