By Chris Rossini
Were we to live in a free society, grounded in property rights, voluntary interactions and peace, it would be very easy to proclaim the ideas of Liberty. Anyone could do it. There would be very little fear of ridicule, and you'd basically be "preaching to the choir."
However, the dynamic changes when freedom is eroded, when property rights are tossed aside, and government force is embraced at every turn. During such times, proclaiming the ideas of Liberty becomes an act of courage. Only the few are willing to do it, and ridicule from others is virtually guaranteed.
Today we find ourselves living in the second scenario. The free society developed by our ancestors has yielded to the ideas of Empire. The slide downward was gradual at first, and then picked up speed over the last century. During the last fifteen years, the slide has become evermore precipitous.
As the inevitable cliff approaches, there appears to be no shortage of authoritarian maestros, who are all jockeying to lead the way. There is the white knight, who claims that his smarts and his iron fist will "make America great again," and there's the devout believer in Socialism, who claims that if you desire something, it is your "right" to have government provide it for you.
The ideas of Liberty never cross their lips, and never cross their followers' minds. The idea inscribed on the famous Liberty Bell to "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof" has been tossed into the dustbin.
Now, more than ever, is the time for the few to proclaim the ideas of Liberty with passion. If the ideas of freedom intrigue you, then your first order of business is to understand exactly what they mean. Fortunately, with the Internet, it has never been easier to learn. As a matter of fact, there is more that you'll have to unlearn.
Liberty is simple. So simple that all of us can adhere to it.
If you've already become knowledgable and proficient in understanding the ideas of freedom, then the world needs you to SPEAK as much as you can. Silence is surrender. The knowledge that you've gained cannot remain between your ears.
It is always the few who change the direction of history.
The only question is: "Will we?"
John Lennon, born 75 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.
He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the U.S. government will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.
Long before Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files collected on his activities and associations.
For a little while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.
Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics, a letter from J. Edgar Hoover directing the agency to spy on the musician, and various written orders calling on government agents to set the stage to set Lennon up for a drug bust. As reporter Jonathan Curiel observes, “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes.”
As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”
Indeed, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution.
For all of these reasons, the U.S. government was obsessed with Lennon, who had learned early on that rock music could serve a political end by proclaiming a radical message. More importantly, Lennon saw that his music could mobilize the public and help to bring about change. Lennon believed in the power of the people. Unfortunately, as Lennon recognized: “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”
However, as Martin Lewis writing for Time notes: “John Lennon was not God. But he earned the love and admiration of his generation by creating a huge body of work that inspired and led. The appreciation for him deepened because he then instinctively decided to use his celebrity as a bully pulpit for causes greater than his own enrichment or self-aggrandizement.”
For instance, in December 1971 at a concert in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lennon took to the stage and in his usual confrontational style belted out “John Sinclair,” a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana cigarettes. Within days of Lennon’s call for action, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Sinclair released.
What Lennon did not know at the time was that government officials had been keeping strict tabs on the ex-Beatle they referred to as “Mr. Lennon.” FBI agents were in the audience at the Ann Arbor concert, “taking notes on everything from the attendance (15,000) to the artistic merits of his new song.”
The U.S. government was spying on Lennon.
By March 1971, when his “Power to the People” single was released, it was clear where Lennon stood. Having moved to New York City that same year, Lennon was ready to participate in political activism against the U. S. government, the “monster” that was financing the war in Vietnam.
The release of Lennon’s Sometime in New York City album, which contained a radical anti-government message in virtually every song and depicted President Richard Nixon and Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung dancing together nude on the cover, only fanned the flames of the conflict to come.
The official U.S. war against Lennon began in earnest in 1972 after rumors surfaced that Lennon planned to embark on a U.S. concert tour that would combine rock music with antiwar organizing and voter registration. Nixon, fearing Lennon’s influence on about 11 million new voters (1972 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote), had the ex-Beatle served with deportation orders “in an effort to silence him as a voice of the peace movement.”
Then again, the FBI has had a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures, most notably among the latter such celebrated names as folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg.
Among those most closely watched by the FBI was Martin Luther King Jr., a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968.
While Lennon was not—as far as we know—being blackmailed into suicide, he was the subject of a four-year campaign of surveillance and harassment by the U.S. government (spearheaded by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), an attempt by President Richard Nixon to have him “neutralized” and deported. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times points out, “The F.B.I.’s surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of how easily domestic spying can become unmoored from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately more unsettling, is the degree to which the surveillance turns out to have been intertwined with electoral politics.”
