History Main / AlienNonInterferenceClause

26th Jun '17 11:32:23 PM TMB
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***Whether you agree with Picard's reasoning or not, "Pen Pals" was one of the only episodes of Trek where a non-dogmatic discussion of the PD takes place. Picard unintentionally admits at the end of their discussion that it's a flawed ideology that nobody in the room is comfortable or satisfied with - which doesn't stop them from continuing to use it as gospel anyways.
26th Jun '17 11:23:14 PM TMB
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***Picard's reasoning was definitely not helped by the fact that he didn't invoke his interpretation of the PD until after he learned of the exploitative relationship. Up until that point he was hours away from returning them to their status quo. Under his 11th-hour interpretation he should never had answered their distress call in the first place and let Ornaran freighter crash.
26th Jun '17 11:15:58 PM TMB
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* The plot of ''Film/StarTrekInsurrection'' is entirely based around a loophole to this rule: the Baku were never supposed to be immortal since they emigrated to the planet causing this immortality which is owned by the Federation, therefore the Federation can do as they please to the Baku.
12th Jun '17 7:47:07 AM xcountryguy
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Of course, such rules are ultimately an ObstructiveCodeOfConduct that creates as many problems as it solves. Crash landing on an inhabited world when this rule is in force brings obvious difficulties. Trying to study an alien culture without being discovered is a popular scenario. And where do you draw the line? At exactly what a point where a species is officially "mature" enough to let them in on the secrets of the universe? Does non-interference mean you're morally obliged to let a species suffer or die because it is their "natural development"? And what will happen when the "protectees" do develop advanced technology and discover that alien races have been watching them for generations… and consider themselves [[AccompliceByInaction pretty darn righteous for their policy of non-assistance]]? And what should be done if the "protectees" are looking for extraterrestrial intelligence? There's also the little matter of how one defines a culture's "normal evolution" or "healthy development"; in addition to the aforementioned "letting them all die" aspect, if a society seems happy but social development has "stagnated", does that justify stepping in to nudge them in the right direction, or should you assume that they might possibly be able to do so in their own time?

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Of course, such rules are ultimately an ObstructiveCodeOfConduct that creates as many problems as it solves. Crash landing on an inhabited world when this rule is in force brings obvious difficulties. Trying to study an alien culture without being discovered is a popular scenario. And where do you draw the line? At exactly what a point where is a species is officially "mature" enough to let them in on the secrets of the universe? Does non-interference mean you're morally obliged to let a species suffer or die because it is their "natural development"? And what will happen when the "protectees" do develop advanced technology and discover that alien races have been watching them for generations… and consider themselves [[AccompliceByInaction pretty darn righteous for their policy of non-assistance]]? And what should be done if the "protectees" are looking for extraterrestrial intelligence? There's also the little matter of how one defines a culture's "normal evolution" or "healthy development"; in addition to the aforementioned "letting them all die" aspect, if a society seems happy but social development has "stagnated", does that justify stepping in to nudge them in the right direction, or should you assume that they might possibly be able to do so in their own time?



This also appear as the reason that aliens aware of our existence, or even visiting our planet in secret have not announced their presence to us. Usually, the condition to join interstellar society is the independent development of starships or [[FasterThanLightTravel faster-than-light travel]], or at least to starting to colonise other planets in the Solar System.

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This also appear appears as the reason that aliens aware of our existence, or even visiting our planet in secret have not announced their presence to us. Usually, the condition to join interstellar society is the independent development of starships or [[FasterThanLightTravel faster-than-light travel]], FasterThanLightTravel, or at least to starting to colonise other planets in the Solar System.



* Deconstructed in ''FanFic/KingsOfRevolution''. The TSAB's non-interference policy prevent them from conducting any deep investigation over the Earth's activities. LOGOS takes advantage of this in order to set up bases. More importantly, it keeps the heroines of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' from helping their countrymen suffering from the brutal treatment of foreign occupiers and [[ArrestedForHeroism are prompted to arrest those who do try to help]]. That draws additional ire from their former friends, [[spoiler: with one pulling a FaceHeelTurn]].

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* Deconstructed in ''FanFic/KingsOfRevolution''. The TSAB's non-interference policy prevent them from conducting any deep investigation over the Earth's activities. LOGOS takes advantage of this in order to set up bases. More importantly, it keeps the heroines of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' from helping their countrymen suffering from the brutal treatment of foreign occupiers and [[ArrestedForHeroism are prompted to arrest those who do try to help]]. That draws additional ire from their former friends, [[spoiler: with [[spoiler:with one pulling a FaceHeelTurn]].



