In "The Gulag Archipelago", Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn writes:
Fear was not always the fear of arrest. There were intermediate threats: purges, inspections, the completion of security questionnaires---routine or extraordinary ones---dismissal from work, deprivation of residence permit, expulsion or exile. The security questionnaires were so detailed and so inquisitive that more than half of the inhabitants of the country had a bad conscience and were constantly and permanently tormented by the approach of the period when they had to be filled out.
Peace of mind is something our citizens have never known.
Whether giving in to fear, or influenced by material self-interest or envy, people can't nonetheless become stupid so swiftly. Their souls may be thoroughly muddied, but they still have a sufficiently clear mind. They cannot believe that all the genius of the world has suddenly concentrated itself in one head with a flattened, low-hanging forehead. They simply cannot believe the stupid and silly images of themselves which they hear over the radio, see in films, and read in the newspapers. Nothing forces them to speak the truth in reply, but no one allows them to keep silent! They have to talk! And what else but a lie? They have to applaud madly, and no one requires honesty of them.
The permanent lie becomes the only safe form of existence, in the same way as betrayal. Every wag of the tongue can be overheard by someone, every facial expression observed by someone. Therefore every word, if it does not have to be a direct lie, is nonetheless obliged not to contradict the general, common lie. There exists a collection of ready-made phrases, of labels, a selection of ready-made lies. And not one single speech nor one single essay or article nor one single book---be it scientific, journalistic, critical, or "literary," so-called---can exist without the use of these primary cliches. In the most scientific of texts it is required that someone's false authority or false priority be upheld somewhere, and that someone be cursed for telling the truth; without this lie even an academic work cannot see the light of day.
From The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Book IV, Chapter 3, "Our Muzzled Freedom"