And the force of these heroes is no longer self-evident; it is celebrated as art, in myriad ways, aesthetically and intensely… But after the job is done or he has successfully defended himself, the hero’s reward is reckoned in fistfuls of dollars, not moral benefits.
For what the Italians radically abolished was the World of the Good, in which the successful hero could be rewarded for his troubles and effort in the form of love, medals, peace, land or family.
The hero of the Spaghetti Western, working as an employee or a one-man-band, cannot feel any moral duty, because in this world no-one asserts any moral code.
But there is still a spark of decency, a certain instinct that saves them from outright wrongdoing, an “existential” character trait: to be a little less wicked than the thoroughly criminalised society around them, not in words, not in ideology, not as an excuse, more by omission than by deeds…
Especially in a world where there is at best "partnership" but no human solidarity, where every illusion, where trusting anyone other than himself, sooner or later leads to his own downfall…
English translation: thanks to Kate Kangaslahti