The Zeonism of Random People

Notes on Zeonism as proposed by random people during the Universal Century

Published

UC 0096: some ECOAS soldiers

In the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn novelization, after the Federation forces and ECOAS team aboard the Nahel Argama acquire the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam from Anaheim, ECOAS 920 team commander Daguza Mackle discusses that Gundam with members of his team. The Gundam was manufactured by Anaheim Electronics, the primary military contractor for the Federation and a front for the Vist Foundation. After testing the Unicorn at the Magallanica, the Vist Foundation had arranged to transfer the Unicorn Gundam to the “Sleeves” faction of Neo Zeon, at the same time that ECOAS tried to capture it. The Gundam instead was given by Vist Foundation leader Cardeas Vist to Banagher Links, who piloted it during a confrontation between the Sleeves and Federation forces. After the stress of being used by the Unicorn’s NT-D system exhausted Banagher, he and the Unicorn were captured by the Nahel Argama, which led to this conversation between a wounded Daguza and his subordinates:

“Then, leader, is that mobile suit the Laplace Box?”

“Leaving aside whether we can put an end to this speculation, we do have enough proof here. We have a machine that was ready to be moved out with the spare parts and the Laplace Program that was only installed when it was moved to the Magallanica. I have no idea which level of the Vist Foundation got involved with this plan, but the Unicorn’s the symbol of the Foundation after all.”

The moment Daguza finished, the left arm and flank that were numb started to ache, and he did not continue . It seemed that the effect of the painkiller had worn out. Conroy seemed to detect this situation as he wanted to say something, but Daguza averted his stare and quickly said before Conroy could, “What we can understand is that the weapon was built for Newtypes to pilot.”

The Newtype Theory is the core of Zeon. Removing Zeonism is something that has to be linked with eliminating the remnants of Zeon. It’s really puzzling why they would gamble on the Federation’s trust in the plan and take a weapon meant for Newtypes.”

“Fight fire with fire…you can think of it that way, but I heard that the Newtype research facility was already closed.”

“No matter how we deny it, the conclusion is that we can’t ignore how useful Newtype weapons are, is it? In fact, all the Gundam pilots up till now are…”

“It’s because of this, that the elimination of Newtypes has to be carried out by non-Newtypes. This is to crush the myth that’s ingrained deeply in people’s hearts.”

Volume 3, Chapter 1, Part 3 of the Baka-Tsuki translation of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn available on The Internet Archive

There are several things going on in this scene, but what I wish to highlight is that Daguza, a member of the Federation’s crack special forces, thinks that Newtype Theory is essential to Zeonism, and that without it, Zeonism, as both an ideology and a Spacenoid-independence movement, will fade away.

Asteroid Miners

During the events of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Sleeves pilot Marida Cruz drags captive Gundam pilot Banagher Links through the rough-hewn informal tunnels of the asteroid Palau to a miner’s chapel, an unexpected but not uncommon bastion of Christianity in the post-gods Universal Century. There, Marida stares at a crucifix, the focus of the chapel, and says to Banagher:

“This statue was built when this place was still part of the Asteroid Belt. The first batch of space pioneers were those who could not live on Earth, political criminals and people who had no other ways to live. When the Universal Century started, it was said that the Prime Minister said that this was a moment where Humanity would have to say goodbye to the century of Gods, but to these space pioneers, they would need a light they could rely on, especially those who lived in the asteroid belts, where the sunlight was mixed amongst the stars…”

The clear voice rang throughout the chapel, gradually seeping into Banagher’s tense body. He remembered the praying faces of Gilboa and the rest before they had dinner, and tried to say, “Light, is it…” Even though this “Palau” was dragged to be part of the Earth Celestial Sphere, the Church had built up in other places. The ideals of the people who saw light here 100 years ago had not disappeared even till this point. This belief would probably sink in with Gilboa and his descendants from the moment this was ingrained into the asteroid belt. They believed that one of these days, all suffering would pay off—

“Without light, people will be unable to live on. That’s why people want to rely on such a thing. However, the people who were abandoned into space finally found a light to replace this man. They found the new light called Zeon.”

Marida’s expression became a little sinister. Banagher again looked back at the image of Christ, and overlapped the image of Zeon Deikun he saw on the textbook over there.

“Whether it’s right or not isn’t important. To them, this light is important. They needed something to fight despair and live in this world that was cruel and binding. They needed something to believe that this world still has room for change. No one can laugh at such a demand. It’s stupid not to have a physical thing to rely on and live until now—if anyone can say that, that person is either being very happy, or is living in a way where he has nothing to do with the world. That can’t be called real living.”

Volume 4, Chapter 1, Part 13 of the Baka-Tsuki translation of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn available on The Internet Archive

For these asteroid miners, Zeonism provided the hope of salvation that Christianity had formerly provided. Salvation in the afterlife was replaced by temporal salvation, which their present suffering would work towards. Zeon’s ideology provided goals towards which they could work.