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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Alien Self-Government  
  Rules to assure intelligent aliens the right to govern themselves in freedom.  

"I tell you that man would never have gone into Carson's Planet the way he did, if he had known it was inhabited by intelligent beings. There are strict laws that govern even under military necessity..."

"More than three thousand of this races now have self-government. Man does not long deny to any basically good intelligence the liberty and freedom of action which he needs so much himself-"

From Co-Operate or Else, by A.E. van Vogt.
Published by Astounding in 1942
Additional resources -

Compare to the Prime Directive from With Folded Hands (1947) by Jack Williamson, Relations with Extraterrestrial Life from Ogre (1944) by Clifford Simak and to the Law of Contact from Orphans of the Void (1952) by Orville Shaara.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Co-Operate or Else
  More Ideas and Technology by A.E. van Vogt
  Tech news articles related to Co-Operate or Else
  Tech news articles related to works by A.E. van Vogt

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