Here’s a great piece from the book. Very relevant to reality, now:
I am sure now that we were overoptimistic in our judgment of the mood of the public. What we mistook as general resentment against the System's abrogation of civil rights during the Gun Raids was more a passing wave of uneasiness resulting from all the commotion involved in the mass arrests. As soon as the public had been reassured by the media that they were in no danger, that the government was cracking down only on the "racists, fascists, and other anti-social elements" who had kept illegal weapons, most relaxed again and went back to their TV and funny papers. As we began to realize this, we were more discouraged than ever. We had based all our plans-in fact, the whole rationale of the Organization-on the assumption that Americans were inherently opposed to tyranny, and that when the System became oppressive enough they could be led to overthrow it. We had badly underestimated the degree to which materialism had corrupted our fellow citizens, as well as the extent to which their feelings could be manipulated by the mass media. As long as the government is able to keep the economy somehow gasping and wheezing along, the people can be conditioned to.
accept any outrage.