I'm going to plagiarise pretty mercilessly from David Icke in my following piece, but I found the following applicable and would like to share it with you.
A friend recently suggested I include more photos and diagrams in my blogs as it would make them more reader-friendly. I shall follow this with an illustration from Paint about the next statement of mine.
In our modern [Occidental] society, more allowances have been made for individual freedom than ever before (such as in the eras of slavery and feudalism). Liberty, while not as expressly granted as desired by a constitution, is at least seen as an ideal by enough people that they should do something to protect that liberty.
The trouble is that the 1% - or those in charge of those in charge - cannot allow too much individual liberty and choice. It threatens their power base. The weakness of the 1% is that all it would take to defeat them is freedom and power distributed to a critical mass. George Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four postulates a slightly different system, one less polarised by figures, because even the Inner Party were suppressed by today's societal standards. In the manual for anarchy within the book, the secret 'Brotherhood' manual written by 'Emmanuel Goldstein', we are given a history lesson about the hierarchies present in most societies, called by many different names but essentially meaning the same as what effectively came down to this - three groups, given as the High (the richest 2%) the Middle (the 13% inbetween the rich and the poor) and the Low (the other 85%) vying for control. The needs of each of the groups are incompatible with the needs of the other two. In the end, the Middle would end up enlisting the help of the Low to usurp the High, but would always end up using corruption and would screw the Low over. In Orwell's anti-Marxist work, the Low could not start an uprising, being too disempowered.
Now, to Icke's conception. The High or the 1-2% cannot allow the 98-99% to gain power. If they ( the Middle/Low) did, they could potentially unseat members of the elite. But they (the High) cannot openly enslave everyone - they can only do it covertly to a small group of people. For the rest of us, they have to rely on other devices. Similarly, they cannot imprison everyone, as they will destroy their own power base. They have to rely on people policing themselves, to a large extent. So we have the prison system and unemployment to keep people in line, but there is another, largely invisible (unless you know where to look) apparatus used to keep control, or at least the illusion of control, which they need.
That is, the Risk-Free Zone. Step out of this zone, and you will be punished - not necessarily by the police and prison, but often enough by your peers. The ostracism that will come your way for transgressing custom means that you are leaving the Risk-Free Zone, which the 1% have convinced us is morally incorrect because this is what they need.
To see a brilliant explanation of this concept, please watch this video. It's amazing. A Perfect Circle - Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums. The sheep that cross the line are impaled. It has to be seen for oneself.
For a less artistic version of this, here is my diagram. I am focusing on South African, as influenced by Western culture here, and notice these are generalisations, not absolute categories.
And watch the damn video.