Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Greystone_06, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    It is fair to say that some of Kirk's command [SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]decisions flew in the face of the prime directive; some were nothing sort of criminal. Others were ill considered, based on personal prejudice fuelled by the intolerant Dr McCoy and his arrogant 'It doesn't work for me, so let's change it...' attitude. [/FONT][/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]And this was invariably the reaction to what was an entire established 'way of life'. Just the sort of thing the Prime Directive was introduced to prevent. [/FONT][/SIZE]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Kirk lacks the maturity and objective judgement to handle the difficult situations he finds thrust upon him. His decisions are impulsive and lack the structure of a long term plan. His heart is in the moment and rarely thinks beyond it. He claims to be impartial and free of prejudice and yet in case after case these decisions are clearly based on the aforementioned factors.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Aided and abetted as he was by a man whose very sanity could well at times be called to question. A man who would argue a problem from one aspect only to change horses mid stream should someone with pointed ears agree with him… the inestimable Dr ‘Bones’ McCoy. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]And yet Starfleet must have been compliant in Kirk’s cavalier attitude towards the prime directive. He sent them reports, unless of course these reports were composed in such a way to hide the true nature of his actions. Leading to the inevitable conclusion that the senior staff were also prepared to mislead in order to protect their Captain.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]The Apple is a perfect case study. It may not be the ideal situation but the prime directive would insist that the Enterprise in this scenario was expendable. Kirk’s not having that, no, in his eyes, encouraged by McCoy; it is Vaal who must go at the cost of an established way of life.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]So what separates Kirk from Tracey? [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Fortune it seems. Bend the rules and succeed and you are a hero, bend them and fail…[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Well, we’ve all seen where that goes.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]I’m not sure the Starfleet of NG would have condoned that view.[/FONT][/SIZE]
     
  2. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Can you make that less readable, please?
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    You can only really judge Kirk's action based on the PD as it existed in that era, comparrisons with the PD as it stood in Picard's era are unfair.

    After all lmany laws they evolve over time, new cavets are added due to unforseen circumstances having arisen and being resolved. So what was within the law in 2267 might not be within the law in 2367. Training during the Academy days would have reflected this change within in Starfleet and as such they would have been taught what was within the rules and what wasn't.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This is a mess, but here we go...

    Obviously the decisions were so criminal they saw fit to make Kirk 'Chief of Operations' of Starfleet.

    In every instance Kirk was on the defensive, not taking action unless attacked. Protecting the 430 lives he was responsible for was the long-term plan. If Vaal didn't want to get fucked up he should have allowed Kirk and the Enterprise to leave (which Kirk attempted to do) before attacking.

    Because changing your mind in light of new information is a terrible quality to have.

    So every person on every landing party filed false logs?

    Kirk attempted to leave Gamma Trianguli VI, but Vaal intervened. When Vaal proved to have the ability to pull starships from orbit, he became a hazard (just like Landru). Just because the people are primitive, doesn't mean the controlling power is. Besides we have no proof of any humanoid life beyond that village. Kirk is suppose to allow 430 people to die to protect a few slaves?

    Quite a bit. Kirk never instigated change for the sake of change but as a response to attacks on his crew or his ship. You can't fault the guy for going to these places because he was ordered there.

    You have no evidence that Kirk bent the rules... even a little bit. Since none of us knows exactly whats in the text of the Prime Directive.

    We know what Janeway thinks. We also know from Janeway that there are forty-seven subsections of the Prime Directive. Every action Kirk took could very well be covered by those. Or they could be a direct result of Kirk encountering circumstances that the writers never envisioned.

    Thanks for playing. Next.
     
  5. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, the Starfleet of NG would've condoned the view that it was okay to let entire civilizations die instead of doing it's best to save even one member of that civilization. See "Pen Pals" and the one with Worf's brother. If it weren't for people (not Picard, until he had no choice, by the way)breaking the rules, those ENTIRE species would be dead.

    And yeah, Kirk would've broken the rules to save those lives. So if you're trying to show how "enlightened" the 24th Century was, you failed right out of the gate.

