Recently I re-read The Light in the Forest, a book from my childhood, though I hardly needed to read the whole book to find the passage I quote below. I could almost have quoted it from the memory of my first reading some sixty years ago.
These are the words of an old slave, in colonial America, explaining how easy it is for those born free to lose their liberty.
Every day they drop another fine strap around you. Little by little they buckle you up so you don't feel it too much at one time. Sooner or later they have you all hitched up, but you've got so used to it by that time you hardly know it.