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It's been a while. . . KIRK V. PICARD!!!

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Created by: scifiwonder

Lone Palm

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Report this Dec. 27 2012, 12:32 am


How about the two times I can remember that Picard was prepared to allow two pre-warp civilisations because he slavishly followed the Prime Directive to the letter?

Once was when Worf's foster brother saved a portion of a pre-Warp society and when Data had a pen-pal or something. Whats the good of saving a society from cultural contamination if they are dead. Kirk had a more pragmatic (if you like dictorial) approach. When Spock questioned Kirk about the Prime Directive in the same situation where a pre-Warp society was going to be destroyed in TOS he said they were going to die if they didn't help so what was the good of enforcing the Prime Directive then.

And in INS Picard was prepared to 'break' the Prime Directive for 600 people when he was quite happy for millions (billions) to die in the TNG series in the name of the Prime Directive.

The non-aggression principle forbids the initiation of force... fraud, theft, pre-emptive strikes, involuntary associations, the use of force to achieve political or social agendas (particularly government intervention in domestic and foreign affairs)..., etc. Picard’s reasoning was consistent as it applies to those incidences mentioned - "Pen Pals", "Homeward", and INS. Admittedly, his actions in “Pen Pals” differed from those in “Homeward” and INS, and Picard was wrong for his final actions in “Pen Pals”. But his actions in all three cases were the result of coercion.

Picard did not initiate aggression in any of these circumstances. Picard was not obligated to help the natives in both "Pen Pals" and "Homeward", as nature was the cause for their destruction (Picard was obligated in INS, but I’ll elaborate on that point shortly). Furthermore, Picard inherited the situation in both cases, as Data and Nikolai Rozhenko bear responsibility for their actions -Data having violated the Prime Directive by establishing contact with a pre-warp civilization and initiating force by involuntary association, not only upon Sarjenka and her people, but also upon the Enterprise crew and the whole of the Starfleet/Federation; Nikolai forcibly removed a community from their home without their consent, committed fraud by lying to all parties (the natives and to the Enterprise crew), and repeated Data’s crime of forced association.

In “Pen Pals”, Picard says, “What we do today may have profound effects upon our future… The Prime Directive has many different functions… (one of which) to prevent us from allowing our emotions to overwhelm our judgment.” Picard is issuing a warning that intervention leads to unforeseen and long-term consequences, not just for one group, but also for all groups. Picard applies this logic in all cases mentioned (as well as "Symbiosis"), but breaks with it in “Pen Pals” as a consequence of Data having forced the crew into an involuntary situation. It would be difficult to remain consistent under those conditions, as Picard’s actions weren’t voluntary.

As to “Homeward”, Picard used the least amount of force to remove the inhabitants from the Federation’s property, the Enterprise. Returning to unforeseen consequences, a society may have been saved, but it was at the expense of a member dying alone and afraid, particularly with his beliefs having been shattered.

INS presents the easiest case of all. Picard was neither breaking the Prime Directive nor acting inconsistently. Admiral Dougherty broke the PD with foreign intervention and violated the non-aggression principle by engaging in the acts of force described above, and particularly:

1.      The Baku settlement predated the Federation’s existence, and thus the Federation had no rightful property claim to the planet, at the very least the land settled upon by the Baku, and thus no rightful claim to remove the Baku or commit actions that would unduly harm their land.

2.      Dougherty ordered Picard to disobey the Prime Directive, an unconstitutional act. Picard said as much, “How can there be an order to abandon the Prime Directive?” Picard was within his right to nullify Dougherty’s unconstitutional order.

3.      Dougherty’s assertion that the PD did not apply to the Baku, as they were a warp capable species, is wrong on two accounts. First, multiple episodes have shown the PD applies to warp capable species, as the PD forbids involuntary associations. Secondly, violation of the PD and foreign intervention set dangerous precedents, echoing Picard’s warning of unforeseen consequences for all groups.

4.      I believe the Baku should’ve defended themselves with weapons, as the use of weapons for self-defense is permissible. That aside, Picard was right not to arm the Baku, but still defend them against the coercive tactics of the Son’a and Admiral Dougherty. Picard was lawfully bound to remove Federation property and presence. 

As to Kirk, he cited the rhetoric of supporting the PD in “A Private Little War,” but went onto violate it in the very same episode by intervening in foreign affairs. He thus committed aggressive acts, such as arming Tyree’s side, for which he condemned the Klingons. By arming the Hill People, Kirk perpetuated warfare with the Klingons and for the people of Neural, who became proxies in the Klingon/Federation Cold War. This places Kirk on par with the anomaly that fed off hate in “Day of the Dove”.

