We need to first think whether the question itself is right. Instead of asking how a society will work under anarchy, the question should be whether a society will work under anarchy. Is the phrase “under anarchy” itself correct? Doesn’t anarchy itself mean you are not under someone? Though it is a hypothetical question, it is worth considering whether anarchy can really work and how it will look.
Anarchy is defined as a political ideal that believes in abolishing any central control or government and giving full control to the individual. This is the basic concept of anarchy or anarchists. That being so, the question arises as to who will take decisions. Without decisions being taken and laws being formulated, can a society function?
Anarchists believe in voluntary contribution. Anything that is done should be done voluntarily without anyone telling us to do what we should do. However, many people say anarchy is basically a hatred to any kind of control or governance. Anarchists also believe that there cannot be any permanent governing body to tell us what we should be doing.
The question that arises is that will anyone do anything voluntarily. People are so used to doing things only for some kind gratification. When you say gratification, it means that there is someone telling us to pay for services which we get. Anarchists totally reject the idea of money. If that is the case what gratification can it be? Who will decide what should be given in exchange for a service rendered? If at all service is rendered totally voluntarily, who can question if there is a deficiency in the service?
For example, a doctor voluntarily treats patients. What, if there is negligence on the part of the doctor and patient dies? Who will decide what punishment the doctor should undergo? Can the doctor be punished for something he did voluntarily?
Anarchists believe in forming small temporary bodies to take decisions or make laws. If there is no governance who will decide on the temporary body? Who will decide on who all will constitute this temporary body? What if the temporary body’s decision is not acceptable to all? Can any decision be taken in an anarchy?
Even the wild animals have a hierarchy. It is the alpha male which lays down the laws and the others in the group obey. Anarchy cannot work because everything in the world must be in order. It has never worked in theory or in practice so we do not see this changing any time soon.