There are, broadly speaking, two classic literary visions of dystopia. Most of us are familiar with the Orwellian future of 1984, but comparable in scope is Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. A world in which the populace is controlled through indulgence. While Huxley's literary vision may have been a little more specific the principle has a wider application. You have to consider that humanity has an innate ability to control itself in the same way Starlings flock in graceful undulating patterns, we as a group express behaviours sometimes contrary to the needs, interests and values of the majority of individuals in that group. Bluntly - we do not need a master for society to exert some very underhand methods of control on itself. Pressures such as the economy, political environment and social trends can drive this behaviour.
So as the festive season is passing, and we've all overindulged on food, received gifts and had a good time do remember to keep a level head and an open mind. The latest torrent of celebrity news, reality TV and viral YouTube videos may be compelling but they may well be obscuring your view of things that if you're honest really do matter to you.
It's not paranoia, there's no conspiracy here. Just the human tendency to overindulge on comfort and safety.