** ''Literature/PrisonersOfPower'' revolves around a civilian protagonist inadvertently crashing on a DieselPunk world rife with pointless nuclear warfare. He single-handedly forms a plan to overthrow the government and their means of MindControl... [[spoiler: and coincidentally ruins the plan of undercover Earth operatives to solve the planet's issues in a far safer and more gradual way which, however, is implied to take decades if not centuries]].

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** ''Literature/PrisonersOfPower'' revolves around a civilian protagonist inadvertently crashing on a DieselPunk world rife with pointless nuclear warfare. He single-handedly forms a plan to overthrow the government and their means of MindControl... [[spoiler: and [[spoiler:and coincidentally ruins the plan of undercover Earth operatives to solve the planet's issues in a far safer and more gradual way which, however, is implied to take decades if not centuries]].



** Londo actually tells the Earth government in ''[[{{Recap/BabylonFiveFilm01InTheBeginning}} In the Beginning]]'' that the Centauri as a matter of policy do not sell advanced weapons systems to developing worlds. [[spoiler: This does not stop their enemies, the Narns, from selling Earth pirated Centauri weapons technology at a sizeable profit.]]

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** Londo actually tells the Earth government in ''[[{{Recap/BabylonFiveFilm01InTheBeginning}} In the Beginning]]'' that the Centauri as a matter of policy do not sell advanced weapons systems to developing worlds. [[spoiler: This [[spoiler:This does not stop their enemies, the Narns, from selling Earth pirated Centauri weapons technology at a sizeable profit.]]



** The Asgard generally don't share their tech with less advanced races, but make numerous exceptions for the Tau'ri because over the course of the series, they have proven themselves both trusted allies and responsible enough to use the technology wisely. [[spoiler: To the point where Thor convinced the Asgard to bequeath the Tau'ri ''all'' of their technology, when the Asgard chose to commit ritual suicide after their clone degeneration became irreversible.]]

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** The Asgard generally don't share their tech with less advanced races, but make numerous exceptions for the Tau'ri because over the course of the series, they have proven themselves both trusted allies and responsible enough to use the technology wisely. [[spoiler: To [[spoiler:To the point where Thor convinced the Asgard to bequeath the Tau'ri ''all'' of their technology, when the Asgard chose to commit ritual suicide after their clone degeneration became irreversible.]]



** Renegade Shepard can call out the Prothean Javik for his race leaving technology behind, uplifting races forcefully and [[spoiler: genetically engineering natural [[GravityMaster biotic]] ability onto the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe asari]] and leaving them the most advanced of their technology]], saying "We didn't earn it ourselves", but Javik counters that they had to do this to unite the galaxy to fight off a Reaper genocide.

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** Renegade Shepard can call out the Prothean Javik for his race leaving technology behind, uplifting races forcefully and [[spoiler: genetically [[spoiler:genetically engineering natural [[GravityMaster biotic]] ability onto the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe asari]] and leaving them the most advanced of their technology]], saying "We didn't earn it ourselves", but Javik counters that they had to do this to unite the galaxy to fight off a Reaper genocide.



* The Protoss of ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' had this policy ever since an incident with a minor race called the Kalath. Some researchers revealed themselves in an attempt to stop a civil war and both sides attacked the Protoss instead, Collossi were built and used to decimate their population. The Protoss even considered the warp-capable Terrans to qualify as "lesser races" under that policy and only revealed themselves to [[DeathFromAbove "purify"]] Terran colonies that became infested by the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Zerg]]. It's revealed in ''Legacy of the Void'' that [[spoiler: the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'naga]] ''also'' had such a clause, something which naturally concerns Artanis considering the Protoss were uplifted by the Xel'naga in the first place. Of course, it turns out that BigBad Amon was responsible for the uplifting.]]

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* The Protoss of ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' had this policy ever since an incident with a minor race called the Kalath. Some researchers revealed themselves in an attempt to stop a civil war and both sides attacked the Protoss instead, Collossi were built and used to decimate their population. The Protoss even considered the warp-capable Terrans to qualify as "lesser races" under that policy and only revealed themselves to [[DeathFromAbove "purify"]] Terran colonies that became infested by the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Zerg]]. It's revealed in ''Legacy of the Void'' that [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'naga]] ''also'' had such a clause, something which naturally concerns Artanis considering the Protoss were uplifted by the Xel'naga in the first place. Of course, it turns out that BigBad Amon was responsible for the uplifting.]]



