From Sentient Developments:
Fiction often reflects reality and nowhere is this more true than in Star Trek. The franchise is one giant phantasmagoric projection of human hopes and longings. It’s also a glimpse into a our societal norms and commonly held inhibitions, fears and inconsistencies.
Take the Star Trek Prime Directive (PD) for example, a non-interference policy that applies to civilizations who have yet to develop the capacity for warp speed. The policy dictates that there be no interference with the natural development of any primitive society. No pre-warp culture can be given or exposed to any information regarding advanced technology or alien races, nor should the United Federation of Planets improve or change in any way the natural course of such a society, even if that change is well-intentioned and kept completely secret.
The Federation contends that great harm would be inflicted upon a civilization if first contact is made prematurely. It is my opinion, however, that if anything like a PD was put into practice it would introduce a slew of ethical problems…