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There are times when surviving may mean to hide some things even from official scrutiny. It is supposed or assumed that the government represents the law, that everything that is legal is represented by government officials and that law-abiding citizens in democratic countries have nothing to fear and should have nothing to hide, yet, what is truly democratic, what does your government does and what is the real difference between hiding things in a good and in a bad way are things more difficult to define.

And sometimes, having something for survival at your disposal, like a weapon, a money stash and so on might mean that you will have to hide it from others, including the government. This might be legal or illegal, and of course, we are meant to stay within the law but would you do so if you were a Cuban trying to flee the dictatorial regime of Castro? Would you declare that you have a couple of dollars and even perhaps a raft or a gun when asked by the police?

I do not intend to suggest that you should break the rules but in some cases - and it is very difficult to determine in which in advance - you will have to. And in terms of survival the most common things that you will have to lie about are plans - an escape, for example -, money and guns. Criminals usually don't declare those things either but let me emphasize that under survival circumstances laws may have a very different value.

Having a gun to hide and perhaps a few bullets might be the last chance of defending yourself - ask members of the French resistance during WWII -, so while honest people have almost a compulsion to stay legal in this matters, practical requirements at certain times do dictate otherwise. What would have happened if those French fighters had said that they were hiding weapons and money at home, and that they had plans for escaping the grip of the German SS and their French collaborators?

Clearly, when studying survival some laws seem meant to be broken.




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