Furthermore, the Klingons were not denied access to Neural, since the episode infers the planet to be in neutral space. The trade relationship between the Klingons and the villagers appeared to be a voluntary association, and trade is inclusive to scientific missions. If Kirk had to intervene, which he didn’t, he could’ve encouraged the Hill People to find new land or attempt trade relations of their own with the Klingons.

On a secondary note, and this is admittedly speculation, the events of “A Private Little War” may be the disastrous results of the Organians interfering in the Federation-Klingon War and establishing the Organian Peace Treaty, which Kirk may or may not have been referring to in the episode. The Organians had every right to stop the two sides from fighting while on their planet, but certainly not across the galaxy. Their intervention may have likely led to the inhabitants of Neural being used as proxies, since the Organians forbid the Federation/Klingon Empire from direct confrontation.


Lone Palm

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Report this Dec. 27 2012, 9:07 am

You're mistaken if you think that I think Picard 'breaking' the PD was wrong in those situations. He and by extension the Federation should have saved these civilisations if they could. In my mind they were morally wrong not to make an attempt.

So the Federation should neglect its highest laws, setting dangerous precedents that risk it becoming an Imperialist Force across the galaxy? 

Thats one of the differences between Kirk and Picard. If Kirk thought a Federation edict was wrong and could result in the death of billions he broke it and was proud to do it. 

If we go back to "A Private Little War", Kirk didn't suggest that PD was wrong at all. His report from a decade earlier even recommended it, but then he broke his own recommendation. He would've been a good politician, in so far as most politicians find the Constitution to be in their way.

If a comet was threatening today's Earth with extinction, then would either Picard or Kirk attempt to save it. As a man who lives by the PD, Picard would not attempt to save the Earth as it is a pre-Warp society and by his standards not worth saving. Kirk would place his ship in front of that comet and try to blast it out of the way.

I wouldn't particularly think that an alien race should intervene if Earth were threatened. And just because you've placed Modern Earth in the context of being harmed doesn't change the fact that foreign intervention is wrong.

In the Neural Case the Federation wasn't even enforcing the PD as Neural had something they wanted. 

The Federation was enforcing the PD, as Spock warned Kirk against the use of phasers for that specific purpose. Kirk threw a rock to warn Tyree of the hidden villagers... Regardless of Neural having something the Federation wanted, TOS showed instances of trade with pre-warp civilizations without revealing Starfleet's origins. 

The whole episode was an allegory for the Vietname War with China being represented by the Klingons and the US being represented by the Federation. In hindsight the US commited errors in that situation too. Do you think the US actions in the Vietnam War were as bad as that entity in 'Day of the Dove'?

I am quite aware of the allegory, and the only thing the episode got right was how both sides created proxies. Yes, US intervention was as bad as the entity in "Day of the Dove", but with bankers and politicians playing the part of the entity. War equals debt. Governments always suffer debt from wars. The government can tax only so much before the citizens refuse work, as they are no longer enjoying the fruits of their labor. This forces governments to borrow or "print" money, which is simply a future tax upon the citizens. Bankers love when governments - especially competing ones - borrow, because the loans come with attached interest rates. The U.S. national debt, for example, is not truly $17 Trillion, but somewhere between $50 to $100 Trillion when considering the interest payments. For more, I suggest reading about the Rothschild Formula. This provides a short summary, but I also suggest  G. Edward Griffin's book "The Creature from Jekyll Island". It explores the inner workings of the Federal Reserve, but also offers a history on the evolution of money and banking in both Europe and the U.S. 

Furthermore, as it applis to U.S. intervention in Vietnam, how is it morally right to force individuals into military service - an act of involuntary servitude - to fight a war of aggression on foreign soil? The U.S. was a bit hypocritical for condeming foreign governments for using excessive force against their citizens when the U.S. was guilty of the same.  

And if you think the Klingons are going to negotiate with a peaceful people think again, they are TOS Klingons, not TNG ones.

That's a one-sided view. Klingons weren't the only ones that changed in ST:TUC. Kirk evolved too and to his credit even admitted his own prejudices. "A Private Little War" showed a Klingon and a villager to be in a voluntary association, as compared to "Errand of Mercy" where the Klingons were imposing martial law. I suspect the Federation wasn't all that pure in the days of TOS. The Klingons weren't all good by the days of TNG and DS9 ... the Duras Family, Gowron, the High Council overall was still corrupt. 


