Capitalism Is Egypt’s New Enemy

While businessmen are rounded up and tried in Egyptian courts, others are being investigated and their assets frozen. The military are holding interventions with labor activists and private companies to put in place a 15% pay increase for private sector employees. Labor organizations are told  “We are on your side,” by the military, while businessmen are given no choice but to meet 100 percent of employee’s demands .” Being rich is a crime now,” says telecommunications magnate and Cairo’s wealthiest man, Naguib Sawiris.

Young revolutionaries and the Muslim Brotherhood are joined in their desire to see market reforms rolled back and business held accountable for perceived corruption. Now in Egypt, there is a witch hunt against the country’s business community and the free market.

Mubarak, before his departure, was able to stabilize Egypt’s economy, but the poor remained. Sensitive to rising prices their revolution took ground. Like all revolutions, things change in predictable ways.

“The free markets will continue,” says Maj. Gen. Ahmad Wahdan, former Chief of Operations for the army. “But we must serve social justice.”