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talljasperman's avatar

Should the prime directive apply to first world countries right here right now?

Asked by talljasperman (21875points) September 1st, 2010

continuing from

should places like the U.S. , Russia, china, India etc… be banned from interfering with pre-industrialized countries

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9 Answers

hobbitsubculture's avatar

Yes! I was saying this to my partner just the other week. There are so many cases where civilized intervention has caused enormous problems in unindustrialized societies. Diabetes has risen dramatically in Inuit populations who are unable to maintain their traditional diets. This started when the Canadian government began forcing rations onto them, and then compulsory schooling caused a decline in the population’s ability to pass on the skills that would have allowed them to better maintain their traditional diet and way of life.

Imagine if there had been a Prime Directive in effect a few hundred years ago. What if the African Diaspora could have been prevented? I think tragedies such as that are what inspired Roddenberry & co to come up with the Prime Directive in the first place.

lillycoyote's avatar

If banning what one country should do to any other country were possible then any country should be banned from exploiting another country; no country should be banned from actually helping another country, IMHO.

Nullo's avatar

I think that it would be good for first-world countries to observe this Prime Directive of their own initiative. I do not, however, like the idea of banning, since that requires an actual supranational entity, and I don’t like supranational entities, since their purpose is to subvert a nation’s sovereignty.
I heard about the State Dept. essentially accusing Arizona of human rights violations before the U.N., and I was appalled.

hobbitsubculture's avatar

However, the nations whose sovereignty would be subverted have already subverted the autonomy of numerous cultural regions. In some cases, these have been cultures that would have been protected under a Prime Directive. I agree that actually instituting the Prime Directive would be problematic at best. I guess I’m kind of playing devil’s advocate here, as I tend more towards an anarchist philosophy. But it looks like we’re stuck with these giant governments, so it would be nice to see them voluntarily adopt something that might prevent further suffering.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Yes. We should begin applying Star Trek directives to present day scenarios. Gene would be so pleased.

JubalHarshaw's avatar

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by preindustrial. I do think that it’s foolishness attempting to impose western democracy on cultures that have no experience of it. Our western parliamentary and republican form of governance evolved from an internal demand by the people; such cannot be imposed from without, especially not at gunpoint. How would you feel if some superpower bombs your village, burns your crops, kills your livestock, takes away your traditional form of government, kills or locks up all your warriors that try to stop them and then comes in trying to register everyone to vote?

Nullo's avatar

@hobbitsubculture Voluntarily is the key. We cannot undo the past, but we can keep it from happening again. If that keeps the U.N. from thinking that it has business in my country, all the better.

lillycoyote's avatar

“Should the prime directive apply to first world countries right here right now?” Unfortunately, IMHO, that particular horse left the barn about 500 years ago. Is the notion of applying the Prime Directive at all valid if the current circumstances of any number of nations are what they are today directly because of “interference” and exploitation by other nations, many of them currently “first-world” nations, that began centuries ago and continued for centuries? Well, we’ve been fucking them all over for centuries (excuse my French) and now, well, we really shouldn’t interfere with their development, after all, what business is it of ours?

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