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Report this Dec. 27 2012, 1:45 pm

If you are only interested in having a romantic relationship then maybe one might pick Kirk. It would be a fun relationship which would probably not last more than a week. Picard would be hard to obtain he's very strict about command and not getting into a relationship.

Now, straight to the business of who's a better captain that would be Picard.

Kirk bends to many rules even though Picard is frustratingly consistent about being by the book. Being under his command I feel a trust about Picards decisions and judgment. Picard is a captain I would really feel sick to my stomach to displease. Kirk puts me on edge with his sometimes rash decisions. Picard is someone I feel I can turn to for sincere good advice, he's wise having given advice to many of his crew members. It's kind of difficult for me to call Kirk a wise man and when he does give advice he always does it with a smile as though he does really believe what he is saying himself. Picard is an awesome captain with experience that speaks for itself. 




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Report this Dec. 28 2012, 8:01 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @



>If you are only interested in having a romantic relationship then maybe one might pick Kirk. It would be a fun relationship which would probably not last more than a week. Picard would be hard to obtain he's very strict about command and not getting into a relationship.

>Now, straight to the business of who's a better captain that would be Picard.

>Kirk bends to many rules even though Picard is frustratingly consistent about being by the book. Being under his command I feel a trust about Picards decisions and judgment. Picard is a captain I would really feel sick to my stomach to displease. Kirk puts me on edge with his sometimes rash decisions. Picard is someone I feel I can turn to for sincere good advice, he's wise having given advice to many of his crew members. It's kind of difficult for me to call Kirk a wise man and when he does give advice he always does it with a smile as though he does really believe what he is saying himself. Picard is an awesome captain with experience that speaks for itself. 


I didn't feel the Picard was particularly approachable for advice.

I must have missed those episodes where he was mingling with his crew.

 True he is very stiff and normally does not seem approachable. TNG crew generally has a feel to me that you have to be in their inner circle to be accepted, they are a close bunch. When I mentioned going to him for advice it would only happen if I was in that inner circle and then I would go to his office. One has to go to Picard, Picard does not come to you. So, if I was not in that inner circle I must be honest, I'd feel a little uncomfortable around Picard I would just be striving to please (not one of those annoying overpleasers though).


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Report this Dec. 29 2012, 8:07 am

Kirk all the way. Kirk was arelay human being that people could relate to. He was flawed, but that was part of the beauty of the character. He had to overcome those flaws and struggle with making critical decisions. He was fiercely passionate about his crew and his friends, who he considered brothers. He was creative, bold, and inspirational. People say Picard was more intelligent, but I don't buy it.Speaking in a rich Brittish accent and voicing ponderous speeches over every decision does not automatically make someone intelligent. Kirk was extremely intelligent (genius-level) and consistently displayed that. 


Picard on the other hand was written as an idealized human being, Straight out of Gene's delusional post 1970's "I am a visionary utopian" mindset. A thoughtful bit of philosophy and a stern heavy-handed speech reminding the audience about humanity's evolved 24th century superiority was the cornerstone of his character (to quote Lilly from First Contact: "bull$hit!"). He was a much less interesting character (than Kiirk OR Sisko) for these reasons. There was no relatability. He was predictable, ponderous, and perfect. 

I don't dislike Picard, but he's not even in the same category as far as I'm concerned. Kirk was a dynamic, intelligent man of action who was passionate about his ship and crew. Picard was Gene's boring vision of the ideal human: thoughtful, self-righteous, and dispassionate. 

Lone Palm

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Report this Dec. 29 2012, 10:51 am

So you think Picard's a better captain for condoning the death of billions. Its an arbitrary rule game to him. In GEN save the lives of a pre-Warp culture because it has had non-Federation interference but let another civilisation die because it has volcanos or something. 

Why is intervention wrong - its better to be alive than dead? If a big spaceship saved the Earth I would be less traumatised by its appearance than NASA's countdown to my death. Honestly.

No. That's a drastic distortion of my argument, which is that Kirk treats the rules as arbitrary. Picard adheres to principles, such as the PD, which operate for the general welfare. For example, interventionists and non-interventionists exist in the Federation. The P.D. insures the best for both by maintaining voluntary associations. If the Federation intervened in a foreign planet's plight, it would use resources contributeded by both sides. This forces the non-interventionists into a position of involuntary association and involuntary servitude, as their labor was applied to an effort/outcome personally opposed.

