There are many happy accidents of capitalism like technological advancements and communication between different peoples in a shared experience. It drives innovation and discovery; invention and progress, but ultimately wealth is whatever serves life.
A principle that becomes specific only in the moment. Anthropicly. The means to have a family, a neighbourhood...a country. Food when hungry; water when thirsty. Whatever it takes to keep having kids generation after generation. Still others can't have any of these things so that we can. Be grateful.
Control your supply chain and no matter what you do; DO NOT convert your assets into capital until the very, very last step of the process if at all before you consume the product as wealth.
The backbone of all capitalism is the supply chain. It describes every resource and design in its proper measure faithfully employed by each link toward the production. A successful supply chain reliably produces a product. Eventually all products must either be consumed as wealth at the end of a supply chain or connected to another chain.
So what exactly is a product then if wealth is whatever is needed at any given time and place to continue life? It's a link in a supply chain. So long as the product at the end of a supply chain can link into another supply chain it can be considered a product. Currency for example is a product; a link. Part of a larger series of chains. Water is wealth when thirsty and product when cleaning the dishes. There is no final product short of wealth but there are certainly different ranges of value from asset to liability at different stages of an ongoing production.
Beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that... asset to liability is really a function of ones own capacity to leverage supply chains and their products along with proximity of capitalization toward desired kind of wealth; a type we can consume to further life. And life is varied. Food for you or I might be poison to another.
Capacity + Opportunity = Production that produces product which may be consumed, ideally as wealth, something of highest acceptable value in this particular capitalization, or recombined, re-purposed, reproduced with another chain toward wealth.
Far too many consume product as if its wealth when it's just product and would have been more valuable placed in another chain. Perhaps through a bartering or currency exchange if nothing else. Many just don't realize and some calls are tough to make before the window of opportunity closes. This is why experience is almost always an asset.
If you design your supply chain effectively you can transform a product into all kinds of other products before it's consumed. Uncountable combinations of cost and capacity reveal hidden opportunities for capitalization. Some are very profitable. Others will sit for years apparently worthless until the right capitalist recognizes a missing piece of her own supply chain.
Capitalism doesn't need money, but money needs capitalism.
Wood + Saw + Hammer + Nails + Carpenter + Will + Time = So many obvious things we use every day we won't waste words explaining. It's so simple we almost don't want to believe it. Hard work, skills, and experience pays off. Every word is its own supply chain. Lets make it appear even simpler.
Instrument + Musician = Music. But wait you say, Music is interpretive. Doesn't matter. Just like our carpenter chain produces building or stairways, with known functional value within other supply chains; Music can also be valued within a series of productive supply chains.
If it's part of a chain that produces wealth then it has optimal value; if it produces more product it has less than optimal value of proximity; if it is neither consumable as wealth or productive product; then it's waste, at least for you, at least for the time being. If a product doesn't move toward wealth it's at the very least counter-productive and may even be exploitative.
This is the essence of why gambling and pyramid schemes generate negative outcomes so consistently. They don't produce wealth from products in their supply chains. It's counter-production on the whole by consuming someone else's product to produce money in the right pockets representing a smaller value over all. A little unearned money adds up when we don't consider its cost.
No-one wants to stop fraud and financial abuse more than a capitalist.
The difference between waste and exploitation is that waste happens naturally and is constrained by the fact that wealth is still actively the goal of capitalism. Exploitation has no interest in producing wealth. It's not capitalization. Where waste is just an unfortunate yet somewhat unavoidable natural counter-productive outcome, exploitation is waste by design.
It's a form of cannibalism. More costly to correct back toward production of wealth. Ends up adding chains. The more chains the further from wealth. Those who employ it either don't know or don't care that they are increasing costs for everyone in the whole enterprise and this is why it's criminal. To avoid overburdening the producers with a diminishing return for their efforts.
For every dollar sitting in a pocket unused for every minute it is slowly reducing value for all money and money holders as it is. Every dollar played in a casino, win or lose, all money is worth even less. For every dollar gained or lost in fraud even less. For every dollar given or taken from another that isn't productive and in every moment of its existence, that product which we call money is diminishing in exact proportion as it is counter-productive on the whole.
Yet, the reverse is also true. That the more the money is used in production and the more active it remains over time relative to the productivity over all; the more the money is worth. All money. Everyone's money. Not more physical money but more valuable. When productivity is at its peak with low inflation. Small amount of dollars can buy a lot of products. The waste from exchanges is minimal. Everyone has food on their table; a car in every garage. Interest payments are sizable. Societal progress speeds along in the fast lane.
All currency falls under one money. Each covering a different amount of production by different people in different places. But it all represents unique real world production even if the value fluctuates. Printing more dollars beyond productive balance only debases all money faster. The impact of all currencies in the real world is adjusted which may effect production indirectly especially when one capitalizes too early.
Whether it's digital or paper or gold or cryptocurrency. The toll will be paid to the river man eventually. So it's always better to support the conditions everywhere possible that encourage capitalists to produce effectively. There is no advantage to keeping capitalism to ones self and there is room for everyone.
Without effective producers capitalism goes dormant. A country descends back to the poverty of nature. Almost no capitalism at all. Very primitive forms. This means famine on the way back to living in grass and mud. The ones who can hunt and trap will continue. Life goes on. Pioneers again. Living off the land again...as though we'd ever really left it.
Our technology? Machines? Computers? We'll just consume them. Consume all the assets... then the liabilities... and then each other. Without capitalism we don't get to have any of the things we love about modern life.