Some Thought on Organism Metaphor in Thai Politics

The metaphorical view of organizations as organisms that work in unity is generally welcome in Thailand. It has not been adopted by political scientists and public administration scholars as the ideology only for bureaucratic organizations, but also for the nation as a whole. During the authoritarian regime in the 1950s and 1960s, the metaphor was introduced, adopted, and propagandized by the governments in order to promote unity and uniformity among the Thai people.

In this metaphorical view, Thailand is an organism – a human body, in particular – in which individual persons, households, and organizations serve as cells and organs. To keep the body fully function, the individual microscopic elements and organs must perform their duties consistently and in accordance with orders from the brain. At times, the organism metaphor was substituted by a similar metaphor, the nation (or bureaucratic organizations as a house, where the people serve as family member under the fatherly care of the leaders.

These metaphors aim not only at promoting efficiency, unity, and uniformity, but also manipulating people’s thought and behavior, and, simultaneously, maintaining power and authority within a small group of national elites. 

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