The sentence: "this encouraged people all up and down the regime to start stealing other people’s businesses and property." reminded me of what I was told in Russia some time 13-15 years ago. How the most terrifying thing in Russia was that if you built a small successful business for yourself, nothing major, not becoming very rich or something. Just to have a decent life. Then "they" would come and tell you that you must hand it over, give it up to somebody.