I feel like I’m in a particularly unrealistic SF novel. The oppressors are supposed to provide ‘bread & circuses.’ In real life, denying people bread & circuses and—here’s the SF part—propaganda makes the people want their own deprivation!
The theory that science should be falsifiable is a philosophical (not scientific) theory about science. It can be replaced by other theories about the uses, purposes, and nature of science.
One alternative: the socialist theory of science in which science should serve the people, which means to serve the party which controls the government.
There is no provincial more provincial than an academic.