The banner of the Zealandian Commonwealth on Facebook celebrates six years of Zealandia, established between the Barony of Sandus and the eventual abdication of Sandus’s Baron in April in favor of the Democratic People’s Republic of Sandus. Both nations began with similar contradictory trends — Socialism and Monarchy — but both have dealt with these in two distinct ways: Sandus has tempered its monarchy into a republic, while Zealandia has periodically ruptured between both. For in more than six years of existence, Queen Astrid has once more changed the constitution of her micronation with an illogical rupture, not logical leadership. O tempora, o mores!
For six years of micronational experience, Zealandia has changed but not much. In the same month Sandus declared its independence in early 2011, Zealandia likewise underwent controversial changes; since then, Zealandia has changed its constitution an innumerable amount of times while our constitution has remained fluid yet unruptured. It should be clear that Zealandia changing her constitution is not the concern here: what is in concern here is the arbitrary and capricious nature of perennial and frequent changing of constitutional regimes. This is not an overthrow or a revolution: Charlotte Lindström heads the new government, as she always has. This is the reason why many comically poke fun at Zealandia, because it has a history of these tumultuous, pompous overthrows with little to show for it. Barnaby Hands of Senya has even commented that three things are constant: death, taxes, and Zealandian revolutions.
Things, however, were changing. The view that Zealandia was an unpredictable micronation led by an individual who could decide any moment to change the government at her whim was fading. Now, though, Zealandia’s old nature disappointingly shines through the veneer of change: Lindström has shown herself to have the same behavior as before, able and willing to self-inflict a “coup d’état” on herself in order to change the façade of a Zealandian autocracy. This lack of constancy is a poor trait for an autocrat and it has previously led to numerous “revolutions,” many intermicronational disputes, and Zealandia’s betrayal of her friends and allies. In other words, our patience is wearing thin.
Constitutional changes will always be needed. Aristotle and Polybius knew this. Enlightenment philosophes knew this. Marx and Engels knew this. Modern dialectics knows this. But the skill and mastery of politics commands an autocratic leader to make these changes peacefully and over time, through evolution not revolution, not for one’s self but for the popular weal: a skill which Zealandia has not learned more than even six years after the monarchy’s establishment. Sandus’s constitution has changed more than Zealandia’s in the past five years, but one would not know it: never once have we had a constitutional rupture or political crisis. Lindström here suffers from a contradiction of terms: she wants to act like the triumphant revolutionary in her own country, while being its queen; she wants to wage a coup d’état against herself; she wants revolution but will not part with her royal titles. The result is an impulsive flare-up of her own cognitive dissonance acted out on her own regime, inflicted on her subjects yet also accidentally scorching bystanders as well. She has not yet learned the proper behavioral comportment of her duty. She should meditate on the De Officiis.
“Quod fluit ne novum fiat,” inquit nihil poeta nisi haec artifex.
C. S. P.