"The idea of Section 31 violates the principles of a free and open society."
'The Price of Freedom is, Eternal Vigilance
" --- some random old guy
"no country for old beings".
the point being,
sure, it can be reconciled with the notion of a free and open society.
I think Q would be chuffed that,
sentient beings at least tried
"Universe-wide TEOTWAWKI events" or blue-screen of death etc.
it's like Professor Moriarty realizing he's a hologram, inventing the EMH's mobile emitter,
and walking off the holodeck.
Or Professor Moriarty trying to correct problems in the holodeck, to ensure Moriarty's continued survival.
It's the next level of Kirk's Kirkism "I don't believe in the No-Win Scenario".
though I liken it to...
It's a little like "superheroes".
sure, a lot of folks dislike 'superheroes',
"how come they have all the superpowers |and we dont
"vigilante-ism by any other name still smells like horse-excrement"
"how can we trust |higher lifeforms| to share values?" etc
though when the hypothetical becomes a reality when they are in need of their assistance,
few folks refuse assistances from superheroes
(though that's a whole plot-arc in the 'what-if XMen" etc)
So what if the 'superhero' doesn't reveal their true identity and 'register on an ordained list of superheroes"?
what matters is - the quality of their actions
Section31 of the Federation Charter, exempts certain organizations from
the full effect of
the rest of the Federation Charter under certain circumstances.
you could perceive Section31 as a "Treaty of Detente/Cessation of Hostilities"...
They still have stuff like the Temporal Prime Directive and Omega Directive, however.
you could say, (cue Xzibit meme), it's "Starfleet's Starfleet"/"starfleet-ception"
"we noticed you like |Starfleet|, so, we put a starfleet in your starfleet"
Q intervened in Encounter at Farpoint,
and Q and the Borg, and especially in All Good Things.
Q could have made a far more direct intervention - it is within Q's power to prevent the Borg from ever having existed.
Q allowed the borg to continue, not necessarily because Q liked the borg,
but because it was the least-worst option to do so.
Who exactly, is a peer of Q,
such that the Federation could hold Q to account for
Q's 'unwelcome interventions'? (which more-often-than-not, have helped humanity's survival).
Q can take a direct Antinomian prerogative "Q refuses to recognize the authority of the Federation".
So, if Q poses such a problem...
at what point does that cease to apply down the taxonomical hierarchy of lifeforms?
Q is by-default a 'naturally occurring instance of Section31".