I'm also not convinced that merely having a similar level of advancement is a guarantee that the Federation will assist. When the Klingon civil war erupted and Gowron asked Picard for help, citing the terms of the alliance and his status as leader under Klingon law, he was declined on the grounds that the war was considered an internal affair of the Klingon government. Even though the outcome was clearly important to the Federation, Picard knew that merely charging in wasn't the best alternative.
No, but if a giant meteor started heading toward Kling (Yes I prefer to call it KLING) the Federation would spring into action.
In the case of Homeward it was just there to separate who among the many faces of the galaxy the Federation can help out. It's an arbitrary notion that warp drive should be the litmus test but it's there.
Before we get too high and mighty, how many genocides have we let happen since WWII? And hell we let known terrorist Gaddafi rule Libya because he kept the oil flowing. We keep monarchists quelling democratic uprisings in Saudi Arabia because we get oil and have bases there.
And we also supported a military coup against a democratic government in South America and supplied weapons to half the middle east. Just because our elected idiots do awful things doesn't mean we can't morally judge their fictional counterparts.
The pd keeps getting labeled as a product of liberal tng folly but it's very conservative an ideal isn't it? Everyone is responsible for themselves and should mind their own business. No one has the right to expect anything from me and I shouldn't expect anything from anyone else.
The warp tech threshold for contact also I think is just an semi-arbitrary point of policy that's there because there are so many cultures the Feds could get involved with but have to draw the line somewhere and they've chosen early warp to be it. They're not in the business of jumping cultures centuries or millennia ahead (if those cultures even would ever get there) and instead prefer dealing with equals/near equals. For both their and the other cultures' sakes.
...again that doesn't sit quite right with me. Opinions?
Depends what you call liberal and what you call conservative. The American definition of conservative would be to conduct with other countries on a strictly utilitarian basis. But it's the libertarians who preach a philosophy most similar to the prime directive.
I figured they chose warp as the cutoff because shortly after a world discovers warp they're guaranteed to start meeting aliens anyway.
I'm all for non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, so long as those internal affairs are voluntary on behalf of all involved. Freeing slaves and preventing genocides is a moral imperative, IMO. But after that, when everybody has the right to make their own decisions, we should not interfere in those decisions.