Lesson 126: Matter of internal security
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 3/11 ('The Hunted')


Capt. Picard arrives at a planet that is being reviewed by Starfleet for admission into the Federation of Planets.

The peaceful society on the planet is apparently based on exiling their military soldiers to Gulags once the soldiers are no longer needed.

The soldiers, without being forewarned, are initially programmed to be sophisticated killers, but are never de-programmed afterwards; thus, when the soldiers' violent nature pose a threat to the society at times of peace, they are sequestered in camps off world.

When challenged by Capt. Picard about the unfairness of this mandate, the Prime Minister of the planet uses the age old cry of all oppressors and states that the government's actions are justified as it is a matter of internal security of the population.


Politicians and nations' leaders are notorious for using the fear-inducing, ever-present threat to internal security as the drum beats upon which they rally the public to their own individual selfish causes.

In the name of internal security mankind has always managed to quickly discard its humanity by totally disregarding the rights of the individual and commit atrocities and genocide against his fellow man.

Even though mankind has constructed rules of proper conduct for himself, from the oldest code of laws in the western world as set forth by Hammurabi, King of Babylon (2285-2242 B.C.), to the Magna Carter (1215), to the US Constitution (1787), mankind continues to fail in drawing the proper line in taking actions to maintain internal security, without disregarding its own laws in the process.

Man's shared distrust of each other based on respective political and religious dogmas motivates insecurity. Given today's technology can allow a single individual to cause more destruction on a much wider scale than ever before, more stringent measures are definitely required to secure and maintain normal ways of life.

We all understand, and at times accept very quickly, the notion of individual's rights, rights to privacy and freedom of speech being overturned in the name of establishing more internal security.

In effect, by adopting this conclusion, we have become no different than the dictator, despot or evil regime we stand to oppose. To maintain internal security without discarding one's own laws takes very strong leadership.

Unfortunately, much like the Prime Minister of the planet seeking entrance into the Federation, most, if not all, of our leaders fail just as miserably in times of crisis, depriving its own citizenry of its rights.

If the soldier risks his life to protect his society and the laws by which they live, is it not totally illogical to abandon the laws for which he fights and deny the law abiding citizens of the society the protection under the very laws for which the soldier risks his life?

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