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The Ship of StateStatecraft and Politics from Ancient Greece to Democratic America$
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Norma Thompson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300088175

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300088175.001.0001

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Afterword The Ship of State

Afterword The Ship of State

the Political Metaphor and Its Fate

(p.167) Afterword The Ship of State
The Ship of State

Norma Thompson

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the “ship of state” metaphor. It argues that the sailing ships of the “ship of state” image were coherent arrangements of opposing tensions set in a constantly adjusting dynamic. The fate of Athens revealed that democracy, like a sailing vessel, needs ballast, constraints, and balance; indirection may often prove better than direct action. The “ship of state” metaphor is needed, but today's automated vessels, with crews of women and men, pose a barrier to the imagination.

Keywords:   ship, state, masculine, feminine, sailing vessel, democracy

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