Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 26, 2013.
It's different like vanilla and strawberry are different, but they are both flavours of ice cream.
Politics. Pragmatic considerations. The Cardassians could make good allies, etc. As noted before, DS9 was a deconstruction of the Trek philosophies. The Federation was just being practical.
In TOS the PD was about interference, not contact per say. In TNG the PD was largely a paternalistic and condescending piece of garbage.
Yeah I wonder what changed in-universe about it between the two.
I'll never get why the TNG PD is so despised. What, you think the Feds should go around handing out Warp Cores to Cavemen or something?
It went quite a bit further than that, you have to admit.
It took the process of evolution, a biological process, and not only applied it to culture but treated evolution like an inviolable religion. The attitude expressed in the TNG Prime Directive begged the question what the Federation was doing exploring space at all? In TOS the concern was that the cultures contacted were not to have their control and autonomy imposed on or controlled, in short to avoid imperialistic colonization of indigenous people. In TNG, the Prime Directive treated culture as a biological process rather than as a social construct. Contact was changed from being a social interaction and became an issue of hygiene with fears of contamination and infection.
The lord had some public functions, namely policing of his lands, but the manor and his domain were still money making enterprises. This allowed the lord to exert autonomy from the real government of the feudal era, the kingdom.
Part of it is the Prime Directive was CREATED to be defied and provide some dramatic tension.
It's treated as if it has actual moral substance in TNG, despite literally being made to be a stupid rule.
As stated above, one good reason for the Fed to intervene: The Klingons were docked at DS9 before they left to invade Cardassia, which could have put the Fed in an awkward position.
Some reasons they didn't have to intervene: Cardassia was involved in so many schemes to violate the treaty that you have to wonder if it was worth it.
One moral question for the Fed is why they would sign a treaty or ally themselves with a power that practiced genocide and mass oppression in the first place.
Unlike with Bajor, the Fed refused to sit by when it came to the Cardassia.
In one episode they provided a 12 industrial replicators with military support. Kira said Bajor only got 2?
It seems unfair that a power that brutalized millions of people, gets priority treatment while others who are more peaceful and willing get secondary treatment.
Creating a silly rule just to do a "Break the Rules!" episode is a lazy writing tactic. Creating a rule that makes sense and is respected, yet still might have to be violated for dramatic purposes is less lazy.
^ I actually think the Prime Directive was lazy writing, at least for a writer of Gene Coon's caliber. While I don't know what it would be (I don't claim to be near the writer Gene Coon was), I still find it hard to believe that he couldn't have come up with a more elegant solution to the need to tie our heroes technologically god-like hands in certain episodes. Something with less potential to cause story problems down the line.
Although, to be fair to Coon, the TOS Prime Directive was much more elegant and non-intrusive than the TNG-and-later version.
The sheer number of Lazy writing cheats from TOS would take days to list, let alone talk of fixing, and it was still a good show as a result.
And yet TNG Prime Directive is the one everyone hates.
There's a line from Into Darkness from Pike that bugged me a bit as well, when he said Kirk's actions on Nibiru interfered with the planet's "destiny", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.
Yeah, That's the TNG Prime Directive attitude. The volcano was going to create a planet sized extinction event, presumably, but Kirk stopping that and saving the civilization there is bad. In TOS, they had no such issues in saving Miramanee's people.
I think that opening scene in STID was deliberately MEANT to be a not so subtle criticism of the TNG PD.
Picard would have been arguing that the volcano was "meant" to destroy that civilization or some similar nonsense.
That's typical of written characters _and_ real-life people, though: changing a "will" into an "ought".
But I'd like Picard to explain to me how letting an entire civilisation die off forever is better than allowing them a chance to reach the stars one day, if the price to pay is them seeing some magical technology.
Do you think the caveman is inferior somehow to the average person in the Federatiom?
^ You make a good point. It's that superior, paternalistic attitude so often depicted in TNG that irks me.
In TOS, when Jim Kirk encountered Captain Christopher in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday," he didn't treat him like some kind of simpleton or child. He didn't feel any need to pat him on the head and "re-educate" him.
The Whole is greater than the Sum of its parts?
Because it showed up more, and was treated as something folks respected and were expected to follow whereas TOS' was more a background thing that the audience wasn't expected to pay much attention to.
It's easy to hate something upfront compared to a background thing no one paid much attention to in the first place.
Folks from their present time will always consider themselves superior to folks from the past, that's just human nature.
Besides, Captain Christopher was in some ways a historical figure (or at least related to one) and thus would be respected more than some random yobo they ran into (like the Neutral Zone Cryo-Chamber folks).
Separate names with a comma.