Mikey wrote:Perhaps if the prizes are great enough. The problem is that of what we've seen of war in 'Trek, most of the action seems to be warship v. warship, with relatively little in the way of mercantile shipping. Replicators, and all that. If there is considerable commercial shipping, then privateering might be an option after all.
Deep Space Nine operated as a trade center. Of course, it was in a critical location, similar to cities on either side of the Panama or Suez Canals.
Replicators still need raw materials, and with the trading that went on in the DS9 episode "Progress
", if it had been easier to replicate items than trade for something that was shipped from another star system, they would have.
So there is trade, it is just that the areas close to the core or key locations is patrolled well enough to reduce the amount. For frontier/colony worlds, how many times did we see Enterprise delivering something? It is a lot easier to be a privateer when your enemy doesn't use Galaxy class starships to transport supplies.
Now in Klingon space, there are likely privateers between the Houses, and the Houses don't mind since it gives the warriors on the transports something to look forward to. I can almost imagine the recruiting process for a Klingon transport:
"We need volunteers for the freighter going through the Kandesa sector. There have been two Federation ships that disappeared in there, but we did get partial distress calls saying they were being boarded. We don't know who or why, all we know is the enemy captured or killed all of them. Based on other sightings, we expect the aliens to be hostile, and to prefer engaging their enemies in hand to hand combat. The freighter's passenger spaces have been downgraded, so the only bunks are bare metal, but we can fit forty of you in there. The Federation has said the destination system has several tuns
of blood wine to transport back to Klingon space if our ship manages to reach them. Who wants to on this mission, where they are likely to be attacked, boarded, killed, but plenty of blood wine to drink if they succeed?"