The interventionists aren't personnally harmed by a policy of non-intervention, as their labor is not applied to forced association. The interventionists remain free to act in a private manner, as opposed to a public/government means, or to secede from the Federation, thereby exempting themselves from the P.D. without question, and practice intervention to their heart's content. Starship Captains, as the bearers of Common Property, do not have that luxury, unless they too give up their commissions and secede from the Federation.

Intervention is wrong for it not only has secondary and unintended consequences for the planet being "helped", but also for second and third parties too, as demonstrated above.

Generations is a difficult case in that unknowns exist. It was never established if the Veridian System was in or outside of Federation Space. That being said, Soran was artificially destroying a star whereas the errupting volcanoes and seismic disruptions are naturally accurring phenomena. Of course, based on the Veridian Systems location (Federation Space or Neutral Space), Generations may have shown Picard, and the Federation, to permit intervention against planetary externalities, such as exploding stars or asteroids.

The villagers came to an agreement over something illegal. If it wasn't for the Organian agreement the Klingons would have taken over that world for whatever they wanted. They don't wantr to Negotiate anything.

Where is the screen evidence to support these conclusions? I saw no evidence of the Klingons and villagers coming to an agreement based on an illegality. I saw a voluntary association between the Klingons and the villagers. Strictly speaking, we do not know what the Klingons recieved in exchange for their trade.

Also, we cannot assume that the Klingons would've been hostile if not for the Organian Peace Treaty. It is quite possible that the Klingons were hostile in "Errand of Mercy" as a result of competition with the Federation for a presence on Organia. Without competition, the Klingons may lesson their aggression towards others and work towards voluntary compliance, as that would lesson the threat of rebellion. The Klingons have every reason to negotiate, as Empires always have struggling and highly sensitive economies. ST:TUC showed as much, the destruction of a single moon crippled the entire Empire.

The PD was obviously a bit more flexible in the days of TOS. If the Federation wanted something then it looks like it could violate its own rules by allowing Kirk to tell some of the natives where he came from, the same as in "Friday's Child". However we're not absolutely sure about these 2 planets, perhaps they had been contacted before the PD or were in some neutral territory where the PD didn't apply fully. Anyway I think what would have Picard done in that situation, if he had been ordered to intervene as Kirk had, he probably would have let the black-haired people wipe out the white-haired people and put in a report to Starfleet Command about the Klingons.

There is evidence to suggest the PD was only adopted within a decade of TOS, sometime between the 2250's and 2260's. The flexibility may only apply to worlds contacted before that time, as Starfleet would be conducting missions to follow up on potential impacts to these previously contacted societies. 

Picard would've likely found a way to undermine the Klingon's efforts by indirect means, such as he brilliantly demonstrated in "Symbiosis". Kirk, however, perpetuated war. Also, any Klingon would've considered it a great honor to be the one to kill Kirk, suggesting that Kirk himself had a lot in common with the Klingons. 

Lone Palm

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Report this Dec. 29 2012, 11:01 am

Kirk was a dynamic, intelligent man of action who was passionate about his ship and crew. Picard was Gene's boring vision of the ideal human: thoughtful, self-righteous, and dispassionate. 

Unfortunately, people tend to pick leaders based on their personality, as opposed to those that stand by their principles. This results in leaders that frequently compromise their principles and those of society's, thus forcing others into involuntary associations and involuntary servitude.  

I recall Picard being very passionate when it came to\ defending liberty against State incursions - "Measure of a Man"; "The Drumhead"; INS. Kirk, not so much. Good in rhetoric, poor in application. 


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Report this Dec. 30 2012, 2:39 am

It's apples and oranges guys.

but both are relics.

Kirk was too often a sexist, racist who frequently objectified women. There was a complete goofyness that surrounded TOS, which gave it much of its charm, but also held it back, and wound up getting it cancelled. Far too often did they just get out of every situation in just the nick of time. TNG carried this over too, so it wasn't that much better in that sense.

Picard wrestled with many of his own difficult dilemmas though. The scene where he struggled to admit that he was powerless in resisting the Borg when they completely stripped away his individuality and used him to kill people. The time he was ordered to remove the Native-American colonists from Cardassian space or from the Briar patch.

Now JJ Kirk though, that's a different story!!

but anyways, Janeway!!

D. Cottingham

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Report this Dec. 30 2012, 8:33 pm

Personally I like Picard's style of command more than Kirk's.

Lone Palm

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Report this Jan. 01 2013, 8:12 pm

In TOS GR was trying to demonstrate how little difference there were between the US, Russians and Chinese, I mean the Federation, Romulans and Klingons.

