Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Prime Directive

I would like to thank CitiGalMelanie for inspiring this post 

Like me am sure many of you grew up watching Star Trek in its many forms. One key component (foundation) of this universe and of Star Fleet is the prime directive

Prime Directive, Starfleet's General Order #1, is the most prominent guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets. The Prime Directive dictates that there can be no interference with the internal affairs of other civilizations, consistent with the historical real world concept of Westphalian sovereignty. It has special implications, however, for civilizations that have not yet developed the technology for interstellar spaceflight ("pre-warp"), since no primitive culture can be given or exposed to any information regarding advanced technology or the existence of  extra planetary civilizations, lest this exposure alter the natural development of the civilization. Although this was the only application stated by Captain Kirk in "Return of the Archons", by the 24th Century, it had been indicated to include purposeful efforts to improve or change in any way the natural course of such a society, even if that change is well-intentioned and kept completely secret.


"Pre-warp" is defined as any culture which has not yet attained warp drive technology. Starfleet allows scientific missions to investigate and secretly move amongst pre-warp civilizations as long as no advanced technology is left behind, and there is no interference with events or no revelation of their identity. This can usually be accomplished with hidden observation posts, but Federation personnel may disguise themselves as local sentient life and interact with them. 

Deep right – consider the implications of this core principle – it means you cannot in anyway interfere with the local politics, customs, value or development of another culture. It implies that you have the humility to recognize my way is not the only or the best way. It means you must practice self restraint and self control. Imagine how different the history of this world would have been if we actually put this into practice. 

In a conversation with Melanie we discussed this and she mentioned she has a personal prime directive. The whole concept of this whirled in my head over and over again and I asked myself what would a personal prime directive look like? 

What my personal prime directive might look like– draft one:

  • I will not interfere with the personal, professional, emotional, or spiritual development of another person. Seems harmless enough and it is unless you happen to be the person affected by it. Allow me to elaborate.
  • I will only associate with people openly who share a similar back ground and value system
  • I will not do harm to or lend aid to anyone beyond their current emotional or intellectual ability
  • I will not make resources available to them that they are ill equipped to managed or appreciate
  • I will not enforce my ethics, values and morals on them
  • I will not cause them any harm
  • I will not give or aid or tools (past simply humanitarian) to self sabotaging individuals who have not shown a genuine initiative to change by taking some equity and ownership in the well being of their own life
  • I will only lend aid and help and not enable dysfunctional or self sabotaging behaviors even when I know it will lead to their eventual demise
  • I will accept that my ethics, morals and values are my own and it is foolish and arrogant to impart or imply them on another 

Something to think about right I know and sort of deep when you pull the layers back 

  • What would your personal prime directive look like?
  • What your business prime directive look like?
  • What would a prime directive look like for America?

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