* In ''KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', the three protagonists are part of an order of Keyblade knights sworn to keep order in the Realm of Light [[spoiler: after the Keyblade War shattered it into pieces]]. While they adhere to the "don't tell locals about other worlds" part of the rule, they have free reign to act openly otherwise due to the [[TheHeartless Unversed]] invasion (it's implied that they'd be forbidden to interfere otherwise). Terra [[spoiler: ends up violating the clause-such as it is-by telling a young Riku about the world outside Destiny Island and even ''passes the ability to wield the Keyblade to him'', setting him up for his StartOfDarkness at the beginning of the series]].

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* In ''KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', the three protagonists are part of an order of Keyblade knights sworn to keep order in the Realm of Light [[spoiler: after [[spoiler:after the Keyblade War shattered it into pieces]]. While they adhere to the "don't tell locals about other worlds" part of the rule, they have free reign to act openly otherwise due to the [[TheHeartless Unversed]] invasion (it's implied that they'd be forbidden to interfere otherwise). Terra [[spoiler: ends [[spoiler:ends up violating the clause-such as it is-by telling a young Riku about the world outside Destiny Island and even ''passes the ability to wield the Keyblade to him'', setting him up for his StartOfDarkness at the beginning of the series]].



** The truth turns out to be more insidious, Qwahntoo, the founder of the GOB, used the classification to cut off planets he considered to be threats. [[spoiler: For instance humans are related to the Eebs that he enslaved.]]

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** The truth turns out to be more insidious, Qwahntoo, the founder of the GOB, used the classification to cut off planets he considered to be threats. [[spoiler: For [[spoiler:For instance humans are related to the Eebs that he enslaved.]]



* In the podcast story ''[[http://podiobooks.com/title/space-casey/ Space Casey]]'' humans have interplanetary travel but the "Old Ones" are keeping them isolated from galactic society, ostentatiously for our own good. Though they do allow one researcher to come to our system once every hundred years or so. And eventually it turns out that [[spoiler: the "Old Ones" are just a pair of con artists pulling a fast one on the galaxy with some technology from the future.]]

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* In the podcast story ''[[http://podiobooks.com/title/space-casey/ Space Casey]]'' humans have interplanetary travel but the "Old Ones" are keeping them isolated from galactic society, ostentatiously for our own good. Though they do allow one researcher to come to our system once every hundred years or so. And eventually it turns out that [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the "Old Ones" are just a pair of con artists pulling a fast one on the galaxy with some technology from the future.]]
16th May '17 9:49:42 PM SSJMagus
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** In the TNG episode "[[{{Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E21Symbiosis}} Symbiosis]]", the Ornarans are suffering from a fatal disease and are dependent on medicine provided by the Brekkians, but this has led to the Ornaran society falling apart, while the Brekkians have become so wealthy from the profits that they have centered their entire society on exploiting the Ornarans. It doesn't take long for Dr. Crusher to realize the disease was cured ages ago, and that they were suffering from the withdrawal symptoms; the "medicine" is actually a highly addictive drug. She wants to put an end to this, but Captain Picard points to the Prime Directive, saying they cannot interfere. Picard then points out they can't interfere to maintain the status quo either. The Ornaran ships were no longer able to make supply runs for the medicine, and they wanted the ''Enterprise's'' help in repairing their fleet; by refusing, the Ornarans would have to face the withdrawal and hopefully get over it on their own.