    Also, learn how to use the "preview" button when posting, it'll help prevent messes like that.
     
  6. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What bullshit is this? Troll much?
    Might want to actually watch the show sometime.
    And you also might want to get a handle on what General Order #1 was all about, before modern trek perverted it.
     
  7. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    He's entitled to his opinion. Back off with the personal stuff.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It is fair to say that some of Kirk's command decisions flew in the face of the prime directive; some were nothing sort of criminal. Others were ill considered, based on personal prejudice fueled by the intolerant Dr McCoy and his arrogant 'It doesn't work for me, so let's change it...' attitude.

    And this was invariably the reaction to what was an entire established 'way of life'. Just the sort of thing the Prime Directive was introduced to prevent.

    Kirk lacks the maturity and objective judgement to handle the difficult situations he finds thrust upon him. His decisions are impulsive and lack the structure of a long term plan. His heart is in the moment and rarely thinks beyond it. He claims to be impartial and free of prejudice and yet in case after case these decisions are clearly based on the aforementioned factors.

    Aided and abetted as he was by a man whose very sanity could well at times be called to question. A man who would argue a problem from one aspect only to change horses mid stream should someone with pointed ears agree with him… the inestimable Dr ‘Bones’ McCoy.

    And yet Starfleet must have been compliant in Kirk’s cavalier attitude towards the prime directive. He sent them reports, unless of course these reports were composed in such a way to hide the true nature of his actions. Leading to the inevitable conclusion that the senior staff were also prepared to mislead in order to protect their Captain.

    The Apple is a perfect case study. It may not be the ideal situation but the prime directive would insist that the Enterprise in this scenario was expendable. Kirk’s not having that, no, in his eyes, encouraged by McCoy; it is Vaal who must go at the cost of an established way of life.

    So what separates Kirk from Tracey?

    Fortune it seems. Bend the rules and succeed and you are a hero, bend them and fail.

    Well, we’ve all seen where that goes.

    I’m not sure the Starfleet of NG would have condoned that view.

    ***************************************

    We've seen the prime directive change over time, the episode where Spock said that Starfleet personnel would die to prevent violating the PD was six months after The Apple. A mere half dozen episodes prior (A Private Little War) this interpretation apparently didn't exist yet. In a episode five months after Bread And Circuses the "die before breaking the prime directive" aspect was again absent.

    One point of view would be the prime directive is subject to constant change.

    But you might be correct with one point, Starfleet being complicit in Kirk's "violations." In Court Martial, Kirk testimony included: "... the steps I took in the order I took them were absolutely necessary if I were to save my ship. And nothing is more important than my ship."

    This last could reflect a different directive, one straight from Starfleet command. A Starship represents a considerable asset, one that had to be preserved.

    Kirk lacks the maturity and objective judgement to ...

    Please don't confuse Shatner's Kirk, with Pine's Kirk. Kirk is (fairly) consistently shown to be a wise and considered commander, he is also a compassionate man. These are the factors that guide his decisions and actions.

    :)
     
  9. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In TOS it wasn't some nebulous philosophy. It was a codified military regulation. General Order #1. It had specific rules for what to do and what not to do. McCoy and Kirk quote part of it in Bread and Circuses.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What's interesting... and what we'll never know, is how does the Prime Directive relate to a Captain who is put in the unenviable position of dealing with a prior contamination? What type of latitude does he have in correcting the prior contamination?

    Kirk does seem to have pretty broad authority in A Piece of the Action.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A lot of the "interference" Kirk does is in situations that he was already thrust into. Also, he was frequently dealing as BillJ mentions, with cultures that were already "contaminated," so Kirk felt he had wide latitude to act in the best interests of that culture.

    And it should be repeatedly pointed out that the PD has been written as wildly inconsistent. The TOS PD is NOTHING like the TNG PD. It's much more flexible and it allows for helping primitive societies at risk from natural disasters.(TPS) Even the PD in modern Trek has not stayed consistent within its own era, so judging Kirk's actions by the ludicrous TNG-era PD is unfair.
     
  12. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    I took the liberty of cleaning up the OP's post. Such html chaos can occur on some devices such as mobile phones and tablet PCs and isn't the users fault, because it doesn't always display the coding.


