Yes, I hear and understand your
and I assure you I have read and re-read you most eloquent posts regarding your personal philosophy.
I happen to hold a different philosophy, as it relates to WHAT TREK SAYS, AND WHEN PUT TO THE TEST, WHAT IS ACTUALLY IS.
And yes, you are quite correct that if KIRK (being the personification of the UFP:SFC morality) does not destroy the Landru computer on BETA III, 430 of his shipmates will die; if he does not destroy the idol of Vaal, 430 of his shipmates will die; if he does not destroy the Temple of Applo, 430 of his shipmates will die.
Which if his mission is to survive (which it is not by written
UFP code), It is understandable, reasonable, and of course in his own self-interest and that of the unspoken
However, he cannot invade their home plant, and in the process destroy the Landru computer, de-rail the culture on BEAT III, and then,...
Recite a speech, explaining his 'justification' for destroying a peaceful alien world - which is not an annex to the Federation - about what he and the UFP feel about the value of the PURITAN WORK ETHIC.
He becomes just a moralizing Bully - once his actions do not match the trumpeted UFP:SFC code.
HOWEVER AND MORE IMPORTANTLY -
Please understand this: You mention above a vision of the future,.... well here is the thing where STAR TREK steps in the doo-doo so many times.
The basic conflict at play here is that TREK paints for a us a very practical state of the future, in all areas including our HUMANITY.
And yet, they did not send 'a man from the future' into the future TREK universe to show us how advanced we had become as a culture,...
Instead TREK sent a man with a 1966 Post-Cold war attitude and culture into space to TRY to live up to highly honorable ideals of the future of the 23rd Century UFP concept,... and they gave him a Phaser too.
And that is what we are actually watching, and that is why the two concepts did not work together in many cases.
, my friend,... on your 'Specter of the Gun'
scenario regarding the hypothetical 'trade route' or 'blockade',... again, this is a problem ONLY for the UFP:SFC,.. and their personal need in no way constitutes a need of anything for anyone else, bottom line.
So KIRK, is seemingly
forced, to invade,... and you are right,... it IS sloppy scripting.
And although it allows TV tell a story and sell commercial time, I know a better course of action for our dear Captain in this situation.
Would you care to take a guess?
(and no, LOL! retirement or suicide are not in my answer LOL!)
And PLYNCH -
Feel free to offer your answer of an alternative to ignoring the Melkotian space warning and crossing into their space and landing on their home planet.