Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.
— Juvenal, Satire 10.77-81
100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.
188. I will funnel some of my ill-gotten gains into urban renewal projects. Although slums add a quaint and picturesque quality to any city, they too often contain unexpected allies for heroes.
208. Members of my Legion of Terror will attend seminars on Sensitivity Training. It's good public relations for them to be kind and courteous to the general population when not actively engaged in sowing chaos and destruction.
Citizens fear that the unknown will be worse than the known: a forgein philosphy, a strange religion, or perhaps society breaking down to anarchy. [...]Many people fear that a new government would cost them jobs or personal power; in a corrupt regime, they may have good reason to afraid of justice. [...]People who are used to obeying the law often have a hard time changing their habits when the law becomes oppressive. [...]And people may be loyal to the idea, or to the ideals, of a nation or empire, even when the reality is tarnished.
— GURPS Space, sidebar: "Why People Support Rotten Empires"
This is the future
of an illusion,
of an immortal;
of an animal.
— Stereolab, "Contronatura"
“The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends,” Ser Jorah told her. “It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace.” He gave a shrug. “They never are.”
— Ser Jorah Mormont, "A Game of Thrones"