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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

Chapter:
(p.167) Afterword The Ship of State
Source:
The Ship of State
Author(s):

Norma Thompson

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300088175.003.0009

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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