I recently watched the film Avatar for the very first time. It wasn't the best movie in the world, but not as bad as some would have me believe.
The human characters in the film with their corporate militaristic ethos are clearly the villians, and in some respects, they are the complete antithesis of the human characters within Star Trek.
It had me wondering, what are the main aspects of Starfleet that allows humanity to be good and not turn into the human beings in Avatar? Is it simply the Prime Directive? Or are there other aspects of the human character that keeps our protagonists away from using and exploiting other cultures?
Or perhaps it is the fact that the Federation no longer has a monetary system. There is no need to exploit other worlds as they don't do things for financial gain anymore?
So perhaps money truly is the root of all evil?
the PD certainly isn't keeping Humans from being evil, since it's been used to justify passively allowing extinction events and genocide. The TNG-era PD makes me wish that TOS had never come up with it in the first place.
"Avatar" is like a better done version of "Insurrection."