E P R I M E D
R E C T I V E
(or General Order Number One):
The Prime Directive forms part of
the governing law of the United Federation of Planets, including Starfleet.
It forbids interfering with the
natural growth of less-developed civilizations.
The Federation Council first passed
a series of executive orders. These General Orders provide specific directions
to Starfleet vessels operating without immediate communication with Starfleet
The General orders include the following:
General Order Number
Six of these orders form the basis of
the Prime Directive.
Forbids anyone from interfering
with the natural growth of less-developed alien civilizations.
General Order Number Six:
A ship's self destruct sequence
must automatically activate twenty-four hours after the entire crew has
General Order Number Seven:
No vessel, under any circumstances,
may approach Talo IV, and any vessel that does so, will be destroyed.(Don't
ask me why..)
General Order Number Twenty-four:
A world must be destroyed if the
galaxy is threatened by it.
When a ship loses contact with Starfleet,
its captain acts as ambassador and military commander. He/She makes decisions
on behalf of the Federation.
The Prime Directive and general
orders establish strict guidelines for relations with alien cultures.
It raises as many questions as it
answers. It can provide protection to less- developed cultures or be abused
as a shield to hide behind to avoid making difficult moral decisions.
History of the Prime Directive:
The original Trek introduced
the Prime Directive, but it has grown more important in the more settled
It has become a key guide
to decision making.
If Kirk often
ignored the Prime Directive, Picard and Sisko cannot. Voyager offers an
interesting situation, since it is lost in the Delta Quadrant and cut off
from Starfleet. Janeway is the first Starfleet captain with a freer hand
The Prime Directive
grew out of errors committed by Federation citizens against newly met alien
It commands that a society must
be sufficiently advanced to prevent disruption before contact can be made.
But it isn't
Starfleet inevitably commands personnel
to watch threatened worlds, and their inhabitants die without them being
able to interfere.
of the Directive insist that this compiles with the natural law of governing
More liberal ones say that circumstances
can overrule the Directive.
Others insist that Starfleet has
no right to judge which civilizations are worthy of survival.
Loose constructionists accuse
their opponents of hiding behind the Prime Directive to avoid making difficult
Most often, those who work aboard
starships in direct personal contact with alien worlds become loose constructionists.