I think the previous panels is rather interesting because it shows a reasonable and different twist on what the Federation can mean in regard to good, where is Jin’s take what I think is being put forth by the shows and the one I appreciate.
But, in regards to this panel I always felt uneasy with the idea that Picard’s interpretation of the Prime Directive was the true and only one all along, and that Kirk’s interpretation was unique to himself and not something more common in his time period. Kirk made several judgment calls in regard to interference on the basis of societies being stagnant, therefore unhealthy, therefore not covered by the Prime Directive. He never got in trouble for it, that we know of. Yet, it is fun to think his actions, and ones like them, lead to the Picard interpretation.
It is also unfortunate to think the Prime Directive’s interpretation cannot change over time as ideals change, and that its dogma like reverence always existed. It is something too close to the future society we see throughout the story.
Can a court martial be performed for something that hasn’t happened yet?, for a “possible future” ?
I’m not sure Federation law actually can get a grip around this..and probably won’t.
The evidence is all extremely weak, much of it depending on believing Jin is even telling the truth. Starfleet likely has an honor code kind of thing, where officer’s statements are taken at face value, so we can assume the officer is taking her statements at face value. But, that should mean everything Jin learned from the future people is hearsay, and therefore suspect. So, there is no reason to actually believe the future society is actually a direct extension in time of the Federation.
They also have the fact that a portal tried to suck Jin somewhere, called her name, and closed once she got her software working. That is open to interpretation, but does give substance to her story of imprisonment and escape. It also gives some evidence that she altered the future, but in what way is unknown.
Besides, at least in modern times, it is the duty of US soldiers to escape and aid others, so it is likely something for Starfleet personnel as well. Jin was very much a captive, regardless of who the captors are or where they historically originate. There is also General Order 24, where a civilization can be destroyed if it proves actively hostile to the Federation. I wonder if that can be applied to the hostility of a society in regard to an individual of Starfleet. Also, going by Kirk’s interpretation of the Prime Directive, there is still the issue of what constitutes a, “healthy society,” if I’m remembering the quote correctly.
Further, even in TNG and Picard’s ultra strict interpretation allowed him to interfere. If he ended up getting invited he would no longer bother with the Prime Directive. Presumably, if he found himself purposefully taken into the midst of another civilization the Prime Directive wouldn’t matter either. I believe Harry Kim faced a similar situation when he had to convince aliens their afterlife is a hoax so he could get home. The Prime Directive never came up.
Taken together it might be possible to argue that the presumed future Federation being a dead end means it is unintentionally opposed to the modern Federation. That it means the Prime Directive doesn’t apply, and because they took Jin, the Prime Directive doubly doesn’t apply. Therefore, altering the past to avert the future was the only right action according to the General Orders.
Just a few comments on the future Federation being a dead end. Remember, Jin only has experience with two uncurious people who work in an uncurious profession, who are trying to make her uncurious for various selfish purposes. We don’t know what is going on in society past the museum walls other than the general Kelvan situation.
I would expect that while trying to find means of escape she researched other aspects of the future society and learned what is going on beyond the bounds of the museum, if for no other reason than to seek legal options. We see her have some autonomy and had to have some sort of access to generally available information to find the few things she did life, even if that access is somehow limited by not being through an implant. I can still believe her having a negative view of that Federation even if she did find aspects of it closer to the Federation she knows, and not the obvious oppressive totalitarian slave state we were witness to, even behind the scenes.
The JAG officer is completely out of line. She is assuming a lot when she defines the future that Lt. Jin experienced was not supposed to be disrupted. For all anyone knows, what Jin did was supposed to happen….
Besides which she was/is a prisoner. Not required to obey, but to escape. From the mind controlled zombies.
Nope, that just doesn’t fly. Culture in question is the Federation itself. Not to mention, that the question of Non-Interference in this case assumes that the choice of having orange juice instead of coffee at breakfast doesn’t have a similar effect on the future.
I absolutely agree.
The future that Jin witnessed was at odds with everything the Federation stood for… A subjected race, A culture of pure excess that was entirely stagnant, that was about to force Jin, an outsider, to conform to it’s system of belief without her approval or consent, that denied that very same chance to the race it was subjugating, because it viewed them as inferior and “Untouchable”. This is not an alien culture or a devolving race, this is the shape of the Federation to come, and it’s at odds with everything the Federation was created to stand for and act as a barrier against… Prejudice, entitlement and forced conformity without any morality guiding it.
Agreed – calling shenanigans on the Commander’s argument. Besides, what are they going to do to Jin – throw her in a Federation re-education center?
Time to give Sam Cogley a call.
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