this is a seductive idea. but i'm skeptical of it.
i believe that we recreate our bodily structures on the scale of our lives, assuming one role in a complex communal body. these are the "systems" of the body recognized by science
(read: wikipedia). i will give the societal approximation (keep in mind that any conception, as a comparison, metaphor for the world, is only an approximation):
- Circulatory system: pumping and channeling blood to and from the body and lungs with heart, blood and blood vessels. societal equivalent: circulation of goods within a society- the transportation system
- Digestive system: digestion and processing food with salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, intestines, rectum and anus. societal equivalent: the production of useful products out of raw material from outside out bodies
- Endocrine system: communication within the body using hormones made by endocrine glands such as the hypothalamus, pituitary or pituitary gland, pineal body or pineal gland, thyroid, parathyroids and adrenals, i.e., adrenal glands. societal equivalent:information relay, the media. this is regulation of emotion
- Integumentary system: skin, hair, fat, and nails. societal equivalent:border control, and also the parts of us that are dead, like the homeless and infirm, who exist only so we can take care of them.
- Lymphatic system: structures involved in the transfer of lymph between tissues and the blood stream, the lymph and the nodes and vessels that transport it including the Immune system: defending against disease-causing agents with leukocytes, tonsils, adenoids, thymus and spleen. societal equivalent: all caring for well-being, as far as being healthy is concerned. doctors! parents! and all regulation. the people who get upset when you're sick.
- Muscular system: movement with muscles. societal equivalent:movement of society through the world: expansion, colonization, nomads. based on internal dissemination (circulation), of course, but all these systems are mutually dependent.
- Reproductive system: the sex organs, such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina, mammary glands, testes, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate and penis. societal equivalent:respiratory politics. masters fucking slaves. rape after war. finding new members of the clan and taking advantage of their bodies/ DNA.
- Respiratory system: the organs used for breathing, the pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs and diaphragm. societal equivalent:i'm going to say energy extraction, like wood, oil, fat. what gets moved about by the circulation system.
- Skeletal system: structural support and protection with bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. societal equivalent: government? tradition? the foundation, tenets, core, of a society.
- Urinary system: kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra involved in fluid balance, electrolyte balance and excretion of urine. societal equivalent: recycling and garbage. keep anything we can use, get rid of all else. maybe someone else can?
- Endocannabinoid system: neuromodulatory lipids and receptors involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, motor learning, synaptic plasticity, and memory. societal equivalent: education. the part that cultivates passions in people, in order to serve society. all advertisement, all carrots, all sticks. all art. all these things teach us what it means to be a human in our society.
maybe you noticed a big one missing. the one that holds everything together. the one we privilege over the others, in our conceptions, which isn't odd, considering the nervous system is what does the conceiving anyway.
the possibility of hierarchy comes down to this, for me: can our brain be said to control our bodies? if not, no society can control people, since our fundamental method of intracommunication is insufficient to support such a system.
say that our brain really can make the body do whatever it wants to. still, it is bound by what the body can do, while its own conceptions show it how lacking those capabilies are, leading to the meaninglessness of life (and remember, this is the best case scenario!).