Editor’s Note: The following guest article has been generously contributed by Elizabeth. In this insightful post, Elizabeth discusses situations a woman who is living through a WROL (Without Rule of Law) scenario could be faced with.


 

Still small voice.

It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure a world without rule of law:

My youngest is being held hostage by a crazed band of self-proclaimed ‘Freedom Fighters for the Defense of God.’ Even though I’m hungry, dirty and have a screaming migraine from being dehydrated, the ironies are not lost on me. But it doesn’t matter; right here, right now, it’s been decided they don’t have enough wives so my daughter and I are on their waiting list – if we don’t comply, they will kill my boy just like they killed my oldest. They kill the grown men first.

I’m told if I behave well and live up to their expectations, that they might bring my little boy back to me. But that’s only if someone wants me as a wife. If it takes too long to be chosen, he and I will quickly become too many mouths to feed. Or, could be that they’ll make him become a child soldier next year when he turns seven and is considered old enough to be coerced into fighting for their ostensible cause. His growing brain will be both molded and stunted by that experience and, unless he finds something extraordinary within himself, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be able to function in a society based on civil law. He would be someone forever changed into someone I did not know.

 

Far fetched? Not especially, this happens all around the world right now. Chance of escape as a group in a situation like that?

Slim.

What to do?

Survive. Suffer. Try. What other choice would there be?

If one were in some sort of war situation, running off into chaos would have to be a decision made after patiently waiting for a window of opportunity, not a flight or fight visceral thing because the chances that one would be caught and killed would be incredibly high. To me, dying for one’s ethics is an absolutely acceptable choice but only if there were a strong enough likelihood it would make a significant, tangible difference. Simply up and dying because I didn’t approve of one thing or another would be pointless. So yes, in that situation, I would behave beautifully, put my angel face on, and comply.

It would be immaterial if I liked it or not.

But here’s the thing. Here’s something I know. There is only one thing I actually own. There is only one thing that no one can take away or violate or steal.

That is the contents of my head. No one can take that and I can choose to fill it with things that help me instead of harm me. No sense agonizing over the necessary. In a situation like that, it would be crucial to behave exactly as I had to in order to live, but it would be equally important to cling to that still, small voice most of us can still remember to hear. Staying sane would have to be a top priority.

 

It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure a world without rule of law:

Somehow I’ve found myself traveling with a guy who has decided he’s in love with me. I don’t share his feelings. It started out as a simple collaboration; we bring complimentary skills in our TEOTWAWKI survival journey and work really well with one another. I don’t want to be cruel as he’s got many wonderful qualities, so I try to let him down easy. We are in a survival situation, we depend on each other. His behavior becomes erratic – swinging from being obsequious at one moment to aggressive in another. One night, he finds some alcohol and tells me, “If I can’t have you, no one can.” It’s not like I’m headed out on dates or as if I’m inundated with suitors; I stink to high heaven – I was thrilled I killed a squirrel – finding a partner is the last thing on my mind. I’ll need to resolve this quickly or I and my family will face the consequences.

Far fetched? Not really. Look up how many restraining orders are logged for your area in any given period of time. It’s probable that there will be far more than you would have thought.

What to do?

Take action. But plan it out. If one were in a group, it’s more likely it could be worked out. If one were not in a group, the response would have to be definitive, effective and permanent. A good friend of mine who is especially gifted as saying beautifully outrageous but equally germane things commented years ago in a world WITH law context, “They gotta sleep sometime – you need to be awake. Go get your baseball bat. Go for the knees.”

In a world where there were no police to be called, no backup plan and no justice, one would have to decide if the threat was real and persistent enough to take even harsher measures.

I think it’s a good idea to think now that decisions have to be situational. That there is no manual that would help anyone actually plan for every contingency. I also know that, regardless of how one defines the difference between ethics and morals, that it’s important to get to know each of our own still, small voice.