Between George Orwell (1984) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), I do believe we have seen the future.
And it is terrifying.
The world of 1984 is a fascist nightmare, complete with government surveillance in every home, on every street corner, in every office. Everyone lives in constant fear of the Thought Police and Big Brother, while having to deny the existence of the Thought Police and profess to love Big Brother. If Hitler hadn't been squashed and Stalin had managed to take over the world, this is what might have happened. I think this vision is a little extreme for today's society (people would never stand for living in constant fear like this), but still not far off the mark, especially when it comes to surveillance and the Thought Police. Britain already has a huge network of cameras. As we saw with Allen Lee, the U.S. is working toward the Thought Police and extreme censorship. The past will be relative; whatever the government decides happened is what happened, even if it means completely rewriting the history books.
Brave New World, on the other hand, has a much more plausible way of dealing with the public: drugs. The government keeps the people doped up on soma, which seems to be very much like Valium. People are genetically engineered to work in whatever field needs filling, then brainwashed to like their station in life. Lower caste people are denied oxygen and dosed with alcohol as fetuses in order to keep them stupid and compliant. Anyone who doesn't like society, who might make waves, who has a sense that something is wrong here, is shipped off to "the islands" (Crete, Madagascar, the Falklands, Jamaica, etc.) to keep them from contaminating the rest of society.
Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931, then an essay, "Brave New World Revisited," in 1958. He professed terror at how fast his predictions were coming true; he'd thought we had a couple of hundred years before it happened. If he could see what's going on today, I believe he would have a heart attack.