When people think of the Borg, they imagine the worst possible way someone can be thrown into a system against their will. Acting in a manner as if it’s the only way for others to join them. The Collective’s techniques are questionable at best and the way people are turned into mindless drones is unnerving, but doesn’t Starfleet act in a similar manner?
One would typically argue that the United Federation of Planets has better morals and ethics than the Borg. Yet do we really not know what we’re getting ourselves into as our starships approach undocumented planets? Instead of documenting what we see from orbit, we feel compelled to go down to the surface and explore the unknown, not fully grasping how an indigenous species would treat us as if we were the hive mind ourselves.
The Prime Directive has a set of rules that help Starfleet Officers be more mindful of species who think we are just as alien as they are to us. But what if the Borg had the same structure?
Obviously, we have a better understanding through communicating first contact through our diplomats than the hive mind does. But isn’t that the same thing as assimilating someone? We give them provocative ideas and things for unknown species to consider — but through the lens of our own opinion. Just the same goes with the Borg. They have their own opinion, however harmful it is, that they don’t have the mindset to reconsider themselves.
Updated Stardate 239602.11: Writer J’mai Osen pushes back against the notion that the spirit of the Federation has anything in common with the Borg hive mind. Read his rebuttal here.