I realize this. But GR was also of the belief that the human condition is one of improvement. This belief permiated TOS and he went onto demonstrated it in TNG by improving the Federation, but particularly Earth. It's important to remember that GR actually compromised his original vision of Star Trek, which was "The Cage", by creating TOS for studio execs. In many respects, "The Cage" has more in common with TNG than TOS. 

In TNG he decided that the Federation was perfect and they were all superior morally, physically and mentally and had the right to go lecturing all other races.

Numerous examples can be demonstrated to the contrary. They alluded, other times out right stated that they didn't have a right to intervene in the afffairs of other cultures, because humans weren't morally superior. For example:

Picard: If we could see every possible outcome...

Riker: We'd be Gods, which we're not... is it not the height of hubris to think that we can, or should, interfere?

"Pen Pals"

Picard was never wrong, never made a mistake (except with women) and was never put in the difficult situations that Kirk, Sisko and Janeway were. I distinctly remember that episode where a 59-year old had asked for asylum before being put to death on his 60th birthday. You know Kirk, Sisko and Janeway would have tricked there way out of returning him for a State sanctioned- death. Luckily Picard never had to compromise his Starfleet principles and the man volunteered for death and Picard delivered him to the excecution place.

Picard had the wisdom that accompanies age by the time of "Encounter...". "Tapestry" showed a youthful Picard making poor decisions... and even the elder Picard was shown to make mistakes within the confines of the episode. In "The Drumhead", Picard admitted to being hypocritical when Admiral Norah Sati argued that she used her telepathic investigator in similar ways to Picard having used Troi. "I, Borg" showed Picard to be stubborn and prejudice until he confronted Hugh. And how is creating an invasive procedure to eradicate a mortal enemy - genocide - not a difficult situation, especially given Picard's past assimilation? That ranks up there with Sisko's decision to coerce the Romulans into the Dominion War. The difference, however, is that Picard wouldn't have committed forgery and been an accessory to murder. 

"Half a Life" is a bit difficult, not so much in defending Picard, but for the fact that the episode focused on Lwaxana Troi. Remember, Picard granted Timicin asylum, as he requested. However, it was Timicin who finally decided to relent. Timicin's decision can't be hung on Picard. That would make Picard accountable for another person's decision. Secondly, do you recommend Picard forcibly keeping Timicin on board against his will?

Why do you need characters to compromise their principles? I don't particularly have repsect for Archer, Kirk, Picard, Janeway, or Sisko when they compromise. In every case that immediately comes to mind, their drastic actions were later shown to be unnecessary. They're heroes when they don't compromise.

Its funny you should mention "Symbiosis" because thats where Picard compromised his great ideals. Following the PD to the letter (which you seem to admire when he sentences pre-Warp planets to destruction) he should not have allowed one sided to find out the other side was tricking them. This was an even greater violation of the PD than saving a planet from a meteorite or something. Did Picard have the wisdom to determine that this was the time for them to find out? Perhaps there were political parties on the planet already working out the trickery and coming to power based on this knowledge. Blah blah blah the PD is always right.

In "Symbiosis", Picard didn't tell the Ornarans that the Brekkians were taking advantage of them. Picard told the Brekkians what they already knew. Rememer, the Ornarans beamed down to their planet believing that their entire civilization would die without the coils to fix their ships.

Picard is not sentencing anybody to die by adhering to the PD, as he did not originate the events that may lead to the fates of others. Again, that's placing Picard responsible for all of nature or the actions of others.

I actually agree with Picards action in this case. And I'm certain the writers would have made sure that Picard would have worked out a way of saving the day in 'A Private Little War' without compromising his principles but then again it wouldn't have been an allegory for the Vietnam War and given us food for thought. 

A Picard solution to "A Private LIttle War" wouldn't have to negate allegory at all, and it could still provide food for thought, particularly regarding aspets of non-intervention vs the blowback phenomenon towards those who had intervened.

 He didn't have to let Wesley die on that planet where he broke the law.  

It was established in the episode "Justice" that even though Tasha reviewed the Edo's laws, the Edo failed to provide that punishment equaled death. This exempted Wesley from dieing, as such knowledge would be a critical factor in determing one's voluntary association with such a species. 

More importantly, why wasn't Wesly given a communicator, so that he could be easily reached? I love how Tasha and Worf just assumed Wesley would be the one to cause trouble. But, I guess he was the new kid.

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