In ancient Athens, atop a hill in the shadow of the Acropolis, citizens would stand on a small limestone platform and proclaim their views on the politics of the day. This site, the Pnyx (pronounced “nicks”), became the meeting place of the Athenian democratic assembly and, thus, the birthplace of modern democracy. Here, amidst hundreds of years of debate and discourse, the principle of self-rule was carved into human history.
While democracy survives, we have forgotten the lessons the Pnyx. In the United States of America today, our political disagreements have become more disagreeable. From the halls of Congress to our dinner tables, we rarely discuss politics with individuals with whom we disagree and, when we do, our discourse is anything but civil. As a result, after the crumbling of civil discourse, we are left with the ruins of political polarization and partisan gridlock.
FixPnyx is an initiative to improve politics by reinvigorating civil discourse. FixPnyx does this by building a community of concerned citizens who, through publication and discussion, aim to understand the discourse dilemma and demonstrate productive discourse.
FixPnyx is not about forgetting our disagreements. It is about remembering how to disagree. Let’s get to it.