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Join Date: Sep 2012
11-18-2012, 08:02 AM
Originally Posted by
The TNG Prime Directive never made a lot of sense to me because nobody ever had trouble asking OTHER cultures to interfere in Federation affairs or seeking the aid of higher powers or meddling in the affairs of species like the Q.
I think the idea was that TNG was supposed to have more progressive values but the problem is that they never really reconciled the progressive values of charity and equity with the progressive values of cultural relativism and anti-imperialism.
I get avoiding cultural contamination but if any warp power engages a pre-warp society, I figure the seal should be broken.
So the Feds might avoid contaminating a pre-warp society but if the Ferengi show up peddling Warp drives, the Feds send a team to make first contact.
My own take on it was that the PD operated on a sliding scale based on relative tech advancement.
So civilizations significantly less advanced would be "take only pictures, leave only footprints". Some degree of limited contact would occasionally be justifiable, so long as the social and/or technological effects could be expected to be minimal or isolated.
Civilizations only a bit less advanced would be "contact openly, but don't share tech or info". The warp/pre warp distinction seems to fall somewhere within this category, as we've seen the Enterprise (original a Next Gen) make open contact with what appeared to be advanced but still pre-warp civilizations numerous times, as well as open contact but with limited assistance with early post warp civilizations.
Technological equals are "PD just means sovereignty: tech and info are free trade, and assistance is limited only by what the recipient asks or permits". Romulans/Remans fall into this category, so assisting them when they're down-and-out is not a violation so long as they either welcome or solicit it.
I think StarFleet probably emphasizes the PD as an absolute in it's training and doctrine even though it technically isn't as a away of forcing captains to think very very very hard before deciding to "break" it. And whether or not a breach is legally justified is probably decided case-by-case by an after-the-fact review board rather than a precedent based perimeter system to avoid giving captains a way to legalistically self-justify a breach before deciding to do it. This would explain the terms in which things tend to get debated whenever a PD breach is being discussed/considered in the shows.
I totally agree with the "broken seal" concept you described, BTW.
Last edited by connectamabob; 11-18-2012 at