Well, I have some other thoughts on this to state later, but, first...good thread and well put, V!
Success can also come from good attributes. While not specifically about the arts and capitalism, this illustrates what good motivation can do in a capitalist society:
My son works for a man in Louisville, KY, who owns hundreds of apartments and other properties. This man has been giving almost to a fault since day one. He gives regular, good raises to all deserving employees; once you've worked for him for two years, you get an extra week off to go on an all expenses paid group company trip with a guest of your choosing. Last year he took them all to Cancun; this next February it will be a cruise in the Carribean. He helped my son buy a new vehicle and then decided as part of a pay raise, the company would make the payments, since he uses it for work a lot. He likes to hire family of employees. He helped my son buy his first house a year ago, is so inspiring to my son and, my son has become so savvy learning from this man, that he just bought a second house on his own, with the idea of becoming more like his boss in buying, renovating, and selling property for a living.
His boss has regularly used kindness, open communication, and sharing of his wealth to treat his employees with respect, compassion, and genuine caring for each individual and their families. This in turn has made him a multi-millionaire and I don't know of anyone who knows him who begrudges him that at all.
The negative thing I would say about capitalism and the arts is that too many of the great artists go unnoticed for lack of funding, for not being the art du jour, etc. I still think capitalism gives artists more of chance than other programs. I had a friend whose sister lives in Holland. There the government bought all of her paitings, giving her a living. They did this with most professional artists. She was very unhappy about this, though, because the gov. wound up with so much, they could nothing with but store it in big warehouses. It hurt her deeply to think of her paintings never being seen or shared.
Whew! Dont' know any answers, it can suck both ways, but I do think intention or motivation can have a huge effect.