As Lennon’s FBI file shows, memos and reports about the FBI’s surveillance of the anti-war activist had been flying back and forth between Hoover, the Nixon White House, various senators, the FBI and the U.S. Immigration Office.
Nixon’s pursuit of Lennon was relentless and in large part based on the misperception that Lennon and his comrades were planning to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. The government’s paranoia, however, was misplaced.
Left-wing activists who were on government watch lists and who shared an interest in bringing down the Nixon Administration had been congregating at Lennon’s New York apartment. But when they revealed that they were planning to cause a riot, Lennon balked. As he recounted in a 1980 interview, “We said, We ain’t buying this. We’re not going to draw children into a situation to create violence so you can overthrow what? And replace it with what? . . . It was all based on this illusion, that you can create violence and overthrow what is, and get communism or get some right-wing lunatic or a left-wing lunatic. They’re all lunatics.”
Despite the fact that Lennon was not part of the “lunatic” plot, the government persisted in its efforts to have him deported. Equally determined to resist, Lennon dug in and fought back. Every time he was ordered out of the country, his lawyers delayed the process by filing an appeal. Finally, in 1976, Lennon won the battle to stay in the country when he was granted a green card. As he said afterwards, “I have a love for this country.... This is where the action is. I think we’ll just go home, open a tea bag, and look at each other.”
Lennon’s time of repose didn’t last long, however. By 1980, he had re-emerged with a new album and plans to become politically active again.
The old radical was back and ready to cause trouble. In his final interview on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon mused, “The whole map’s changed and we’re going into an unknown future, but we’re still all here, and while there’s life there’s hope.”
That very night, when Lennon returned to his New York apartment building, Mark David Chapman was waiting in the shadows. As Lennon stepped outside the car to greet the fans congregating outside, Chapman, in an eerie echo of the FBI’s moniker for Lennon, called out, “Mr. Lennon!”
Lennon turned and was met with a barrage of gunfire as Chapman—dropping into a two-handed combat stance—emptied his .38-caliber pistol and pumped four hollow-point bullets into his back and left arm. Lennon stumbled, staggered forward and, with blood pouring from his mouth and chest, collapsed to the ground.
John Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. He had finally been “neutralized.”
Yet where those who neutralized the likes of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.
Thankfully, Lennon’s legacy lives on in his words, his music and his efforts to speak truth to power. As Yoko Ono shared in a 2014 letter to the parole board tasked with determining whether Chapman should be released: “A man of humble origin, [John Lennon] brought light and hope to the whole world with his words and music. He tried to be a good power for the world, and he was. He gave encouragement, inspiration and dreams to people regardless of their race, creed and gender.”
Sadly, not much has changed for the better in the world since Lennon walked among us. Peace remains out of reach. Activism and whistleblowers continue to be prosecuted for challenging the government’s authority. Militarism is on the rise, with police acquiring armed drones, all the while the governmental war machine continues to wreak havoc on innocent lives. Just recently, for example, U.S. military forces carried out airstrikes in Afghanistan that left a Doctors without Borders hospital in ruins, killing several of its medical personnel and patients, including children.
For those of us who joined with John Lennon to imagine a world of peace, it’s getting harder to reconcile that dream with the reality of the American police state. For those who do dare to speak up, they are labeled dissidents, troublemakers, terrorists, lunatics, or mentally ill and tagged for surveillance, censorship or, worse, involuntary detention.
As Lennon shared in a 1968 interview:
I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal means. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government and the Russian… Chinese… what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane. But I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”
So what’s the answer?
Lennon had a multitude of suggestions.
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”
“Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders….You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”
“Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friends.”
“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”
“If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.”
“Say you want a revolution / We better get on right away / Well you get on your feet / And out on the street / Singing power to the people.”
And my favorite advice of all: “All you need is love. Love is all you need.”
This article was originally published at The Rutherford Institute.
By Ron Paul
The US regime change policy for Syria has been a catastrophe. More than 200,000 killed and an entire country reduced to rubble at least partly because President Obama decided that “Assad has lost his legitimacy.” How is it that the president of a country 6,000 miles away has the authority to decide whether another leader belongs in office or not? What if Rouhani in Iran decided that Obama had lost his legitimacy for killing a number of American citizens by drone without charge or trial? Would we accept that?
