ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


Isn’t the Prime Directive kind of paleo-conservative? by mattsteinglass
May 11, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: Conservatism, Foreign Policy, Science

Daniel Larison (a fan despite his political inclinations) on Star Trek:

There is almost nothing in the franchise’s politics that I find attractive, and the regular sermonizing was at times very unpleasant.

Isn’t the Prime Directive’s doctrine of non-interference in the affairs of (particularly underdeveloped) alien civilizations a classically paleo-con non-interventionist position? I would have thought Larison of all people would find it appealing.

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Speaking as a sometimes-paleo-conservative, I would say that I don’t find the Prime Directive particularly meaningful politically.

If the Federation found a pre-warp planet, and came down and actively spent tax money (or the Federation non-monetary equivalent) on improving and fixing up that planet’s people and tech, _that_ would be against my semi-isolationist principles.

And if the Romulans and the Klingons started a war with each other, I would stay out of it, to the extent that it did not directly threaten me, or involve some egregious moral crime. Or if there was a rebellion inside the Klingon empire, I would not get involved in that either, in most cases.

From my perspective, though, if a captain of a US vessel came across a primitive island, and told the people on the island about the US, and gave them some basic improvements in hygiene and such, that would not be a problem for me.

concern about “corrupting primitive cultures” seems (to me) to be more of a left-wing issue than a right-wing one.

Comment by jb

[…] #6: Matt Steinglass and Larison on the Prime Directive. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)New FGI […]

Pingback by Spock’s Blog Would Be Fascinating « Around The Sphere

[…] Matt Steinglass raises a good question in response to my Star Trek post below: Isn’t the Prime Directive’s doctrine of non-interference in the affairs of (particularly underdeveloped) alien civilizations a classically paleo-con non-interventionist position? […]

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