Organia and the Prime Directive

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by golddragon71, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The Prime Directive clearly doesn't even begin to apply in "Errand of Mercy" or "A Private Little War" - it's simply not among the issues our disciplined and trained heroes would consider relevant to the situation, and is never mentioned. Is this because our heroes bend or break regulations, or because the regulations do not involve the PD in any way?

    The latter explanation sounds more likely, considering Kirk isn't a criminal or a rogue. Also, none of the other episodes featuring the Prime Directive even remotely suggest that the PD would exist in order to protect "virgin" cultures from exposure to the interstellar community. In "Errand of Mercy", the PD is a tactical guide on how to best infiltrate a pre-starflight civilization; in "The Apple" and "Return of the Archons", it is a word in favor of local right of self-determination, shouted down because the locals weren't determining themselves right. In "Omega Glory", the PD just states that Starfleet skippers shouldn't declare outright war on the locals...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Prime Directive had to at least come up in conversation when first contact with the "Private Little War" natives was discussed. They definitely were a pre warp civilization.
     
  3. golddragon71

    golddragon71 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yet, note the differences in exchanges Between Kirk and Ayelborne in EoM and Kirk and Septimus in Bread and Circuses.

    Ayelborne: You are visitors. Welcome, welcome. I am Ayelborne.
    Kirk: I am Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, Representing the United Federation of Planets, This is my First officer Mr. Spock.

    Now Here Kirk makes no attempt to hide who and what he is from a "so-called primitive culture and not only does he do so but he does so fully expecting Ayelborne to understand all the concepts of Other worlds, space flight etc.... in a culture that is visibly on a bar with 11th or even 12th Century Earth whereas in Breads and Circuses we see this conversation...

    Kirk: Perhaps you heard,let's say an impossible story, or a rumor, of men who came from the sky, or from other worlds.
    Septimus: there are no "other" worlds.
    Kirk: The stars!
    Septimus: Lights. Shining through from Heaven. It is where the Sun is. Blessed be the Sun

    Now Kirk makes no attempt to correct him on this of course (thereby obeying the PD) However, it's interesting to note that these Worshippers of the Sun (or Son as it turns out) not only are a Pre-Warp and in fact Pre-Space travel civilization but they also have absolutely no intention of recognizing even the existence of any world outside of their own! Despite the fact that this world is more closely developed to Earth in the 20th Century and would (at the level of development they were at) have been far more receptive in most cases of accepting the idea that they were not the center of the universe. (I mean, there had to be some astronomers on that planet!)
     
  4. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well to be fair their mission end seemed to be just to study some of the planets for medical reasearch or something and they probably weren't even planing on talking to the locals until they showed up ans shot Spock with guns they weren't supposed to have yet.

    After that Kirk took the liberty of trying to blend in on the next trip down while he was investigating just what the hack was going on.

    Also the Prime Directive did factor into it, Kirk only told the one guy he was from space a swore him to secrecy about it, his wife only found out from watching McCoy use a phaser.

    Plus it seems some form of a Prime Directive like rule was part of the Organian Peace Treaty as the Klingon Empire's advancing one of the faction was a violation of the treaty.
     
  5. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    And that's the rub. Unless the Federation puts all its resources into picket ships and blockades around systems of pre-warp (or just skip that retcon, call it normally developing worlds), then what is to stop Harry Mudd or Ferengi or Cyrano Jones from waltzing in and telling all about the galaxy or the quadrant? Or selling them impulse engines, or warp drive for that matter?

    PD is utterly unenforcable, except with respect to Starfleet personnel (with obvious exceptions.) Also it is ridiculous, and as a villain of ethical stature in early Bantam Trek novels put forth, "a policy of mass murder."

    The other thing to keep in mind here is that B&C was credited to both Coon & GR. So you have the guy who came up with the prime directive (and the klingons, and pretty much everything else of enduring interest and value) being rewritten by the series creator, so there's no telling how the PD worked in earlier drafts. Could be they were both on the same page -- it's easy to see B&C as a reflection of their feelings about the network, censorship and the industry as a whole, and the show remains one of the more biting bits of satire in the whole run.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Conversely, since the PD was not mentioned, we might just as well deduce that it has absolutely nothing to do with the pre-warp or post-warp status of civilizations. After all, nowhere in TOS was such a connection actually suggested.

    Which is not a problem. It's a Starfleet regulation, so let it affect Starfleet only. TOS doesn't indicate it would be in place to protect natives from exposure - the only insight into why it exists is "The Apple" where it is to keep Starfleet from collapsing the governments or lifestyles of natives, regardless of their level of technology or exposure to the interstellar community. Essentially, it's a simple "Starfleet can't play God, even though it would be so ridiculously easy" rule to keep starship captains from misusing their powers.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It was established that Kirk met Tyree 13 years prior to the episode. Shooting Spock has nothing to do with establishing first contact with this particular pre-industrial civilization.
     
  8. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, the one guy he told he was from space to and from ehat it sounds like he swore to secrecy about it and for all we know it happened as a result of an unavoidable situation.