Table of contents

Justified I.7-11

On patriarchy & the laws

Although several policemen object to Raylan’s habit of killing people, nobody says it’s because his father is a criminal. Indeed, his father never killed anyone – criminals tend to look to the good. Money tames them, let’s say. Trouble comes Raylan’s way for shooting criminals. This is frowned upon among Americans, who are nevertheless an armed race. Let’s say they at least want heaven disarmed.

Now, about Raylan’s authority. Marshals serve the federal government, which detaches them from any given place. It is possible that they are not entirely bound to a city. So they are fine chasers, & better able to see necessity than policemen usually are, but they do not rule. One of the local marshals is upset with Raylan for rising to the top. It emerges by degrees that Raylan has his weaknesses & that he may not be the cleverest marshal.

Making things may be less wise than seeing things, but it is far more impressive & it fights injustice far faster. Killing people helps man understand how people live & to whom he should be directing his attention. It is nearly prophetic. It discounts speeches to the extent that it implies that people act with necessity regarding death; at least, they no longer have their self-control quite. The urgency of crime & punishment may allow no alternative.

Crime families are based on trust, not competence. Love of one’s own & love of the good may very well be different. It is beauty that gets in the way: Men think of eternity & such when it comes to their children. They assume too much about order, although they understand order may have nothing to do with law, & that the good it serves may be criminal, or private, if you prefer.

The beneficiaries of the laws ignore the protection law offers. Defending the families they love might make them unlovable. If family at war were lovable, criminal families would war continuously… Policing requires destroying families. Policemen cannot make the law-abiding happy, but they can make the lawless unhappy. It is necessary that they do this, because it is family that nourishes the desires that lead to crime. But if they do this, the harshness of justice becomes inescapably obvious.

One day, Raylan gets in a bar fight defending an absent woman’s honor while waiting for his ex-wife, who is late. The two hicks beat him up – barkeep saves his life, but not his hat. People ask about that hat; he’s fond of it, too. The good says leave it, but the beautiful says take it back. Raylan is handsome in that hat; people know what it means – no one can take it from him while he lives.