Capital accumulation is the process of accumulating resources for use in the production of goods and services. Private capital accumulation occurs when productive capacity exceeds the immediate needs for consumption. A farmer can accumulate capital (stored grains, improved equipment) during years of good harvests and good farm revenues.
Generally, accumulation is directly linked to profitability: the resources used to make commodities can be replaced and augmented when the commodity is sold for a profit.
Capital accumulation can also take place in the public sector, where, from a structuralist approach within a conflict perspective, the state is seen as performing the function of aiding in the accumulation of private capital.
This function may be performed by the state providing an educated work force (human capital), building rail lines into resource areas, maintaining a legal system to resolve contract disputes and providing tax incentives or tax breaks. Capital is accumulation of goods or wealth used for the production of other goods and services rather than for immediate or personal use.
If a computer is used just to play games, then it is not considered capital. If a computer is used to generate revenue it can be considered capital. Capital is central to a capitalist economic system.
Other than economic or financial capital, we also have human capital, social capital or individual capital.
Diverging Waves of Capital Accumulation, Black
Capital Formation and the Specificities of Black Capitalism: From B.T. Washington, W.E.B.
DuBois, to Harold Washington and Beyond - Thomas, Darryl - Paper presented at the
annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National
Capital Accumulation and Growth: A New Look at
the Empirical Evidence