The point of the History of the Peloponnesian War is not that the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must. It is not merely a description of power and self-interest. The Athenians say and do much to this effect, but they are not Thucydides’ mouthpiece. He uses the constant dialogue and debate among many individuals and groups and the interplay between discussion and events as a way of furthering his substantive point: power is always limited. Because power is always limited and because others always have a degree of power, pluralism is the natural condition.
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