Shakespeare on Men like Bees and Bees like Men

Obedience, for so work the honey-bees...Therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavour in continual motion;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience: for so work the honey-bees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts
…  (Henry V, act 1, sc. 2)

Comments.  The Bishop of Canterbury provides specious, interminable and hard to follow reasons to support the imperialist aims of King Henry V over France. Even so, neither the Bishop nor the King have the gall to claim that they will invade France to bring freedom and democracy to the French. This would be the position of the current administration (whether democratic or republican). However, the untiring bishop next describes the properties of an ideal commonwealth, because ‘God’ says so via the venue of his minister, who – surprise, surprise – is the bishop himself.
What is God’s will for men? What is the objective (or meaningfully the ‘butt’) of men’s endeavors? The type of obedience to their rulers that bees display in a beehive.
Today’s readers of Henry V will not fail to see the strong similarity between the commonwealth advocated by the bishop and the ‘democratic’ society associated with ‘liberism’, or ‘free market’.
The free market philosophy argues that the most ruthless, selfish, opportunistic, greedy, calculating plunderers, applying the most heartless measures in cold blooded pursuit of corporate interest and wealth accumulation, will produce the best results for all of us, through something called the “invisible hand.” All we have to do is to ‘obey’.
And those who find issues with this ideal state of things will face a police equipped with all sort of weapons designed to teach the act of order to the unruly dissenters.

Tips for Use. If you subscribe to the ‘liberist’ philosophy, love wars, turbocapitalism, imperialism and/or are a newborn something, copy these relevant Shakespeare lines and proclaim them via the subservient corporate media. Careful though, because Shakespeare has been described as the university of the soul. Universities, in theory, have the task of educating the students. And an educated populace tends to be more dangerous and subscribe with less enthusiasm to the philosophy of the bees.

In the Play. The Bishop of Canterbury, the equivalent of a Pentagon lobbyist explains to King Henry V why he should invade France to get the revenues that otherwise may have to be obtained by taxing the church.

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