The first step to creating a control society is to create an emergency, or better still grasp the opportunities provided by a real one. Let us take the example of the twin towers. This was a genuine emergency that was posed by a major international threat to the West, but certain leaders took their chance to try to introduce measures that looked like the beginnings of a control society. One such example was Britain, where Tony Blair, who seemed quite comfortable with authoritarians like Gaddafhi, introduced a series of practices which posed a threat to civil liberties. Many Britons saw these as the thin end of the wedge by which a police state was being slowly introduced to Britain. Fortunately Blair is now gone and Britain's traditional liberties are now safe.
The first step is to tell the people that civil liberties/ human rights need to be suspended or curtailed. Blair was regularly on television informing us that the rules had changed, but he never said who was making the rules. The victim group was Muslims, not all, only those deemed a threat. Well it was true that some were a threat, but the measures were illiberal. Potential terrorists could be arrested [good] but they did not have the right to know the charges against them or the evidence on which the charges were based. Furthermore, the arrested could be kept under control orders in house arrest without limits of time. Arrest without warrant and imprisonment without trial, without the ability to see the evidence against you or knowing when you will be released is a standard trick of tyrants across the world. Also a technique is the threat to due process. Blair's government did not want jury trial for the terrorists, and they tried to get round this by the use of control orders, which kept people under house arrest for many years, often without knowing the charges against them. Many Britons were appalled at what was happening, because while they knew the need to suppress terrorism, they could see that the door was being slowly opened to a police state. When it happens to one group, ultimately the repression slowly spreads to another, and ultimately we are all in danger.
Other illiberal measures contrary to British liberal democratic traditions were the proposed introduction of identity cards, which all British citizens would be obliged to carry. Identity cards become permission to walk on the streets and are prone to abuse by police forces. If a card is necessary for your exercise of civil rights such as voting or access to state services, police officers can cause serious problems to you by destroying your card. This was done under the notorious South African pass laws, when black people would have their cards destroyed and then be accused of entering a white area without a pass. In the hands of ill-intentioned politicians such identity cards are a real threat to democracy. Fortunately the pressure for identity cards was ended when the coalition government came to power. There are weaknesses in any coalition, and the Tory element of the government is not sympathetic to the poor or to workers, but the British people sat more securely with their liberties under the coalition government than under its predecessor.Sadly the coalition is no more, there having been an election which nearly eliminated its progressive element, the Liberal Democrats.