Part of the reason for [the half-hearted and inefficient tyrannies of the past] was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easer to manipulate public opinion, and the film and radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit it simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. . . . The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.
George Orwell, 1984