The prime directive

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by safarial, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. safarial

    safarial Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    how, why, and when did Kirk break it, or twist it?
     
  2. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    how, why and when did Kirk keep it? ;) :p
     
  3. voggmo

    voggmo Commodore

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    There have been instances where the Federation itself has apparently "forgotten" about the Prime Directive. One such was when Captain Kirk was ordered to open negotiations with the [COLOR=#002bb8]Capellans[/COLOR] for a valuable ore, despite the culture being a pre-warp civilization. ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]Friday's Child[/COLOR]") Another was when Kirk was ordered to organize the defense of the planet [COLOR=#002bb8]Organia[/COLOR], despite the appearance that the inhabitants were a pre-warp civilization. It could be argued, however, that with the impending Klingon invasion of the planet, that the Directive was rendered moot at that point. ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]Errand of Mercy[/COLOR]")
     
  4. voggmo

    voggmo Commodore

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    There are two general exceptions to the Prime Directive:
    The first is in cases where an extreme threat to the Federation exists. [COLOR=#002bb8]General Order 24[/COLOR] authorizes a [COLOR=#002bb8]Captain[/COLOR] to order the destruction of an entire civilization under certain circumstances. ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]A Taste of Armageddon[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]Whom Gods Destroy[/COLOR]") The "[COLOR=#002bb8]Omega Directive[/COLOR]" is triggered when a Starfleet vessel encounters an [COLOR=#002bb8]Omega molecule[/COLOR]. When the Omega Directive is in force, the Prime Directive is rescinded. (Due to issues of security, only Starfleet officers ranked [COLOR=#002bb8]Captain[/COLOR] and above are privy to knowledge of this directive.) ([COLOR=#002bb8]VOY[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]The Omega Directive[/COLOR]")
    The second is in the event that a protected civilization has already been exposed to the knowledge of superior technologies and off-world civilizations. ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]A Piece of the Action[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]A Private Little War[/COLOR]")
    Some Starfleet Captains, including [COLOR=#002bb8]James T. Kirk[/COLOR], [COLOR=#002bb8]Jean-Luc Picard[/COLOR] and [COLOR=#002bb8]Kathryn Janeway[/COLOR] have noted that the Prime Directive only applies to living growing civilizations and have overlooked the directive where it has been more convenient to do so, particularly in cases where societies have been enslaved or in a state of total stagnation (also known as an [COLOR=#002bb8]arrested culture[/COLOR]). ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]Errand of Mercy[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]The Return of the Archons[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]The Apple[/COLOR]")
    The Starfleet also had no qualms about dealing openly with civilizations that, while possessing the requisite knowledge of advanced technology, choose not to make use of it. An example of such a culture would be the [COLOR=#002bb8]Ba'ku[/COLOR]. Though the Ba'ku were initially treated as "protected" by the Prime Directive ([COLOR=#002bb8]Admiral Dougherty[/COLOR]'s and the [COLOR=#002bb8]Son'a[/COLOR]'s machinations aside) due to the appearance that they were a pre-warp culture, it later became known that they in fact were not.
     
  5. voggmo

    voggmo Commodore

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    Jeez, whats with all the "COLOR" thingies.
     
  6. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Since changing color and font have been disabled within vBulletin, you have to eliminate any changes in them if you paste something in from another website.
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Then please do so.
     
  8. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    (edited to remove [COLOR] tags)

    Restricting contact to civilizations which had developed warp drive was never a condition of the PD during ST. That is strictly a TNG invention.
     
  9. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hope this helps. I think you have chosen a good topic. Perhaps now more people will read and post responses.
     
  10. pookha

    pookha Admiral Admiral

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    there are ways to easily deal with fridays child and errand of mercy.
    that other species, civilizations, traders made earlier contract with the people on both planets before the federation got to them.
    we know with errand of mercy there had been earlier surveys of the planet. spock mentions how contradictory they seem at different points in the story.

    the same situation also seems to exist in fridays child.


    as for return of the archons and apple there could be a dispute if the planets culture had already been hurt by the supercomputers running them.

    what is interesting in both cases after enterprise left kirk dosnt just leave the people without help.

    but rather leaves behind teams of different experts to help the people make the transition.
     
