But what gave Vaal's builders any more right to impose their values and morals on the Triangulans? Kirk interfered to eliminate someone else's interference, and afterward left the Triangulans free to determine their own future. Sure, maybe there's a certain "White Man's Burden" mentality in believing it was his place to save them, but I think what Vaal's builders did was far worse. They enslaved the Triangulans, Kirk set them free. Despite how TNG dumbed it down, the Prime Directive was not meant to be an absolutist, rigid rule. Every situation is different and a useful rule needs to be adaptable. Captains in the field are expected to use their judgment in determining how to interpret and apply the regulations, because they're actually on the scene and better able to assess each situation than the lawmakers back home. Seriously, tell me: what do you think a captain should do when he comes upon a planet where someone else is egregiously violating the Prime Directive and enslaving or controlling the natives? How do you uphold the Prime Directive by turning a blind eye to another's violation of it?