THE PHYSICIAN ANALOGY IN POLITICS IS NOT INHERENTLY ELITIST OR ANTITHETICAL TO CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT, AS MODERN CRITICS HAVE CLAIMED. ON THE CONTRARY, IN ITS ORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT AMONG THE ORATORS OF FOURTH-CENTURY ATHENS, IT EPITOMIZED THE AIMS OF CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS, OFFERING BOTH A PERSPECTIVE THAT REINFORCED THE IDEA OF A PRESCRIPTIVE CONSTITUTION GROUNDED IN TRADITIONAL AND A CONCEPTION OF LEADERSHIP COMPATIBLE WITH THE EGALITARIAN ANIMUS OF THE RESTORED DEMOCRACY. MOREOVER, THIS CONCEPTION OF THE POLITICAL PHYSICIAN ENJOYED THE FULL SANCTION OF GREEK MEDICINE. THE NORMS, CONCEPTS, AND TECHNIQUES ADDUCED IN THE HIPPOCRATIC WRITINGS CLOSELY PARALLEL THOSE OF CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS.
The physician analogy in politics is not inherently elitist or antithetical to constitutional government, as modern critics have claimed. On the contrary, in its original development among the orators of fourth-century Athens, it epitomized the aims of conservative democrats, offering both a perspective that reinforced the ideal of a prescriptive constitution grounded in tradition and a conception of leadership compatible with the egalitarian animus of the restored democracy. Moreover, this conception of the political physician enjoyed the full sanction of Greek medicine. The norms, concepts, and techniques adduced in the Hippocratic writings closely parallel those of conservative democrats.