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Old March 15 2013, 03:19 PM   #1
Lt. Cheka Wey
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Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

When an other power is about to make first contact with a pre-warp civilisation do they have an obligation to prevent it? Of course i mean if it happens in uncharted space that does not belong to any state. They only have an obligation to stop the first contact from happening if it's militaristic/evil civilisation trying to make first contact? Or even if they are enlightened peaceful species who want to make first contact with a pre-warp civilisation?
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Old March 15 2013, 04:27 PM   #2
SchwEnt
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

I've thought about this many times.

The Prime Directive is Star Fleet General Order #1.
But not everybody is in Star Fleet.

You've got civilian folks like Cyrano Jones and Harry Mudd. They can go about mucking up all kinds of planets, either through malice or ignorance.

Also Orions and Ferengi, doing their thing. And then the aggressive empires, Romulans, Klingons, who will put their own interests ahead of any given new world.

Just because Star Fleet puts the Prime Directive at the top of its list, not everyone else does. How could they stop the galactic interference?
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Old March 15 2013, 04:49 PM   #3
Pavonis
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

As I understand it, the Prime Directive was a general order to all Starfleet personnel directi them not to set themselves up as gods on primitive worlds. Then it became the Federation's foreign policy, even with respect to societies technologically equal to their own. And it seems that Starfleet in the 24th century thinks the PD is an excuse to pretend that they don't exist for the rest of the galaxy. So if Starfleet wants to pretend they don't exist, then stopping other cultures from contacting pre-warp civilizations would be a violation of their Prime Directive.
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Old March 15 2013, 04:52 PM   #4
Jonas Grumby
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

Wouldn't that be deliciously ironic if they did? In pursuit of their vaunted ideal of noble non-interference, they end up widely seen as the local bully trying to tell everyone else what they can and can't do.
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Old March 15 2013, 05:39 PM   #5
Pavonis
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

Shouldn't their "vaunted ideal of non-interference" logically lead them to total isolationism? The Federation of the 24th century seems so afraid of interfering for the worse that they'd be better off ignoring the rest of the galaxy.
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Old March 15 2013, 05:49 PM   #6
Timo
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

The Federation has never been shy to interfere. In TOS, they forced themselves upon the Eminians, sought mining rights from the Capellans, said they'd huff and puff until they got to speak to the Melkotians... In ST:INS, they decided to relocate an iron age settlement without asking anybody for permission.

Just like Pavonis says, it's Starfleet that is kept from doing such things by the Prime Directive. If the civilian government tells them to interfere, they will. If the government doesn't tell them to, they are not allowed to.

It's a pretty good idea to keep the military out of politics...

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Old March 15 2013, 06:17 PM   #7
The Wormhole
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

No, Starfleet does not step in and stop others from making contact with pre-warp civilizations. Such action simply wouldn't be practical.
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Old March 15 2013, 07:18 PM   #8
doubleohfive
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

Why would the Prime Directive apply to worlds or powers outside of the Federation?
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Old March 15 2013, 08:33 PM   #9
T'Girl
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

DATA: "... Starfleet has permitted several civilizations to fall. We have at times allowed the strong and violent to overcome the weak."

Beyond we weren't there at the time, or we were powerless to stop it. Starfleet permitted it to happen. Data is implying that Starfleet was in a position to stop the occurrences, and made the conscious decision not to.

There is a certain harshness to the prime directive.

At it core, it is an inhumane policy, but the the majority of species in the Federation are not Human. In the 24th century, it wasn't simply we won't engage in conquest of the primatives, it goes beyond that to we wouldn't help the primatives in any way, even to stop extinction.

Would Starfleet (hypothetically) have stopped the Vulcan landing upon the Earth in the movie First Contact? True, a small segment of the Human Race had achieved a single warp flight, but the vast majority of Humans alive on Earth were not a "warp drive culture."

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Old March 15 2013, 08:50 PM   #10
Pavonis
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

Starfleet wants events to unfold as if they don't exist. That way they don't need to take responsibility for any negative consequences of their actions. I wonder if something happened in the early 24th century that caused them to expand the scope of the Prime Directive.
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Old March 15 2013, 09:05 PM   #11
T'Girl
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

The PD in the 23rd and 24th centuries wpuld seem to be significantly different. Perhaps there was a major screw up by Starfleet, followed by a political scandal within the Federation, resulting in a change of policy.

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Old March 15 2013, 09:23 PM   #12
Avon
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

the prime directive is a good idea that seems to have gone slightly astray. like america. ooh satire ;D
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Old March 15 2013, 11:19 PM   #13
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

Ironically, the PD prevents Starfleet from interfering with how other space empires treat the various primitive planets. That would be an "internal affair."
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Old March 15 2013, 11:27 PM   #14
Dream
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

Starfleet didn't do anything when the Cardassian Union occupied Bajor and strip mine the planet. It was an internal matter.

I doubt it would have mattered if it had been prewarp.
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Old March 15 2013, 11:52 PM   #15
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

I've wondered in the past if Starfleet would shoot down human missionaries attempting to bring God to some poor unsuspecing pre-warp planet.
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