     
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just about the only time that TOS brought up the Prime Directive was to create conflict for Kirk so that he could then demonstrate what a clever and kick-ass dude he was by either going around it or thumbing his nose at it.

    If the rule hadn't created a few moments of dramatic conflict it would never have been invented at all.
     
  14. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    "A Piece of the Action" is a good example. A society contaminated by the presence of a book left behind by the Federation. Kirk does interfere with their society to a degree, but it's done as a means of undoing the damage that had already been done. By the Federation taking a 40% cut of their economy, the money can be redistributed back to them so they may create their own civil society and not one based on an Earth culture.
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And Spock looks askance at such an improvised solution - tantamount to "taking over the whole ball of wax," as Kirk put it - and Kirk laughs it off. So he broke the PD again - who cares? :lol:
     
  16. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    If Kirk had been present, VOY would have ended a lot sooner...

    Janeway: "Mr Tuvok arm the tricobalt devices"
    Kirk: "Hold on a minute, you can't seriously be considering destroying your only way home?!"
    Janeway: "I have no choice, the Prime Direct..."
    Kirk: "Fuck the Prime Directive! Tuvok, hail the Kazon ships and inform them who I am, then modify some torpedos with a time delay detonation and Harry, get over to the array and reprogram it to send the ship back.
    Janeway: "But what if the Kazon disarm the torpedos?"
    Kirk: "They won't, have you not realised how incredibly stupid they actually are?"
    Janeway: "Yes you are right, fuck the Prime Directive!"

    Everybody including Tuvok laugh as the crew surround Kirk in a befriending manner and we go to credits.
     
  17. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I like your version better.
     
  18. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    In every instance Kirk was on the defensive, not taking action unless attacked. Protecting the 430 lives he was responsible for was the long-term plan. If Vaal didn't want to get fucked up he should have allowed Kirk and the Enterprise to leave (which Kirk attempted to do) before attacking.


    Wow, now there is a statement. That reminds me of the old song: 'We come in peace, shoot to kill!' Yes Kirk does have a responsibility to the crew, and I'm not even saying I would have dealt with the situation in a different way. But each member of that crew had taken an oath to lay down their lives rather than infringe the prime directive and Kirk, being the senior officer also had a responsibilty to the indigenous population of the planet. Not to take action based on personal interest or judge their civilisation by human standards.



    Because changing your mind in light of new information is a terrible quality to have.

    Come, come. If Spock was arguing that blue was blue, McCoy would have insisted it was black.



    So every person on every landing party filed false logs?

    I can only speculate.



    Kirk attempted to leave Gamma Trianguli VI, but Vaal intervened. When Vaal proved to have the ability to pull starships from orbit, he became a hazard (just like Landru). Just because the people are primitive, doesn't mean the controlling power is. Besides we have no proof of any humanoid life beyond that village. Kirk is suppose to allow 430 people to die to protect a few slaves?

    I don't write the letter of the law, nor does Kirk. Regulations exsist for a reason.



    Quite a bit. Kirk never instigated change for the sake of change but as a response to attacks on his crew or his ship. You can't fault the guy for going to these places because he was ordered there.

    I agree, but again regulations don't just exsist for times when everything is going well.

    You have no evidence that Kirk bent the rules... even a little bit. Since none of us knows exactly whats in the text of the Prime Directive.

    Perhaps, but I am pretty sure the above answer covers this statement.

    We know what Janeway thinks. We also know from Janeway that there are forty-seven subsections of the Prime Directive. Every action Kirk took could very well be covered by those. Or they could be a direct result of Kirk encountering circumstances that the writers never envisioned.

    Thanks for playing. Next.[/QUOTE]

    Don't get me wrong here, I'm not anti Kirk at all. I just find it interesting how attitudes and 'spin' have changed over time.
     
  19. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I thought I'd done quite well, lol.

    I don't know what happened. I had to break off half way through so I saved the comment to a file and when finished cut and pasted it in.

    I was surprised by the result. :guffaw:
     
  20. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Agreed, these were very different times.