UFP out of state research stations

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Prometheus Unbound
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Re: UFP out of state research stations

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2016-03-14 08:20am

Darmalus wrote:Unless there's been a rewrite, the Cardassians were a space-faring (or at least world-spanning) civilization and would have been a shoe-in for UFP membership before their civilization collapsed due to lack of resources. That's when they went the route of military dictatorship. Assuming it's all true, it sounds like they would have been nice neighbors assuming the Breen or someone else didn't come in guns blazing and make them paranoid and xenophobic via another route.
It seemed in Chain of Command, that the changes had happened during his lifetime, as well. The Military took over when Madred was a kid. Described as artists, philosophers and writers, it's probably why we didn't see them in TOS - they kept to themselves, didn't get involved in conflicts.
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Re: UFP out of state research stations

Post by Khaat » 2016-03-14 11:51am

Simon_Jester wrote:1) The Prime Directive was rather less 'prime' back in TOS, and appears to have been aimed almost entirely at preventing technology transfer or the provision of scientific data that might inspire cultures to develop advanced weapons and space travel at an early stage in their cultural development. This is understandable; the Federation already has to deal with one bunch of medieval crazies in starships, and the Klingons are a handful as it is. Also, the instances we DO have of aliens getting their hands on human cultural information in TOS are fairly disastrous, what with planets of Nazis and gangsters. But despite this, in Kirk's era we see no sign that, say, blowing up the computer that's mind controlling a bunch of alien colonists counts as a Prime Directive violation. It just doesn't come up- it seems to be the sort of thing that Starfleet captains are entitled to do at their own discretion.
Actually, Kirk's excuse for interference in Return of the Archons was "it's not a living and growing culture". (What can I say, I've been watching these)
Wiki wrote:"The Return of the Archons" introduces for the first time the Federation's Prime Directive. However, an important modification is made to the absolutist non-interference rule almost immediately. Kirk argues that the Prime Directive does not bar interference with other cultures, but rather bars interference only with a "living and growing" culture (Kirk's words in the episode). ...
Indeed, the Prime Directive would only truly be honored during the series in the episode "Bread and Circuses".[/b]
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Re: UFP out of state research stations

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-03-14 12:19pm

This suggests that the main goal of the Prime Directive in Kirk's era is to prevent technology transfer (the rule Kirk is breaking when he passes out muskets to primitive tribesmen in one episode), with a side-order of not actively distorting culture (the rule that one mad sociologist broke by turning an alien planet into Planet of the Nazis).

Whereas societies which are essentially the property of some alien superbeing, or which haven't changed in five thousand years, are not developing and are not evolving, and there's nothing to interfere with. Frankly I think this is a reasonable attitude- it is reasonable to blow up the alien god's temple to save your starship even if that constitutes "interfering with the culture" of the local population.
Darmalus wrote:Unless there's been a rewrite, the Cardassians were a space-faring (or at least world-spanning) civilization and would have been a shoe-in for UFP membership before their civilization collapsed due to lack of resources. That's when they went the route of military dictatorship. Assuming it's all true, it sounds like they would have been nice neighbors assuming the Breen or someone else didn't come in guns blazing and make them paranoid and xenophobic via another route.
Aaaaah. I had missed this part of the Cardassians' backstory.
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Re: UFP out of state research stations

Post by Darmalus » 2016-03-14 02:16pm

If I had to guess, I'd say that the technology available in Star Trek makes having an (apparently) idyllic society easy, since you can give everyone food, housing, healthcare, luxuries, and so forth with minimal effort. But if the society doesn't have a strong... what am I looking for here, ethos? philosophy? Then if that gets disrupted then shit can hit the fan in a hurry. I'm looking at the Cardassians and Yar's homeworld.

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Re: UFP out of state research stations

Post by Khaat » 2016-03-14 02:50pm

So the whole "sacrifice yourself and your crew if necessary to uphold the Prime Directive" is just PR spin?

The Prime Directive answers the Big Question:
"What right do we have to make them into us in any way?"
The UFP/Starfleet standing order answer is:
"None, hands off!"

Not "None, unless you really want to. For humanitarian reasons. They shouldn't want to live in teepees anyway, they'll enjoy being civilized. It would have been worse if I hadn't. I Disagreed With Themtm."

The Prime Directive is violated all the time for storytelling reasons only. It is the biggest strawman ever.
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Re: UFP out of state research stations

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-03-14 08:27pm

This is a fair point. The problem, frankly, is that the Prime Directive seems dumb to too much of the viewerbase, so that characters become unsympathetic to the audience if they enforce it too rigorously (e.g. letting characters die for it). Thus, it becomes more useful as a source of tension*, rather than as the actual driving ideal motivating Starfleet's actions. Plus, of course, it makes a lot less sense why they're even bothering to explore in the first place if their most sacred directive is to avoid and ignore a large fraction of the stuff they find.

*As in, oooh, this is the big bad Stupid Regulation our heroes have to think of a way around!
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Re: UFP out of state research stations

Post by Khaat » 2016-03-15 03:49pm

I would have to imagine that as every loss of a ship includes a Court Martial (even if only to make sure every possible means of preventing the loss was taken), there would be routine Prime Directive Courts Martial: Kirk would have been spending half his career in a court room defending the other half.

But I guess Administrative Review of Captain's Logs by Senior Officers is the most we would expect the writers to do (Court Martial TOS, Star Trek Into Darkness). For all the crap flung at nuTrek, at least they got The Prime Directive Is Important right.
Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.

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