From Where is My Flying Car. See also: Overton Window

Niccolo Machiavelli in his 1532 masterpiece The Prince:

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.”

It can be considered a sort of immune respond of the existing social and economic system as a means to keep power.

Also observed by Isaac Asimov:

“I discovered, to my amazement, that all through history there had been resistance — and bitter, exaggerated, last-ditch resistance — to ever significant technological change that had taken place on earth. Usually the resistance came from those groups who stood to lose influence, status, money, as a result of the change. Although they never advanced this as their reason for resisting it. It was always the good of humanity that rested upon their hearts.”