The Mystery of Capital:
Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
Hernando De Soto
Innovative definition of capital
De Soto takes the reader of economics through the alleyways and barrios of the great surging cities of the developing world and easily exemplifies the limitations placed upon the world's poor through bureaucratic malfeasance, legalistic intrigue, or the political relativity of its intralegal master capitalists to their barriers of entry to market capitalism. His tasteful wit peppers the book with a wide pallet of market principles, theories, and real world systematic operations.
His argument regarding the vast differences among intercultural perceptions of capital, dead-capital, extralegal capital and the attendant struggle between stakeholder-oriented consumption maximization versus empire building are timeless and perhaps the shadow-play of universalist versus particularist traits of human nature regarding the perception of capital.
Particulary a relevant read when one seeks to extrapolate projected Chinese growth versus what De Soto has to say about social upheaval, Marxist theology, or the bell-jars and "grubby concrete basements" of the poor of the present...while trying to imagine their hoped for transition to the maximized, productive consumers of the future.
Will Marxists inherit capital of the poor of the third-world? De Soto clearly illustrates how and why capitalism is not their current best option.