At least three years of US efforts to train rebels to overthrow the Syrian government has produced, as General Lloyd Austin, Commander of US Central Command, testified last month, “four or five” trained and vetted “moderates” in Syria. The $500 million appropriated for this purpose has disappeared.
The neocon solution to this failure to overthrow Assad and “degrade and destroy” ISIS is to increase the bombing and lead a ground invasion of Syria. The confusing policy of fighting Assad and also fighting his enemies does not seem to bother the neocons. They want us to forget all about their recent failures in Libya and Iraq and to try the same failed strategy one more time.
But something dramatic happened last week. Russian president Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the United Nations criticizing the US policy of partnering with one set of extremists – al-Qaeda and its allies – to attack both ISIS and Assad. “Do you realize now what you have done?” asked Putin.
Shortly after Putin’s UN speech, he requested and was granted authority from the Russian parliament to use force in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s request for assistance against the rebels. Russian fighters and bombers began flying sorties over Syria almost immediately. In less than a week of Russian bombing, considerable damage appears to have been done to both ISIS and to al-Qaeda affiliates – some of which are considered allies by the US and were actually trained by the CIA.
It may be tempting to cheer Russian military action in Syria, as it seems ISIS is finally suffering some considerable losses. Press reports suggest large numbers of desertions in their ranks after the Russian attacks. All of a sudden what looked to be an inevitable ISIS takeover of Syria once Assad was overthrown, seems far less likely with the Russians on the scene.
But I cannot cheer the bombs, whether they are Russian bombs or US bombs or French or British bombs. I do not believe a terrorist group created by foreign intervention in the region will be solved by more foreign intervention in the region. Bombs represent a total failure of policy. They destroy a country’s economy and infrastructure.
I wish the American people would finally demand that their government end its destructive policy of trying to change any regime that does not bow to Washington’s demands. I wish Congress respected our Constitution enough to demand that the president seek a declaration of war before attacking a foreign country. I wish President Bush and his neocon advisors had never decided to overthrow the Syrian government. I wish President Obama had fired the neocons who led him from one foolish intervention to another. I wish the CIA had not trained rebels to fight alongside al-Qaeda in Syria. I wish we would reject the shrill cries of the warmongers. I wish the US media was more than just a propaganda arm of the US government.
I am not thrilled that Russia is bombing Syria. I wish nobody was bombing Syria.
Ron Paul joins RT to discuss the Presidential race:
Ron Paul joins Kurt Wallace to discuss his new book Swords into Plowshares:
By Ron Paul
We're in a contest of ideas, and we're seeing the consequences of an economy run by Keynesian ideas specifically. Changing the tax code, and addressing overregulation may be good, and we should be for it, but the problem cannot be solved unless we address the Federal Reserve.
We have to get to the point of not allowing the Fed to fix interest rates. Central economic planning has to be rejected. We have to reject the notion that debt is good. It makes a country totally dependent. America now has an entire culture of dependency. The wealthy and the poor are dependent alike. Those in the middle class, who are still willing to work, are struggling.
If we really care about creating a fairer society, we have to look to the free market. It was the free market that created the largest middle class in the history of the world. Unfortunately, it's disappearing.
What we decide now is crucial. If we decide on more government, and more interference with paper money and debt, our problems will get much worse. We have to accept the fact that a lot of mistakes were made. We have to allow the market to give us indications on clearing out all the malinvestments. That is the solution.
We need some liberty. We need some freedom. We need to deal with property rights, and we need a lot less government.
That won't give us a million jobs in one month, but a year from now, you would see a thriving economy and you would see a much happier people. We would have a new generation who would be hopeful about having jobs.
Until we change our philosophy on what the role of government should be, and what economic policies should be, we're not going to get to the bottom of this.
By Jacob Hornberger
It had to happen. It was always inevitable that the U.S. government’s much-vaunted “war on terrorism” would devolve into absolute chaos, especially by attracting authoritarian and totalitarian regimes into the “war on terrorism” maelstrom.
Ever since President George W. Bush declared his much-ballyhooed “war on terrorism,” we have seen authoritarian and totalitarian regimes infringe on or destroy the civil liberties of their citizenry, citing the “war on terrorism” as their justification. Bashing down people’s doors in warrantless searches, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, torture, assassination. The war on terrorism has become a dictator’s best friend. Hey, if the U.S. government is doing it, why not every other regime in the world, including the dictatorial ones?
