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Old July 25 2013, 11:42 PM   #31
The Old Mixer
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

Part of the problem is that Trek uses the Prime Directive to describe two related but effectively different protocols.

Non-contamination only applies to pre-warp cultures. They're not supposed to be contacted or influenced until they're considered "ready".

For warp cultures, it's non-interference...the Federation and Starfleet aren't supposed to impose their will or beliefs on other cultures, particularly by force. Of course, there are limits to this. Warp cultures are out there, a part of the greater interstellar community. The Federation interacts openly with them, which can involve diplomacy, trade, and even war.

Federation members are expected to conform to certain Federation standards, but nobody's making them join.

Last edited by The Old Mixer; July 26 2013 at 12:15 AM.
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Old July 26 2013, 12:03 AM   #32
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

Doesn't the PD by the late 24th century, have something like 47 sub-sections?
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Old July 26 2013, 12:14 AM   #33
The Old Mixer
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

^I don't know, my copy's not due to arrive for 351 years....
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Old July 26 2013, 08:01 AM   #34
T'Girl
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Federation members are expected to conform to certain Federation standards
A expectation perhaps, but is it a requirement?

Could the worlds and species that make up general membership tell the federation council "you know, that might be a interesting idea, but we have to take a pass on that."

"Nice suggestion thought."


Last edited by T'Girl; July 26 2013 at 08:13 AM.
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Old July 26 2013, 08:02 AM   #35
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Part of the problem is that Trek uses the Prime Directive to describe two related but effectively different protocols.

Non-contamination only applies to pre-warp cultures. They're not supposed to be contacted or influenced until they're considered "ready".
Because it's assumed that any interaction will 'contaminate' a culture, deviate it from its unaltered, pure 'natural evolution' defined as a cosmic plan in whose preservation the federation religiously believes.

For warp cultures, it's non-interference...the Federation and Starfleet aren't supposed to impose their will or beliefs on other cultures, particularly by force. Of course, there are limits to this. Warp cultures are out there, a part of the greater interstellar community. The Federation interacts openly with them, which can involve diplomacy, trade, and even war.

Federation members are expected to conform to certain Federation standards, but nobody's making them join.
Yes - warp being seeming an utterly arbitrary delimitation - until Picard explains the reason in 'First contact', that is. The reason being that the warp culture will encounter other cultures and will be corrupted anyway.

First - the federation is a gathering of religious fanatics, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.
Second - the federation argument for contacting warp cultures is flawed, if we accept as premise the faith about contaminating cultures: just because a person may get robbed/beaten in the future is not a valid reason for one to rob/beat him/her now.

In conclusion, the UFP expansion remains at odds with its own ideals (religion being a better term).
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Old July 27 2013, 03:01 AM   #36
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

^I'd love to respond to that, but I'm not familiar with the show that you've been watching.
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Old July 27 2013, 03:46 AM   #37
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

I think there's some truth to Eddington's analysis of the Federation. "They want to assimilate people, but they don't say it." They want to make people "Normal, like them".

But, they do it always by influence and never by coercion. As Odo says "The Federation has its flaws but the desire for conquest is not one of them".

The Federation's ideals are not to be completely neutral in the fate of the universe. They want to make friends with anybody and they say 'You can join our super-beneficial community but you can't have civil wars or slavery'.
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Old July 27 2013, 08:36 AM   #38
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
I think there's some truth to Eddington's analysis of the Federation. "They want to assimilate people, but they don't say it." They want to make people "Normal, like them".

But, they do it always by influence and never by coercion. As Odo says "The Federation has its flaws but the desire for conquest is not one of them".

The Federation's ideals are not to be completely neutral in the fate of the universe. They want to make friends with anybody and they say 'You can join our super-beneficial community but you can't have civil wars or slavery'.
Such behaviour is most definitely at odds with the 24th century Prime Directive as defined by Picard, Janeway&co.
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Old July 27 2013, 10:08 AM   #39
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

Your argument assumes that the Prime Directive is an end unto itself, and takes it to a ridiculous extreme. The main purpose of Starfleet is to explore space and contact alien civilizations. The Prime Directive defines the limits under which they do that.

Anything taken to the extreme produces the opposite effect. If one takes the Prime Directive to an extreme that wasn't intended, then there'd be no Starfleet, because the Federation member races would all be extreme isolationists who never left their own planets.
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Old July 27 2013, 10:37 AM   #40
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Your argument assumes that the Prime Directive is an end unto itself, and takes it to a ridiculous extreme. The main purpose of Starfleet is to explore space and contact alien civilizations. The Prime Directive defines the limits under which they do that.

Anything taken to the extreme produces the opposite effect. If one takes the Prime Directive to an extreme that wasn't intended, then there'd be no Starfleet, because the Federation member races would all be extreme isolationists who never left their own planets.
Indeed, The Old Mixer. That's what I said that the UFP's expansion is at odds with its ideals (the Prime Directive, specifically).

