To Boldly Know

by Pan Handle — Thu 11 January 0024

Considering Anarchism and Star Trek

Yes, the immense cultural institution that is Star Trek, about which so much has already been said. Luckily for me, rather than having to find space for something to say about a rich fictional universe with which I'm only passingly familiar, what I'd like to discuss instead is the fairly approachable concept of The Prime Directive and what meaning it imparts in popular Star Trek titles.

Here's the widely accepted formulation of the concept:

The Prime Directive prohibits Starfleet personnel and spacecraft from interfering in the normal development of any society, and mandates that any Starfleet vessel or crew member is expendable to prevent violation of this rule.

Notably, the Prime Directive's prohibition of developmental interference extends only so far as is necessary to protect the unprepared from ideas before they are able to understand their danger.

The plot motion of many episodes is contingent on what is considered protection from the dangers of ignorance. Should not interfering necessarily lead to endangerment, the Prime Directive begs the question, "What is protection?"

Ethical pragmatic frameworks like those of the anarchist tradition territorialize the space this question explores, making possible the cognitive conceptions individuals need to be materially pragmatic.

Anarchist theory can provide one a cogent map for this space when it avoids tyranny of the collective and tyranny of the individual through the participatory negation of unjust hierarchy.

The anarchist thinkers that meaningfully discuss the nature of liberty without resorting to utopian appeals take fallibility as a core precept, and posit both intra and interpersonal pragmatics, which sets them apart instead of taking domination as an inevitability.

In other words, I am not necessarily your authority, nor is anyone.

You are, however, free to stick around.

Made with Haunt, a static site generator written in Guile Scheme, and terminal.css

Built on GNU Guix

Licensed to you under the terms of the BSD 4-Clause License. Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.