Arendt described the model citizen of a totalitarian state in this way: “Pavlov’s dog, the human specimen reduced to the most elementary reactions, the bundle of reactions that can always be liquidated and replaced by other bundles of reactions that behave in exactly the same way.”
Ominously, she warned, “Totalitarian solutions may well survive the fall of totalitarian regimes in the form of strong temptations which will come up whenever it seems impossible to alleviate political, social, or economic misery in a manner worthy of man.”
In Arendt’s time, totalitarianism emerged in what we might think of as Orwellian guise. The threat we face, however, will come in Huxleyan guise: we will half-knowingly embrace the regime that promises us a reasonable measure of stability, control, and predictability, what we mistake for the conditions of happiness. Paradoxically, the technologies we increasingly turn to in order to manage the chaotic flux of life are also the technologies that have generated the flux we seek to tame.
I’m having a hard time remembering it exactly, but I think Neal Postman makes this same point about our dystopia being Huxleyan rather than Orwellian in Technopoly (which you should all go read).