A society drifting into a police state displays some early warning signs. They’re not too subtle and I very much doubt if they require previous exposure to tyranny to detect.
Ironically, one is a demand for more freedom and democracy, along with a wider distribution of political power and human rights.
In the jungle screeching birds and chattering monkeys trace the route of a predator on the prowl. In our neck of the woods, scholarly and media voices perform the same function. It begins by academic thinkers discovering rights and freedoms nobody knew existed, or rather everybody knew they existed, but not that they were rights and freedoms. They were viewed as legitimate ambitions at best, and at worst as sins and vices, or even crimes. Still, now that they’re known to be rights and freedoms, i.e. constitutional values in a democracy, they have to be given their due.