Is the Federation in “Star Trek” Evil?

I bet fifty quatloos it is:

The starship crews fly around like they’re enjoying a post-scarcity utopia, but the fact is that the Enterprise has a gas tank. That big shiny warp core is just a reaction chamber. Annihilating a half-kilogram each of matter and antimatter releases two hundred billion percent more energy than a kilo of gasoline, but it’s the exact same idea. The warp core isn’t a magic energy source; it’s an Internal Annihilation Engine. And it burns fuel. Which has to come from somewhere. …

This explains why a universe with replicators and holodecks isn’t an infinite utopia, and why they keep meeting people who are struggling and starving. When replicators run off antimatter supplies, they’re not infinite food, but an obscene luxury. That’s how you can have a Klingon restaurant right next to a replicator on the DS9 promenade. Those who haven’t signed up can’t afford the fancy Federation machine. Eating whenever you want is a Starfleet signing bonus.

That’s what the “Prime Directive” is really for. They’re not shielding developing species from undue influence. That would mean not going near them at all, and definitely not repeatedly beaming down and having sex with the natives, like in several episodes. They’re freeing themselves from the guilt of not helping thousands of underdeveloped worlds while squandering their limited supplies on immense military vessels.