The deep state
The deep state is a very broad term used in society to describe corruption, propaganda, or manipulation. According to the research conducted the deep state consists of many ‘elements’. One of these elements is the military, which is at the top of the deep state’s ‘power pyramid’. The Egyptian military controls a percentage of the Egyptian economy and influences the labor force through taxation, rations, and by seizing the revenue generating areas including land. The above distorts the market and makes it unable for Egypt to achieve a free market economy. It keeps the economy ‘on the brink’ making it unable to achieve anything greater than it already has. The paper will begin to discuss the structure of the Egyptian economy and will then transition to the various tactics the military use to manipulate the Egyptian economy such as taxing necessities and other various goods. The paper will also focus on the structure of the Egyptian military and how they are funded.
The military in Egypt remains among the most influential forces in all aspects the country. The military enjoys vast economic monopolies and controls many industries(Sennott, Charles, 5). Egypt has enjoyed years of agricultural prowess and stability, but had to incorporate industrialization into its mainstream economy. The process of industrialization has instigated further economic growth in the country. The industrial sector contributes to 17% of the overall GDP that the country registers annually. The industrialization sector in Egypt consumes 90% of the labor force, a figure that is very high. It also controls all the important factors in the economy, such as production of food, olive oil and gasoline. As a result, the army’s influence on such a major part of the economy can be interpreted as total control.
The Egyptian military has been constitutionally afforded with many rights and free things that only expand their economic empire(Naguib, Rime, 2). Themilitary is given many acres of public land that is supposed to help it in defending the country in one way or the other. However, because of corruption, these tracks of land are used for commercial reasons. The profits accrued to industries built on land that was acquired freely are massive. The industries are used to produce food, water, oil and cement. In addition, these pieces of land that are seized by the military are used for real estate development. An example is the land surrounding Nasr City, which is being used for the building of military commercially owned houses. The military enjoys a vast market as compared to other private industries because the people have been reported to trust military goods. Military goods are also more affordable, and hence enjoy a monopoly because they economically disorient other industries that can compete with them. Additionally, the military goods are not taxed. The law has exempted the military from any form of taxation, which makes their profits even bigger. The army incurs very minimal production costs with no tax and sells the products to the public, thus making a lot of money(Rivlin, Paul, 4). Most of these industries are controlled by powerful army generals and colonels who have established a military Inc. approach to the manufacturing sector in the country.
The labor force is a great determinant for a successful economy. The most economically well-off nations were well fuelled with labor force from slaves and immigrants for their industries. It was, therefore, inferred that whoever controlled the labor force had a good place in the economy. The same is the situation with the Egyptian military. First, the military is filled with free labour from recruits who form a big part of the armed forces. As a result, the Egyptian military is filled with many laborers who end up providing near free labor in its businesses. The military controls labor because of their vastly distributed factories. As a result, most workers would end up working for a military owned entity. Because the military controls its workers, it would control many of them because of the many industries it possesses. The workers in the military owned firms are very lowly paid and work under strict controls(Arrott, Elizabeth, 2). It is not answerable to any government entity and thus has the power to form its rules on how workers will be paid and treated(Abul-Magd, Zeinab, 2). With such controls, the military generates a lot of revenues and uses very minimal capital in the labor and the production process. The army, therefore, has a big margin of control on labor in Egypt since it owns most of the businesses in the country. The labor issues in Egypt made the army second guess its plan to take over the country from the government(Hill, Jess, 2). The reason is that there was a widespread countrywide demonstration of workers who demanded a rise of pay, something that greatly threatened the control of the military over the labor force.
Furthermore, the military has been awarded various positions in the government that gives it a wider scope in the establishment of a military-economic empire. Most of the governors appointed outside of Cairo are retired military generals and commanders. The government also has about ten slots that are usually reserved for the military. As a result, the officers get a chance to control both the private and public sectors of the economy because they are given the power to do so. As a result, the military collects revenue through many avenues in both sectors. Revenue is acquired through the corrupt ties that the military men form with other business entities. The military is supposed to stand as an independent body, but most of the time, business deals are fostered with other parties. The army sells the land that they have been given, are involved in real estate businesses and acquire sells from the food and oil manufacturing sectors. Because of the positions held by a number of army officers, they are enabled to establish any kind of financial control they want in the country.
The Egyptian military has about a 40% control over the economy of the country. Such a big percentage is demeaning to the principles of free market trade. The military is more privileged than any other body in Egypt. The privileges extend to the forms of trade they impose, which is against the doctrine of free market trade(Kirkpatrick, David, 4). The military has more influence on trade intervention as compared to the government itself and limits the freedom of other businesses. It imposes trade policies that are devoid of fair competition, which limits the rights of the other businesses to a free trade policy and competition. It is completely exempted from the same laws as the other entities are and is in an elevated economical position(Childress, Sarah, 6). Additionally, free or cheap labor makes the aspect of free market trade a pipe dream in the Egyptian economy.
One would wonder on why the media has been hesitant in covering such matters. The military has substantial control over the media in the country. The media do not have information that it can feed to the people because the military’s economic activities are matters of secrecy due to national security issues. During the reign of Morsi, the media were not allowed to profoundly on the activities of the military. They could only talk about the subjects given and how the military had established measures that would help the economic lives of the people. The media reported on the heroic acts of the military during the reign of Morsi and the revolution that ensued.
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Allahpundit. “Did Egypt’s “deep state” sabotage Morsi?” Hot Air. 11 July 2013. 17 September 2014
Arrott, Elizabeth. “’Deep State’ Feared, Welcomed in Split Egypt.” Voice of America. 29 July 2013. 17 September 2014
Childress, Sarah. “The Deep State: How Egypt’s Shadow State won Out.” PBS. 17 September 2013. 15 September 2014
Hill, Jess. “Will Egypt’s Workers Rise Up Again?” The Global Mail. 15 February 2014. 12 October 2014
Heineman JR, Ben W. “General Sisi’s Greatest Enemy: The Egyptian Economy” The Atlantic. 27 March 2014. 10 October 2014
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