“Out on the frontier a Starfleet captain’s word is law.”
That’s where the Prime Directive, for all its flaws (chief among them: I can’t hurt you but I won’t help you either), starts to look good when the alternative is: “I’ll come in and **** your society up for my purposes, unless of course you’re capable of resisting me and my ship, in which case, Welcome to the Federation!”
Not to mention the whole idea of “Your corner of the universe, the Center of All Things to you, is just a bug on the butt of my universe.” That always goes over well.
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