Here's a very good animated version of an interview with the writer Aldous Huxley, recorded in 1958. Huxley wrote 'Brave New World', a classic work of dystopian prophecy.
In the interview, Huxley paints a picture of what we have to watch out for in terms of totalitarian control. Sadly, I think Huxley's warnings have mostly come to pass. Nowadays, our Western society may not have the obvious flavour of a communist/fascist totalitarian state but that is not because we are free of such control, it is simply that the powers-that-be have chosen a more glamorous, mesmeric system which still suits their needs and keeps us drugged but productive.
Huxley tellingly stated towards the end of the interview that the ideal result for the controllers is that the masses they control don't know they're enslaved or that they even like their servitude and enslavement. This is not such a far-fetched situation. Tragically, many slaves in history have rejected freedom and returned to slavery because slavery guarantees food and lodging; freedom doesn't. For those that contest that we are still free, it's worth noting that even the mainstream press now accept that our emails are read, our internet browsing is collated and examined, we are identified automatically on CCTV, our social networking profiles are psychologically analysed, our smartphones movements are tracked, we can be detained without access to a lawyer for a month, we can be legally watched without evidence being required. The list is long. Some say that this keeps us safe but from what? Fear is a great controller, as Goering himself once pointed out.
Tragically, the problem is not just that we have no privacy and few rights when in extremis. There is a greater problem that science has reached a point where it is possible to know so much about a person by examining his or her data and his or her cognitive biases, and how that person behaves and responds, that the technocrats have a better understanding of what most people will do than the people do themselves. Most of us unfortunately delude ourselves as to actually how we behave or will behave in many situations, as shown in many famous psychology experiments. The technocrats have no such problems; they see us with a bright, cold eye. Combining such knowledge with a battery of subliminal suggestion techniques enables the technocrats to anticipate and guide the behaviour of nearly everyone to a dystopian degree. Huxley, I think, would be saddened but not surprised.