Nation-states remain preoccupied with their traditional roles, such as creating physical infrastructure, ensuring people’s bodily safety and health, and securing geographical borders. This is what nation-states do best, and what they will continue to do for the foreseeable future. A nation-state’s primary “users” are location-centric people for the duration of their lifespans.
Humems, on the other hand, have some fundamentally different characteristics and needs. They are increasingly location independent (locationless) and can endure indefinitely. Yet, despite these differences, humem domains have many overlaps with people’s traditional ones. For example, humems hold and convey essential personal information, and require many of the same resources, such as energy, technological infrastructure, and financial assets. This combination of marked differences together with many commonalities leads to irreconcilable conflicts of interest between humems and nation-states.
The consequences of these incompatibilities are already evident. Technological progress outpaces existing ethical and legal conventions and produces systems whose workings and implications are too complex for most people to understand. In this void of regulation and public understanding, corporations and nation-states exploit their ever-growing capabilities, resulting in an ongoing deterioration of basic humem, or EP, freedoms. This places emergent humems under a form of enslavement in which they are effectively owned and misused by others. And where there is disagreement among the controlling stakeholders—say between a state-government and a large corporation—it often resembles a dispute between competing property- or slave-owners, which disregards the humems’ basic rights and best interests.
Nation-states will continue to prioritize their traditional functions over EP related interests. Thus, it is difficult to imagine how a nation-state might recognize a humem, which it perceives as a non-human entity, as deserving of a form of citizenship anything like the traditional nation-state citizenship. That said, there might eventually be a way of establishing a new kind of jurisdiction that reconciles both the traditional needs of people and the emergent needs of humems. But, to the degree that this would be possible, it would most likely be through the precedent set by the humem-state.