It is surprising to see how little technology does to change the hunt. The police have to figure out the details of crime operations, but that requires breaking the laws. Property rights cannot be broken, even if justice requires it. How can it be that the laws create the right to do wrong? But people do not agree on what belongs to whom. & there is not enough & as good for everyone.
The relation between science, economics, & law is such that the police do not even have a technological advance; given the size of the city, policing must be technological; then again, technological advance may be a disadvantage, because it blinds the police to the nature of crime & the way criminals think. Then again, the criminals have recourse to bureaucracy, too. & phones constantly betray people throughout the story. That’s the idiot crook’s joke about spotting plainclothes policemen: Attracting attention is dangerous.
Yan has lost a woman &, it would seem, a child because of his way of life. She hides from him; he knows his life is not a life worth living. Lau, however, is fast becoming a hero & a notable. His excellence has earned him many promotions. He looks the part of a whiz kid: Young, talented, ruthless. Nobody suspects his faith, given his reputation. He is assigned to find the mole in the police force.
Lau gets a number of policemen killed & helps Sam in his criminal enterprises as he rises through the ranks. It is remarkable how calculating he is. He is also very good at calculation. One wonders what infiltrating the police gave him that he could not have earned by simply being a policeman. Maybe that’s precisely his point: There is no difference.
His extraordinary success forces us to ask ourselves whether it is not deserved. His many crimes have the same cause as his great successes. If he has destroyed officers of the law, he has also destroyed criminals. It is necessary for him to destroy everyone who knows the secrets of his origins, but that accomplished, he could do everything that is expected of him. What if the alternative is policemen who obey the laws & are incapable of stopping criminals?
This very threatening possibility is Machiavellianism, the only political doctrine named for a philosopher. Lau has learned the lesson of organized crime: The captain needs to deceive everyone & rule them by fear. To defend oneself is to be undeceived. This radically atheistic teaching causes anyone associated with it to be both envied & hated. Those who break divine commandments are not worthy of trust. The look of the human being is the human being.