This is interesting as part of a longterm trend towards a “Snow Crash” world.
Once upon a time most people enjoyed protection as subjects of a lord or king. History and democratic government incrementally shifted power and responsibility into the hands of the people (and corporate people) – especially the media. But responsibility for our actions left the people naked against exploitation. A corporation can sell directly to the people, it doesn’t have to worry about the whims of any local prince.
Corporations are getting smarter, cognitive marketing, subconscious priming, focus groups etc, all make the interactions between corporations and other dumber people increasingly asymmetrical:
Goldman Sachs, by charter will use every legal means to make money – they can instigate crashes, trade 10000 times a second, create complex incompressible instruments and even use AI to gain a competitive advantage over the lesser beings playing the same game… Nothing illegal here, but non augmented humans are at a distinct disadvantage.
The sovereign states were our only keepers and protectors.
They are nominally the worlds only free entities, who in theory can take whatever steps they deem necessary to protect and advance the well-being of their citizens. In practice this freedom is severely limited for most due to obligations to international organisations.
Now the nations are crumbling, governments can not survive defaults and collapse without loosing much of their power and relevance. Our last shepherds are dying off, leaving us defenceless against the wolves.