• Rulers like Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser started subsidizing bread as a way to buy loyalty, or at least obedience, and this system became so pervasive that the Tunisian scholar Larbi Sadiki described countries who used it as dimuqratiyyat al-khubz - "democracies of bread." But the problem with this system of offering bread in exchange for genuine democracy is that it can never last - sooner or later, the bread will run out, and people will start demanding bread and roses too.