The Overton window of present Western society is currently very much down, although in alternative circles, it's much higher. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were even further down.
The problem-reaction-solution strategy is based on the Overton window. By introducing a problem, the reaction shifts the window downward. 9/11 helped the elite slam it downward hard. Previously radical authoritarian ideas like mass surveillance became official policy with the USA PATRIOT Act, and previously unthinkable ideas such as violent Islamophobia became very popular.
The Overton window has since shifted slightly back toward freedom, but only in certain circles. There's still not that much of an uproar about the continued NSA spying, for instance, even though it was the story of the month back in June 2013. A lot of people have even forgotten who Snowden is, rather depressingly, and a vocal number of the few who still remember think of him as a 'traitor'.
Donald Trump and his alt-right followers are helping shift the window even further down. With dangerous positions including mass deportation, mandatory identification of Muslims, and full support for both reinstating the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA, they're shifting the Overton window toward authoritarianism more and more. The right-wing master troll, weev, has explicitly stated his plan is 'widening the Overton window until genocide is politically acceptable.'
Political Ponerology speaks of a technique used by psychopaths labelled the 'reversive blockade'. This is when a psychopath insists repeatedly on an extreme viewpoint or a blatant lie in order to force the normal mind to find the alleged 'truth' in the middle. For instance, we know that Tellus (Earth) is an oblate spheroid—mostly round, but compressed at the top and bottom. A psychopath may insist that Tellus is completely flat just to provoke a reaction. As they insist and insist against all evidence, even though a scientist may be in the vicinity arguing that Tellus really is an oblate spheroid, the normal mind, using Bayesian reasoning and the 'golden mean' heuristic, may conclude that Tellus is actually flat to some decent degree.
The reversive blockade is used by the pathocracy in political discourse to shift the Overton window toward less freedom in tandem with the problem-reaction-solution formula. The solution is often offered with the reversive blockade technique: on one 'extreme', keep current freedom; on the other, obliterate it entirely. Most normal citizens will select a 'middle ground' between freedom and tyranny, thus allowing the window to be shifted downward.
For instance, returning to 9/11, the pathocrats suggested drastic measures such as a total shutdown of communication or even martial law. The opposing side was one that wanted to preserve civil liberties and deal with the attacks using normal means, or even people who suspected the government itself might have been involved. (This latter group has been vindicated repeatedly.) Instead, the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law and Afghanistan was invaded—which was the initial plan all along.
This all goes to show that power is psychological. If every American refuses to accept what their government is doing tomorrow, the regime loses all of its power. It's all what Robert Anton Wilson called a 'Bavarian fire drill'—you condition people as to the signals of authority and they'll obey. But peaceful regime change happened in India in 1947 and in the former Czechoslovakia in 1989. All it takes is for enough people to resist the programming and to stand up, and the reign of terror is over.
And in this realm, I beheld two angels. One was shining with a light brighter and purer than the Sun, and who had rainbows emanating from his body in every direction, in directions that are impossible for humans to perceive. And the other had a form darker than the night in the depths of the sea, and who had the countenance of a thousand tyrants and slaughterers.
And the dark angel spoke first, with a voice like that of burnt silk, saying: 'Come with me, my child, and I shall show you power greater than you can imagine.' And with these words, I knew that he was none other than the Dragon, the Angel of Death and the Prince of the Powers of the Air.
And he showed me a vision, a vision that I had seen a thousand times before, a vision of strong, fierce men trampling down the sick and the poor, of blank-faced, dead-eyed men marching over the corpses of dozens of innocent women and children. And he showed me the fire that these men of power wielded, and it was a fire that would annihilate a third of the Earth. And he said unto me: 'Bow down before me, and I shall grant you the power over this fire. Bow down before me, and you can join this legion of men of strength. For it is hatred that purifies the spirit, and blind fury that ennobles the soul. For the weak must be extinguished and the strong must prevail, the enemy must be conquered and our good must reign.'
But the angel of light rebuked him, in a voice of fire and thunder, saying: 'Cursed are you, you son of death and darkness, for there is not one word that exits your mouth that is of the Truth!' And he showed me another vision, a vision of all the Universe, of infinite galaxies and stars, of infinite planets harbouring infinite populations, of life strange to behold, of life and world familiar, of the same radiant light penetrating every atom of existence. And he said unto me: 'There is no opposite, there is no division. For all are of One, and all have been made as One, and there shall be no disunity within. For that One is the Love and the Light of Being, and there is no other outside. Follow me, and you shall live to see a world where strife has perished and harmony envelops all there is, for all shall know that there is no death and no need for fear of death, as all is in the whole of the One Infinite Creator.' And with these words, I knew that he was the Angel of Life and the Messenger of the Universal Redeemer, outside of Whom naught exists.
And the Angel of Life reached out his hand and placed it on the head of the Angel of Death, and the Angel of Death cried out in terror and blasphemy, and began to melt into a pool of glowing light as radiant as the Angel of Life. And the Angel of Life told me: 'This is the fear of death that resides within you; this is the delusion of separateness and the rebellious child inside all that lives. It has no thought nor will of its own, but rather a blind desire to kill, steal, and destroy. But behold, it has been redeemed of itself, and it ceases to have power over you. For now you see clearly that there is none other than the One Infinite Creator, within Whom there is no division or death.'
And I was bathed in a light greater than any I had seen before, and felt the presence of every soul within my own soul, of every particle of the Universe within my own body. And the Angel departed from my sight, but he remained within me, and I within him, and both of us in All, and All within us.