  11. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is nothing in General Order #1 about "pre-warp" - that was TNG stuff. If we're going to talk about it, let's use it as it was used in this series.

    EDIT: Ah. Arex beat me to it.
    You know, TOS was the only show to actually quote part of the PD, yet so many people have trouble understanding it.
     
  12. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    No, in TOS it applied ONLY to pre-warp civilizations - as in, it exists to ensure their natural development. It's TNG and beyond that suddenly says; hey, you know what, it applies to everyone! Yay!

    Just because someone, Starfleet Command or the Federation Council decided that the benefits for breaking the Prime Directive outweigh the drawbacks, does not mean that the Prime Directive does not exist.

    It's during TNG times and beyond that they elevated the PD to an unbreakable religious law to be broken at the peril of burning in hell. During TOS, they treated it, rightly, as guideline that could, and should be broken if it was required, but only with the utmost caution.
     
  13. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You and I don't disagree here; my point was only that there was no reference to warp drive as the splitting point.
     
  14. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I can see both sides of the debate, that is, the Prime Directive as applied in TOS and as applied in TNG.

    I would speculate that by the 24th century, the Federation revisited the idea of the PD, perhaps as they might have by that time evidence that interfering with pre-warp civilizations wasn't a good thing.

    One thing I do recall: Not once do we see Kirk throw up his hands and say, "Well, we have to move on. The Prime Directive means we have to pull our stakes up and go on the next mission." So it seems to be the PD was always being interpreted in favor of intervention!

    Hmm!

    Red Ranger
     
  15. Philo

    Philo Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I much preferred TOS's take on the Prime Directive. I hated it in the later shows when the writers would ignore the spirit of the thing just so they could use it as a crutch to create drama.

    And then whine about how much of a constraint it was. ;)
     
  16. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Did they really whine about that? If so, I've never seen evidence of that, certainly not in how it was used in the more clever TNG eps. I think one of the best TNG uses of the PD was in Symbiosis. Sure the ending wasn't ideal, but it meant that eventually, one society would be able to free itself from its enslavement by another, albeit at great suffering. I think good drama is inherent in both versions, frankly. -- RR
     
  17. Philo

    Philo Commodore Commodore

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    No, I agree with you completely and it's for those reasons that I'm actually one of the few who likes that episode (even the "drugs are bad, m'kay?" speech doesn't bother me).

    I'm really not sure I've ever heard of the writers complaining specifically about the PD but it seems like something on the list of things I know they have complained about and it's for that that I was just taking a lighthearted dig at them.
     
  18. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Got you. I'm certain there are plenty of fans who've complained! Damn whiners! LOL! -- RR
     
  19. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Actually, it applied to everyone in ST as well, unless the non-interference directive is different from the PD otherwise Ardana, a UFP member, wouldn't have been able to have their stratified society. Certainly, UFP membership requirements are different in TNG than ST.

    By the 24th century, the PD had become a shield for Starfleet to hide behind. An episode like "Homeward" illustrates that with Picard ready to let a culture die rather than save what he could. Clearly a case where the PD should have been dropped. It's meant to allow civilizations develop at their own pace, not be some Darwinian maximum where a Starfleet crew can look at a people in distress and say "Sucks to be you". By that reasoning, Kirk should have let Yonada splatter Daran V.

    Tolerating a caste system, even arguably slavery is one thing, the TNG UFP turns a similar blind eye to the Klingon Empire in order to preserve the alliance, but passivity in the face of a culture's extinction is another.
     
  20. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    That has nothing to do with the PD. That's a simple thing that the members get to self-govern as long as they abide by several minimum moral and ethical standards.

    The moment Kirk and Spock find out they are breaking those mimnim moral and ethical standards, they have no problem interfering and changing the place for the better.

    That's what I said.
     

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