Egypt: Arab Socialism

For most of the past decade, Gamal Abdel Nasser's one-man rule of Egypt has rested on a two-word slogan: "Arab socialism." Brandishing this vague concept, Nasser has expropriated private property, conducted political purges, ranted against other Arab states, and modestly improved the lot of impoverished fellahin (peasants). Last week Nasser spelled out in greater detail just what "Arab socialism" is supposed to mean.

Striding to the rostrum of Cairo University's Celebration Hall, Nasser faced 1,750 delegates attending the first session of the National Congress of Popular Forces, which will write a new charter for Egypt. Then the President smiled serenely,...

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