Does Starfleet have to stop other powers First Contact?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lt. Cheka Wey, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Lt. Cheka Wey

    Lt. Cheka Wey Commander

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    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?
     
  2. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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?
     
  3. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  4. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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. :D
     
  5. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    No, Starfleet does not step in and stop others from making contact with pre-warp civilizations. Such action simply wouldn't be practical.
     
  8. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Why would the Prime Directive apply to worlds or powers outside of the Federation?
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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."

    :)
     
  10. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    "I don't care if they're all going to die, I have an election in a few months."

    :)
     
  12. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    the prime directive is a good idea that seems to have gone slightly astray. like america. ooh satire ;D
     
  13. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    Ironically, the PD prevents Starfleet from interfering with how other space empires treat the various primitive planets. That would be an "internal affair."
     
  14. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But if the human missionaries are civilians?

    Can a human not be a member of the Federation?
     
  17. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    if they couldn't take them alive, hopefully they would.
     
  18. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    IMO, the Prime Directive is just a first contact protocol for Starfleet crews. There may be instances in which a non-Starfleet party may also be held accountable for observing the Prime Directive, but I think that party would have to be affiliated with Starfleet in some way for that happen (such as a civilian expert assigned to a Starfleet mission).
     
  19. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't Vash run around pre-warp civilizations looking for valuable artifacts?
     
  20. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    How often would civilians be on the frontier, away from the Federation's core worlds, or just away from warp-capable civilization in general? Missionaries from the Federation would probably open up shop on Cardassian, Klingon, or even Ferengi worlds before bothering with primitives, wouldn't they? Else the missionaries would have to explain how they're not gods, even though they appeared miraculously from thin air and even though they command other god-like powers, they're just representing for God. Seems like a headache for the missionaries, and counter-productive as far spreading the Good Word is concerned. Unless it isn't a sin to pretend to be the Messiah to primitives....