The mods on !email@example.com passed a rule to ban debates against anarchism itself. This rule addresses the issue of non-anarchists expressing fundamental objections to anarchism under almost every post, derailing conversations and starting unproductive debates. The rule thus reaffirms that the community is a space that belongs to anarchists.
But it can sometimes be useful to have a space where anarchists and non-anarchists can express their disagreements in good faith. I’m not too confident in how productive internet debates can be, but ideally, good debates could cause people to change some of their beliefs. I made this community after someone said some stuff in !firstname.lastname@example.org that veered kind of close to debate territory. I wanted to direct them elsewhere but there was nowhere to direct them, so I created this community.
I’m also not very well-versed in anarchism and I’m curious about anarchist replies to common objections.
I would highly recommend not having “Debate” communities, but rather educational ones. The debate communities on reddit are unecessarily combative, and are structured not around learning or discovering what works, but annoying rhetorical tricks, or “dunking on people”. The debate communities basically get nowhere for years because the structure of “debate” is to be a contest someone needs to win, rather than education about a topic.
Yeah, this could be a problem. But the only other place that I know of for interactions between anarchists and non-anarchists is !email@example.com, I think there are some important differences between this community and that one that warrant creating this as a separate community.
If someone is not quite convinced of anarchism, they may want somewhere to post their specific concerns, and they might believe that they might change anarchists’ minds. While they technically could post those concerns in !firstname.lastname@example.org phrased as “what would you say in response to this?,” that would basically be an admission of being wrong because it implies that the poster is the one who needs to learn more about anarchism. Generally, the anarchist communities on Lemmy are centered around anarchists, which makes sense, but non-anarchists may also bring useful perspectives that might not be seen in !email@example.com.
You’re right that online debates are often very toxic (thanks for bringing this up!). So I edited the sidebar to “rebrand” this community to emphasize the educational aspects rather than the debate aspects. I also think this community should ideally have strict moderation, although I an a single person would probably have trouble doing so.
In the very worst case, this community can just serve as a “trash bin” to contain debates and prevent them from spreading elsewhere, so that people who don’t want to see these debates can block this community.
I had like no idea what they meant by why, but nice answer is this is what they meant