As many commentators have noted, rising prices for staple products (food, energy, etc) have contributed to civil unrest in the Arab world. (What is unclear is if this inflation is largely due to growth in so-called BRIC countries or the quantitative easing of the FED and European Central Banks, or both.) The old men with guns are being confronted with demands for economic and political reforms from a youthful population. What is worth noting is that the political unrest in Egypt comes on the heels of a thirty year period of rising income per head and a twenty year period of significant, uninterrupted real growth. Rising expectations are dangerous times for dictatorships.
Of course, Egypt is not the only important country where the military doesn't merely run politics but has also focused on rent-seeking self-enrichment via control over crucial aspects of the liberalizing economy. Pakistan, and China readily come to mind. (Russia, too.) In particular, I bet that the Chinese leadership is watching events in Tahrir square with more than unusual attention. I wouldn't be surprised, alas, if it is sending encouraging noises about the consequences of a crackdown.