Plutocracy: Chronicles of Global Monopoly
By Abraham Martinez
Human beings are imperfect creatures and it follows that their creations will be imperfect as well. Even the creations are perfect, they’ll develop flaws because of the imperfect creatures that caretake them and help them endure. Such is the case with political systems. Any given system might be a thing of beauty and clarity on paper, but once it’s applied to real-world human existence, someone somewhere sniffs out the cracks in it and attempts to use it to their advantage. That’s the history of the world and what awakens an almost primal desire within humans for a benign dictator, someone to reign in the free-for-all.
In many ways, that’s what Plutocracy: Chronicles of Global Monopoly is about.
In the year 2051, all nations have been joined under the common rule of the Company, a private business that oversees all governance, a one-world government that evolved out of a corporation — or, more to the point, a corporate process that unfolded in front of all humanity and in many ways was embraced insofar as little action was taken against it.
Spanish author Abraham Martinez takes great pains to document the history of the Company and the intricacies of the world that developed under its guidance, creating the feel of a non-fiction book before shifting the narrative to Homero Durant, who starts out as a detective but eventually frustrated by the work leaves to devote his time to his first love — journalism.
That seems like an odd choice in a society that appears to the outside eye to be totalitarian, and Durant acknowledges this, but when he decides to investigate the history of the Company, he finds unexpected opportunities and open arms that sends him on a disorienting journey into an underworld of secrets that are about to become open ones through his work.
But why would the Company embrace Durant’s investigation? The answer to that is defined by one of the most singular principles of the society that Plutocracy: Chronicles of Global Monopoly depicts — contradiction. An intuitive truth may not be correct after all if you are thinking of it in linear, human terms instead of its potential use for the highest goal of the Company, profit. Profit can shape reality, turn it upside down, and take logic with it. Bad becomes good and imaginary becomes real when wrapped around profit.
Durant is a good stand-in for many people. The more he circulates through the maze, the less he can conceive of the big picture — and when he thinks he does, it’s within a framework that is invalid to the reality he creeps through. That’s because many people cannot actually replicate the thought process of a person for whom power and money are both the ends and the means for their own sake, and that is how domination manifests itself in human civilization.
There are so many aspects of Plutocracy: Chronicles of Global Monopoly that seem obvious and yet when employed by Martinez within the unfolding narrative and then in the crucial information dumps feel like political monologues, they’re shocking. Perhaps that shock comes from the ways they align with what we see happening in front of us and the way Martinez applies these events so clearly, and yet with precision metaphor creation to amplify what it all means.