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Old April 7 2013, 12:13 AM   #413
Christopher
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

Franklin wrote: View Post
"Friday's Child" is a complicated mess because the Federation wanted mining rights on the planet. If they are going to pump money (or some form of payment for the minerals and services) into that culture's economy, then it seems they see no problem with the PD in this case, and what Kirk is doing is preserving the Federation's position to secure the economic deal and drive off the Klingons.
But the PD is not all-or-nothing. It is where pre-contact societies are concerned, but it also applies to post-contact societies. In that context, it basically means that you can interact with other cultures so long as you don't force your own values and decisions on them, so long as you agree to let them practice their own laws and customs, make their own decisions about internal affairs, etc. (See TNG's "Justice." Why they made contact with such a backward society in the first place is a mystery, but once they had made contact, the Prime Directive still required them to respect local laws, which was why they didn't just break Wesley out and warp away.)


...but the very idea that the Federation wants to do business with this pre-warp culture is odd itself within the context of the PD.
It may be that Capella was contacted before the PD went into effect, or that it was first visited by some other spacefaring society -- either way, they already knew of life on other worlds, so that wasn't an issue anymore. At that point, the post-contact phase of the PD came into effect -- you can interact, but let them make the decisions for themselves, instead of sending in missionaries to convert them or overthrowing leaders you dislike or whatever.


Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
EDIT: TNG: "Angel One" alleged that the Prime Directive doesn't apply to civilians, but I've always found that an odd interpretation.
Not really seeing as the Prime Directive was always came off as a Starfleet Regulation, it didn't seem like a Federation law or anything.
Yes, obviously General Order One is a Starfleet regulation. But the point is that giving Starfleet a non-interference directive seems pretty pointless if Federation civilians can interfere all they want. It's a hell of a leaky sieve that way.

Not to mention that we have heard the PD referred to as the Federation's "highest law" on occasion. (Indeed, Kirk called it that in "Friday's Child.") If it were only a Starfleet regulation, then it would not be a Federation law. Hence the inconsistency with what "Angel One" claimed.


Okay why does everyone think Merik violated the Prime Directive, from what I remember he seemed to be following it even giving into the natives desire to kill his crew to keep any outside interference from showing up.
Because he had himself installed as a leader of the planet's government. Even if he was a figurehead, he was in a position of leadership where his decisions could affect the political and social development of the society.

Remember, the original idea behind the PD was as a guard against the kind of colonialism and imperialism that Europe and America had engaged in for generations, and that was really showing its downside in the Vietnam era when TOS was made. The PD was based on the recognition that it was a bad thing for one nation to take over another, to install its own people as another nation's leaders, to impose its own values or religion on another culture, etc. So making yourself leader of an alien civilization is just the sort of thing the PD exists to prevent.

And even if Merik hadn't violated the PD, he'd certainly be guilty of treason -- conspiring with an alien power to murder his own crew.
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