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** In the TNG episode "[[{{Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E21Symbiosis}} Symbiosis]]", the Ornarans are suffering from a fatal disease and are dependent on medicine provided by the Brekkians, but this has led to the Ornaran society falling apart, while the Brekkians have become so wealthy from the profits that they have centered their entire society on exploiting the Ornarans. It doesn't take long for Dr. Crusher to realize the disease was cured ages ago, and that they were suffering from the withdrawal symptoms; the "medicine" is actually a highly addictive drug. She wants to put an end to this, but Captain Picard points to the Prime Directive, saying they cannot interfere. Picard then points out they can't interfere to maintain the status quo either. The Ornaran ships were no longer able to make supply runs for the medicine, and they wanted the ''Enterprise's'' help in repairing their fleet; by refusing, the Ornarans would have to face the withdrawal and hopefully get over it on their own. This is despite the fact that the Prime Directive shouldn't apply to the situation ''at all'', since this is neither a case of a pre-first contact civilization (by definition, the Ornarans and Brekkians have already made contact with each other) nor a purely internal affair of one civilization (the entire conflict is regarding the interaction between two entirely separate civilizations). By the incredibly flimsy justification that Brekkians "centered their entire society around exploiting the Ornarans", the Prime Directive would prohibit Starfleet from defending anyone from attack by the Orions (whose entire society is centered around piracy), the Borg (whose entire society is centered around assimilating other civilizations) or the Dominion (whose entire society is centered around military conquest).
13th May '17 5:27:04 PM nombretomado
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* The Protoss of ''Franchise/StarCraft'' had this policy ever since an incident with a minor race called the Kalath. Some researchers revealed themselves in an attempt to stop a civil war and both sides attacked the Protoss instead, Collossi were built and used to decimate their population. The Protoss even considered the warp-capable Terrans to qualify as "lesser races" under that policy and only revealed themselves to [[DeathFromAbove "purify"]] Terran colonies that became infested by the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Zerg]]. It's revealed in ''Legacy of the Void'' that [[spoiler: the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'naga]] ''also'' had such a clause, something which naturally concerns Artanis considering the Protoss were uplifted by the Xel'naga in the first place. Of course, it turns out that BigBad Amon was responsible for the uplifting.]]

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* The Protoss of ''Franchise/StarCraft'' ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' had this policy ever since an incident with a minor race called the Kalath. Some researchers revealed themselves in an attempt to stop a civil war and both sides attacked the Protoss instead, Collossi were built and used to decimate their population. The Protoss even considered the warp-capable Terrans to qualify as "lesser races" under that policy and only revealed themselves to [[DeathFromAbove "purify"]] Terran colonies that became infested by the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Zerg]]. It's revealed in ''Legacy of the Void'' that [[spoiler: the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'naga]] ''also'' had such a clause, something which naturally concerns Artanis considering the Protoss were uplifted by the Xel'naga in the first place. Of course, it turns out that BigBad Amon was responsible for the uplifting.]]
10th May '17 9:17:40 PM poi99
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** The Yeerks have a version of this. Yes, they are the antagonists. Yes, they are invading Earth, no, they will not break TheMasquerade. They may have a tech advantage over the humans, but they don't have the numbers advantage (there are more humans than the totality of the Yeerk Empire) and the advance team that found Earth is well aware of Human's instinct to fight against odds (against their own kind no less. They wrote fiction about doing this to aliens). The fear of the leadership is that should humans learn about the invasion, they would fight back. If the Yeerks win, they devastate a large amount of fairly good hosts. If the Yeerks lose, they lose a large amount of fairly good hosts. If they do it quietly, it will be slower, but more likely to succeed. And they would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for some meddling kids who turned into dogs.
29th Apr '17 11:47:36 PM Xtifr
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* Elizabeth Bear's novel ''Undertow'' has an inversion: If a planet is inhabited, humans can only colonize it if the natives are pre-space. As you might expect, this sometimes results in a situation similar to what happened in most European colonies. But that's not even the best part. [[TheReveal The book's major twist]] is that [[spoiler:the natives of the world the book takes place on ''voluntarily gave up space travel'' and reverted to a pre-technological state. Which according to a literal interpretation of the Alien Non-Interference Clause, means the current colony is illegal.]]

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* Elizabeth Bear's Creator/ElizabethBear's novel ''Undertow'' has an inversion: If a planet is inhabited, humans can only colonize it if the natives are pre-space. As you might expect, this sometimes results in a situation similar to what happened in most European colonies. But that's not even the best part. [[TheReveal The book's major twist]] is that [[spoiler:the natives of the world the book takes place on ''voluntarily gave up space travel'' and reverted to a pre-technological state. Which according to a literal interpretation of the Alien Non-Interference Clause, means the current colony is illegal.]]
29th Apr '17 11:47:00 PM Xtifr
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23rd Apr '17 7:37:02 PM katrinahood
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* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'', judging how the penguins just bring Jason and/or Michelle aboard their ship so nonchalantly without any regard to whatever consequences come with abducting two children from a planet that hasn't developed faster-than-light space travel.
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