Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald
rfmcdpei

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[BRIEF NOTE] The Problem with the Federation and the Prime Directive

As depicted in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "First Contact", which saw the abortive first contact with the Malcorians, as soon as the Federation's various remote-monitoring and on-planet espionage units determine that a given planetary population is on the verge of independently developing interstellar flight first contact is initiated. Said surveillance units will ensure that, if anyone from outside tries to intervene whether through conquest or trade, violence or friendliness, the outsiders will be repelled. When all is ready, the planetary government is formally contacted, information about the existence of the Federation exchanged, and if all goes well, the Federation sets up building a constructive relationship with the new planet that will hopefully end in the planet's assimilation into the Federation.

Isn't this a canny sort of imperialism? It's a nice way to co-opt emergent civilizations into your own without risking the development of any competition, all on the Federation's own terms. I know it's silly to be critical of Star Trek, but still. Did Roddenberry realize what he was doing, really?
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