Human rights constitute the basic framework for describing the conditions required for humans’ well-being and ensuring their protection from the detrimental actions of others—individuals, groups, corporations, and states.
Humems require similar rights for many of the same reasons. In fact, humem rights are to a large degree a reflection and extension of human rights. Hence, a humem with expansive and secure rights will extend and strengthen the rights of its corresponding human (its alpha-person). In the way that good nation-states recognize, protect, and constantly adapt human rights to a changing world, the humem-state must enshrine, implement, and continuously develop humem rights.
Following are some examples of fundamental rights and how they apply to humems.
The Right to Rights
In general, all living people, irrespective of their citizenship or lack thereof, are deemed deserving of basic human rights by international bodies such as the UN and by the signatories to such conventions as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Declaration of Human Rights. Currently, no analogous criterion exists for humems. As a prerequisite to such a declaration of humem rights, humemity and the humem-state will need to define what constitutes a complete humem—and therefore deserving of rights—as opposed to partial consolidations of EP, or what we may term proto-humems.
Despite the fact that fundamental human rights are broadly recognized, in practice people need citizenship or residence in a modern state to fully benefit from those rights. In other words, the citizenship of an advanced state is commonly what transforms human rights from theory into practice.
Similarly, citizenship of and residence within the humem-state are required in order to benefit from the protections of the humem-state. (The humem-state cannot protect entities that exist outside its jurisdiction.) Like nation-states, the humem-state will need to define the precise criteria for citizenship.
The Right to Perpetual Security and Growth
The most basic protection a nation-state bestows on a citizen is to ensure their right to life and safety from grievous harm for the duration of the citizen’s natural lifetime. This fundamental right is a precursor to all other rights.
Similarly, the humem-state’s most fundamental function is to ensure the physical safety—the integrity of body—of its humem-citizens. You may ask: what does “integrity of body” mean in the humem context? Today, the humem body—its physical manifestation—is predominantly composed of digital data. (As is described in the book, The Humem State, humem bodies may also include non-digital physical components, which for simplicity we’ll disregard in the current discussion.) Thus, if we focus on digital data for now, the integrity of a humem body entails secure data storage and maintenance, and mechanisms for its growth and development.
Analogous to a human body, a humem body cannot be frozen and stored in a vault and still maintain its vitality—static data ages and degrades in many ways if it is not maintained properly. (The decline of improperly maintained digital data is sometimes known as “bit rot.”) Also, in developing its full character, a humem body constantly grows and interacts with the environment—it develops from within and from without. The humem body requires mechanisms for internal data processing and for the assimilation of and interaction with new data. Due to the rapid progress of technology, these mechanisms need to be constantly updated and integrated with the existing systems.
Most of an individual person’s rights cease at death or shortly thereafter. Humems, however, do not have an upper bound to their natural lifespans. In this context, we can say that basic humem rights are perpetual.
A humem will typically be formed as a counterpart to an individual person, consisting of the totality of that person’s extended presence. (We named this kind of humem an alpha-humem.) We will see that to ensure a humem’s right to exist indefinitely, the rights of the alpha-humem have to be detached from and independent of the rights of its alpha-person. This concept may initially seem somewhat strange and infeasible. Yet, once we gain a better understanding of the potential for political and economic autonomy for individual humems and for the humem-state, this will begin to make more sense.
The Right to Autonomy
In advanced nation states we consider an adult person to be an autonomous entity. This status allows the person to determine many aspects of their life, such as their choice of profession, where they live, the nature of their social interactions, and how they invest their resources. Clearly this does not imply autonomy in an absolute sense—all people have varying levels of dependence on other people, institutions, and the environments in which they exist.
Humems’ right to autonomy can be understood in a similar way. As with people, humems should not be subservient to other humems or to corporations or state institutions. Humems should not be owned by any other entity. They should be able to exist in their own right and to further their own goals.
Just as human children have restricted rights in modern jurisdictions, early humems may be regarded as existing in a form of childhood in which they do not yet possess the capabilities required for full individual autonomy. At this stage, their right to autonomy can be seen more as a right to develop toward autonomy, as is typical of a childhood within an advanced nation-state.
The right to autonomy is strongly interrelated with other rights, such as the rights to migration and economic independence. None of these rights can truly exist without the other, and all of these rights are ultimately precursors of the humem right to exist in perpetuity.
The Right to Migration
The right to migration is considered a fundamental human right in advanced countries and by international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At certain times, migration has been crucial for ensuring the well-being of individuals and groups. Where migration is possible, it places limitations on the power of states over individuals. It also creates competition among states, inducing them to strive to be more responsive to the needs and aspirations of discerning citizens with multiple options of residence.
Because of the rapid development of humems and humem-states, and the longevity of individual humems, it is likely that under certain conditions some humems may see an advantage in “relocating” to another humem-state. As with people states, and especially because of the relative ease of humem migration, this prospect will induce humem-states to continually improve.
Initially all humem-states will be new and unproven states. Alpha-people will be justifiably reluctant to invest their resources in and entrust their humems to a humem-state if the state does not have a liberal and easy emigration policy.
In a sense, the very early humems—or their components and economic resources at least—can be seen as resulting from a migration (facilitated by the alpha-person) from nation-state jurisdictions to the humem-state. Since the humem-world is a very new world, this process should also be a reversible process where possible. As with analogous migrations of people to new lands in historical times, it is likely that only a few will ever undertake the reverse journey. Nevertheless, the guaranteed option of doing so will greatly ease the decisions of the early humem-state pioneers.
The Right to Privacy
Perhaps the most crucial and urgent humem right for furthering human rights is the right to privacy. Since people’s extended presence increasingly contains the parts of our personality and experience that require privacy, one’s humem’s privacy is to a large degree commensurate with one’s own privacy in the more general sense of the word.
Many human rights have consistently improved over the centuries. Modern democracies arguably provide the best environment for safeguarding a broad set of human rights. Very recently, however, there have been some serious regressions, with the right to privacy perhaps emerging as the primary casualty. These deteriorations are accelerating with few prospects for improvement.
Often, in democratic states, there is a perceived tradeoff between citizens’ privacy and their physical well-being. (Such as the current claim that widespread surveillance is needed to avert terrorism.) But this aspect of privacy is no longer solely determined by a citizen to state interaction within a specific nation-state. That is, even if one is a citizen of a state that ensures one’s privacy, one is still vulnerable to privacy infringements from other states. Indeed, in this and most other EP domains, one’s physical location or national citizenship is largely becoming irrelevant.
Moreover, many law-abiding citizens are even more concerned about transgressions against their privacy by corporations, many of which function under foreign jurisdictions, or by criminal organizations that evade oversight by any jurisdiction whatsoever.
In all these cases, current systems are either unable or unwilling to safeguard the right to individual privacy.
A fundamentally new system—one exclusively dedicated to humem welfare and rights, without the inherent conflicts of interest from which nation-states suffer—is required to reinstate and expand these essential rights. This is the humem-state.