Why Star Trek’s Prime Directive Could Never be Enforced

The future as imagined by Gene Roddenberry was ruled by law, at least for the United Federation of Planets’ exploration, diplomacy, and defense entity known as Starfleet. Over the course of the original Star Trek TV series (and subsequent series), we heard references to the Prime Directive, which was an order to “not interfere in the natural cultural and scientific development of a civilization, particularly those that are pre-warp.” That created a fine line to walk for a spaceship crew whose mission was to to explore strange new worlds and to seek out new life and new civilizations. The Enterprise crew violated the Prime Directive almost weekly, but still used the order to moderate their decisions at times.   

When Star Trek premiered on television 50 years ago today, many of the young people watching grew up to be lifelong Trek fans. Some became lawyers. Ars Technica consulted some of those lawyers who are well-versed in Star Trek lore to explain and give their opinions on the Prime Directive and how it would work for the earth in 2016. In a nutshell, it wouldn’t. Read the reasons why at Ars Technica.

-via John Farrier

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Star Trek has been part of my viewing pleasure since its inception. I liked the first of the new "prequel" movies too. Well done. Eventually they have to run out of dilithium crystals.
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