In "Birthright", Worf encounters a "prison", what in fact became a community of Romulans and Klingons living in peaceful coexistance.

What right does Worf have to impose his/Klingon way of life to the youth there? It's completely unethical and violates the Prime Directive. The Klingons and Romulans there took a huge sacrifice being there and he practically barges in and imposes his view of life.

To quote Tokath:

No. You showed them what you want them to be.

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    Worf being a Klingon and his father involved (wrongfully) in a Romulan conspiracy doesn't give him the right to have an opinion? Also - nothing about that situation was natural, which is more what the Prime Directive is about - ensuring that civilizations develop naturally. Klingons are already part of the Federation and Romulans are a known entity – NKCampbell Apr 11 '17 at 19:05
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    Perhaps I'm mistaken here, but I was of the impression that the Prime Directive only applies to civilizations that have not yet achieved warp flight. Klingons and Romulans have both passed that marker. – Steve-O Apr 11 '17 at 19:27
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    The PD applies to the internal affairs of any sovereign entity, regardless of their FTL status. This is why Picard was unable to directly involve himself in the Klingon civil war. – Xantec Apr 11 '17 at 19:52
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    I am not sure how the prime directive would really apply to a private individual that was more or less being held prisoner by a group that both knew of FTL, the federation and so on. – Zoredache Apr 11 '17 at 20:04


The Klingons on the Romulan planet were prisoners of the Romulan attack on the Khitomer outpost. This was an internal affair between the Klingon and Romulan empires. Unless the Federation were in some way involved in whatever peace was brokered after that attack then they, and by extension Worf, would have no leg to stand on in going to that planet, let alone trying to free any prisoners.

In practice the Prime Directive is often overlooked or bent when it is convenient for the officers in charge to do so. In this case, when Worf returned and Picard asked him if he found what he was looking for, Worf neatly said that there were no prisoners and the children were survivors of a crash. In this way Picard can pretend that the PD was not violated.

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    Was Worf acting on behalf of the federation though? Didn't he basically have dual citizenship, also under the Klingon Empire at that point? Didn't he more or less take a vacation when he went searching? – Zoredache Apr 11 '17 at 20:07
  • Just because a policeman is off - duty doesn't mean he's not a policeman anymore. He is a SF officer and the oath he took still stands. – civan Apr 11 '17 at 20:31
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    The Prime Directive only applies to developing civilisations. The colony is not a developing civilisation; they are fully aware of what's going on off-planet. They just choose not to be part of it. – Tim Apr 11 '17 at 20:34
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    @Tim - that is incorrect in terms of developing civs. No gripe re: the colony in this case though. But, just for accuracy, the PD, while certainly fluid (and adjusts to the needs of the writing) is frequently cited when dealing w/ warp civs. memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Prime_Directive – NKCampbell Apr 11 '17 at 20:52


The Prime Directive applies only to pre-warp civilizations. This is something that is made very clear in Insurrection. The Ba'ku have shunned technology, but they are aware of it, and in fact traveled to their current home on warp-capable ships. Admiral Dougherty points out explicitly to Picard that the Prime Directive does not apply in such situations.

The same is true of the Klingon/Romulan joint society. Just because they have chosen to reject their individual cultures and live some kind of idyllic life does not mean they aren't still aware of other worlds and other ways of life, so the Prime Directive does not apply.

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    The Prime Directive doesn't apply only to pre-warp civilzations. It applies to any sovereign entity. See TNG Redemption parts 1 and 2. – Xantec Apr 11 '17 at 19:49
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    The answer still stands, though, since this small colony would not represent a sovereign entity. – Roger Apr 11 '17 at 20:04
  • The premise of the answer is valid but the details are not. I'd recommend removing the 'pre-warp' and 'aware of other cultures' statements because that is categorically incorrect. – NKCampbell Apr 11 '17 at 20:18
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    @Xantec - completely disagree. The Prime Directive is targeted at developing (mostly pre-warp) civilisations. I think you're getting it confused with the principle that personnel visiting a planet must abide by that planet's laws. – Tim Apr 11 '17 at 20:36
  • memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Prime_Directive - a fantastic case is DS9 "In the Pale Moonlight" – NKCampbell Apr 11 '17 at 20:43

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