As for my 'assumption' - it's not an assumption, it's what the characters of the show repeatedly said and how they acted. The 24th century Prime Directive IS an end unto itself.
See for example Dear Doctor, Homeward or even episodes where the crew made the sane decision in order to hear the pro prime directive arguments: Pen Pals, Who watches the watchers. For warp capable species, see for example Redemption or The circle.
The summary - the 'cosmic plan' is the best option for all species' evolution; any interference will corrupt, dirty this cosmic plan, leading to a less desirable evolutionary path, regardless of the circumstances.
This 'ridiculous extreme' IS what the 24th century Prime Directive has become (as per the intent of the writers).
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; July 27 2013 at 11:00 AM.
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Old July 27 2013, 11:08 AM   #41
vulcan redshirt
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

In general we only see the operations of a small part of starfleet, not the federation itself, so we don't really know how it is meant to function. It could function like the EU, where centrally decided edicts filter right down to the laws of the land in a rather petty manner, or be more like the UN (which is what I have always assumed the federation to be modelled on) where internal issues are not tightly constrained, beyond a few issues of basic law such as 'humanoid rights', a non-aggression pact (enforced by the absorbsion of a world's military into starfleet) and probably a ban on dictatorships, and decrees restricting trade of certain banned goods. A model like the EU, or even where the member worlds would be like the states of the USA would seem to contradict the non-interferance policy.

Although, given that the federation is run from Earth, likewise starfleet, the federation is in effect, a human empire, where members do seem subservient to human policy.

The federation does seem eager to admit as many newly 'ready' worlds as soon as possible, which would make it expansionist in nature. For example, although i was window dressed as an issue of taking care of a weak race, for the greater good, in the face of a tyranny, the federation's attempts to admit Bajor was probably initially about squeezing the Cardassians, instead of actually looking out for the bajorans, then with the wormhole, it became a military strategic necessity. Sussing out of places like Kesprytt and Malcor would seem to be an attempt to ensure that these worlds never become a threat to the federation by remaining independent. The prime directive, with respect to places like that seems to be more a way to duck responsibility, rather than to actually 'protect' these worlds.

So IMO Garak and Quark are right, and that the federation is tolerated (or liked) by its population seems to be to do with the way that the apparent freedoms and needs of the 'man on the street' are respected.
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Old July 27 2013, 01:56 PM   #42
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
The UFP's expansion is 100% voluntary.

Non-interference does not mean universal isolationism.
This!

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Roboturner913 wrote: View Post
Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Right now, I am at a loss to find an example of cultural change that occurs specifically because of (for the lack of a better word) incorporating a new world.
The above conversation was just one of a whole bunch of times Quark grumbled about the corrupting hew-mon influence on his own society. I think it's pretty safe to assume he was not the only person in the 24th century that felt that way.
When did Cardassia and Ferenginar join the UFP?

Quark and Garrak complaining about Federation expansion is on par with a Frenchman and a German complaining about imperialism 100 years ago: they are competitors in this field, not unequals.

Yeah, and why are we taking Garak's and Quark's words as gospel, anyway? Garek is a stone cold killer ex-spy who wasn't exactly reformed at that point, and Quark was the 24th century Archie Bunker!
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Old July 27 2013, 02:48 PM   #43
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

The Federation definitely had its own self-interests that motivated its actions and priorities. DS9 was good at exploring that via the outside perspective.

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Indeed, The Old Mixer. That's what I said that the UFP's expansion is at odds with its ideals (the Prime Directive, specifically).

As for my 'assumption' - it's not an assumption, it's what the characters of the show repeatedly said and how they acted. The 24th century Prime Directive IS an end unto itself.
See for example Dear Doctor, Homeward or even episodes where the crew made the sane decision in order to hear the pro prime directive arguments: Pen Pals, Who watches the watchers. For warp capable species, see for example Redemption or The circle.
The summary - the 'cosmic plan' is the best option for all species' evolution; any interference will corrupt, dirty this cosmic plan, leading to a less desirable evolutionary path, regardless of the circumstances.
This 'ridiculous extreme' IS what the 24th century Prime Directive has become (as per the intent of the writers).
But it wasn't taken to that extreme, and it wasn't a goal unto itself. One can be forgiven for thinking otherwise when the lead characters could get so preachy about it, but to suggest that the Prime Directive is or should be more important to the Federation than the drive to explore and expand is taking things to an extreme that wasn't demonstrated on the show. That would be the tail wagging the dog.

The bottom line of the PD is that it was a self-imposed rule that kept our heroes from taking the easy way out in many a situation. Their greatest limitations weren't defined by what they could do, but what they would do.
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Old July 27 2013, 03:32 PM   #44
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

The Old Mixer, Picard&co let a whole species be destroyed rather than interfere - and they were proud about it. In Redemption, the Prime Directive was more important than the future survival of the federation.
The Prime Directive was most definitely taken to that extreme - which was repeatedly demonstrated throughout the shows.
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Old July 27 2013, 03:52 PM   #45
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Re: Is the UFP's expansion at odds with its own ideals?

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
The Old Mixer, Picard&co let a whole species be destroyed rather than interfere - and they were proud about it. In Redemption, the Prime Directive was more important than the future survival of the federation.
The Prime Directive was most definitely taken to that extreme - which was repeatedly demonstrated throughout the shows.
Picard may have chosen to act in this fashion based on the Prime Directive, but there are only a handful of examples of enforcement for violations of the Prime Directive: Omega Glory and Into Darkness. Indeed, Into Darkness is the only example of punishment for violation of the Prime Directive. Without JJ Abrams' interference, there would be no examples of enforcement of the Prime Directive for preventing the extinction of a species. The ethics of interference in extinction would be entirely debatable, and not clearly punishable.
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