My question: "Is there a phrase or idiom that describes how society accepts their situation as the social norm, due to slow changes? As in how, purposefully or not, the government and corporations keep people too busy to know what's really happening so that they don't realize it negatively impacts them?"
I have searched Google and this site and came up with the meaning of the word "doublespeak", but that is not what I'm looking for. The word "charisma" comes to mind, but does not fit. What I am searching for is probably not a single word, but a phrase or idiom describing how a society does not realize what's really happening until it's too late due to how slowly things change, either purposefully or circumstantially.
The reason behind my question comes from an article I read long ago, concerning why people do not stand up and do something about changes in our society that negatively affect us, is due to the fact that when changes happen slowly, especially with generations that have a short term memory,that we tend to accept them as the norm, and become too busy with trying to just pay our bills, we don't realize what is happening.
My question stems from part of the article saying something along the lines of "the big corporations gave the people jobs, then sold them houses with mortgages, making them feel like they were living the American Dream".
My question involves issues of American society like the industrial revolution, the anti-corporate movement, and the dissapearing middle class.
The idiom or phrase I'm looking for might be more simple than what I've described, apart from using our society and government in explaining it but I can't think of any other instance to describe where deceiving, purposefully or not, an entire society to make them believe it's the norm.