Where do I stand?
I am opposed to the Crown not just because it is anachronism, or because
it is an alien, intrinsically racist, sexist and sectarian institution.
It may be all of these things. But there is a much more fundamental
reason for my opposition to the Crown.
I am opposed to the crown because of the very feature that supporters of the monarchy claim as its redeeming characteristic - the fact that the monarch, like all other state servants, is “apolitical”, that she is considered to be “just doing a job” and that she can not be held morally accountable for the actions of the state over which she presides.
When the state goes to war, as in Iraq or Afghanistan, the monarch is head of the state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. But she accepts no personal responsibility for the decision to make war, or for the way in which the war is conducted. When the state legislates in favour of abortion, prostitution, gambling or usury, the Queen gives the royal assent, but she accepts no moral responsibility for the acts and no responsibility for their social consequences.. She is the model of every bureaucrat, every soldier, and, ultimately every citizen, of the regime. She is the epitome of the culture of moral irresponsibility that has an insidious influence within New Zealand society.
Others argue that the monarchy represents hereditary privilege and British rule, that the law of succession is sexist and sectarian, and that the whole institution of the monarchy is anachronistic. Those are valid arguments. But my greatest objection to the monarchy is that it has become the model of the amorality of the state.
The institution of the Crown is an evil of the most banal kind, but evil for all that. I do not support movements (like some strands of the Maori nationalist movement) which seek "partnership" with the Crown, and I do not support movements (like the Republican Movement of Aotearoa) which seek to inherit the authority of the Crown through "constitutional process" (which essentially reduces to a process of submission to, followed by betrayal of, the monarchist principle). To be a partner of the Crown is to be a partner of evil. To be an heir of the Crown is to be an heir of evil.
My argument is not against monarchy in general, and neither do I maintain that any form of republic is necessarily preferable to any form of monarchy. There are reasons (basically "Darwinian") why hereditary monarchy managed to establish itself as a common form of human social organisation over the past few millennia. The first of these is that the character traits which made for good leaders and rulers are to some degree heritable. The second is that these traits are also to some degree teachable. In combination, in societies where teaching and instruction of the younger generation is a function which takes place within the biological family unit (mothers and fathers teaching sons and daughters) most social roles, including the leadership role, were effectively inherited. At some point however (which might be anywhere from the second to the n-th generation) the system of inheritance would fail, the monarchy would become degenerate, and the ancien regime would be overthrown by a new claimant to monarchical power.
But one of the peculiarities of the New Zealand monarchy is that at the same time that the monarch has surrendered her social, political and moral independence and become a mere pawn of the state, the state has effectively shielded her from the threat of usurpation. The end result has been a creeping corruption at the heart of the New Zealand society.
In both New Zealand and Australia there exist organised republican movements
which argue in favour of removing the Queen as head of state while leaving
all other structures of the state intact. Not surprisingly,
there is strong popular suspicion of such attempts at superficial constitutional
makeovers, and the recent attempt to push through a referendum to establish
an Australian republic failed precisely because the proposed constitution
was seen as one for "a politicians republic". The essential
problem with the monarchy (its political amorality) is not restricted to
the monarch herself. It pervades all the institutions of state,
the military forces, the civil service, the judiciary and the legislature.
A "republic of the politicians", which means a republic founded by
those who have pledged allegiance to and then betrayed the monarch, would
be a republic of frauds, traitors, opportunists and thieves.
A truly honorable republic can only be achieved on the basis of a social
revolution which decisively breaks with the imperial past, and destroys
all the immoral class and race-based structures of the colonial regime.