So The Man is sitting around with some pals shooting the breeze, and one of them says “I bet even you can’t physically drag an old man off a plane and expect to get away with it.”
“What’s the bet?” says The Man, “I know a surefire way to find out.”
He already knows the answer, though: people will complain, but with their outrage vented, the next time, the numbers saying “just comply” will be larger, their voices stronger, and their narrative slicker and better edited. The social media firestorms will clear the way for the launch platforms putting forth the barrage of authoritarian fearmongering and victim-blaming, pushing the narrative in the direction desired: just comply! You have nothing to fear if you’re not doing anything wrong! The system works as intended! You can’t possibly understand unless you’re part of a community I just arbitrarily defined! How dare you be so callous to that community! Why, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia!
“That’s a sucker bet,” says The Man’s friend, but screw it, The Man still has to prove his point, so the beatdown it is, and of course someone was asking for it. Someone’s always asking for it. Show The Man a hammer, and he’s gonna do some nailing.
It’s not that anybody thought there’d be no hue and cry. It’s that they wanted to demonstrate the hue and cry won’t change anything. The beatings will continue, as they say, until morale improves and all these peons know their place.