When mentioning the cypherpunks, I like to point to Moxie Marlinkspike's explanation of their failure.

In his talk from Defcon 18 (transcript available), Moxie argues that what we were preparing for was fascism and what we got was social democracy. For me it was an eye-opening explanation, and one that I think is important to understand given the ever-increasing network effect of technologies that are a not only a danger to personal privacy but can also grow to threaten free thought.