And now we have the grand spectacle of Russia intervening in the Syria civil war, one of the deadly civil wars that the U.S. national-security state has incited as part of its many regime-change operations ever since its inception in the 1940s.
What is Russia’s justification for establishing a military base and initiating bombing campaigns within Syria? You guessed it! The “war on terrorism”!
Is it any wonder that President Obama and his cohorts are stymied and dumbfounded by Russia’s maneuver? What are they supposed to say — that Russia doesn’t have the authority to fight terrorism? That the U.S. government is the world’s sole international policeman that wields the power to ferret out and kill “terrorists”?
Obama and his interventionist acolytes within the mainstream press are complaining that Russia isn’t bombing ISIS and other targets within Syria that the Pentagon is bombing. Instead, they lament, Russia is bombing targets that are seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — targets that consist of rebels who the CIA has trained and supported, with the aim of ousting Assad from power.
But wait a minute! Who says that the U.S. national-security establishment has a monopoly on determining who exactly a “terrorist” is or a monopoly on determining the best way to fight “terrorism”?
In Syria, Russia maintains that people who are trying to violently oust the government from power are the terrorists while Obama, the Pentagon, and the CIA say that those people are “freedom fighters” (except for ISIS, who, they maintain, are actually terrorists even though they too are trying to oust Assad from power.)
Yet, if we shift our attention over to, say, Egypt, which is governed by one of the most brutal and vicious military dictatorships in history, we see U.S. officials taking a different perspective. In Egypt, U.S. officials take the side of the military dictators by saying that the Egyptian citizens who are trying to oust the dictatorship from power are the “terrorists.”
That’s, in fact, why U.S. officials continue to flood the Egyptian dictatorship with weaponry and armaments, to help it maintain its dictatorial hold on power, just as Russia is doing in Syria to help maintain the Syrian dictatorship’s hold on power.
The fact is that President Obama and the U.S. national-security establishment lack any moral standing whatsoever to complain about Russia’s intervention into Syria.
Obviously, Russia’s intervention into Syria magnifies the potential for conflict between Russia and the United States, a conflict that could easily spiral out of control. Is that a good thing for the American people? Clearly not! Getting into a war with a nuclear power is never a good idea. But that’s the direction in which the U.S. national-security establishment is heading our nation.
Obviously, the sanctions that Obama imposed on Russia, with the aim of having Russian officials kowtow to the U.S. national-security state, have not succeeded in achieving their end. Indeed, arguably the sanctions incited Russia to intervene in Syria as a way to spite Obama and his sanctions system.
What’s happening in Syria is just one more manifestation of what the national-security state and the philosophy of foreign empire and interventionism are doing to our country (and to the world). Not only are they leading our nation to bankruptcy, owing to the out-of-control federal spending and borrowing to fund all this destructive nonsense, they are also making the world ever more unsafe for the American people.
Look at Iraq. Look at Afghanistan. Look at Yemen, where Saudi Arabian forces just bombed a wedding party, just as U.S. officials did repeatedly in Afghanistan. Look at Ukraine, where the U.S.-supported coup and NATO’s movement toward Russia’s borders incited the predictable Russian response in Crimea and Ukraine.
Look at the massive refugee crisis in Europe. It is a direct consequence of the U.S. military death machine’s interventionist antics in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Where are the Middle East paradises they promised with their interventions? Where are the free societies they promised would accompany their invasions and occupations? Where is the order and stability they assured us would result from the massive death and destruction they have wreaked in the Middle East and Afghanistan?
Everywhere you look, the old Cold War era national-security state leaves nothing but death, destruction, suffering, impoverishment, enslavement, tyranny, and bankruptcy.
How long are the American people going to permit this to go on? How bad do things have to get before Americans say: Enough is enough — it’s time to dismantle the old Cold War era Pentagon, CIA, NSA, military-industrial complex, and America’s foreign empire of military bases and restore the limited-government, constitutional republic that our American ancestors intended for our nation, which would finally bring us the freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony for which we all yearn?
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
By Daniel McAdams
On Wednesday the Russian military became active in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria. Pursuant to a request from the Syrian government, Moscow first began deploying military equipment and trainers as well as humanitarian assistance. Then the Russian parliament approved the use of force, and force was indeed used on Wednesday.
The Obama Administration is not happy about this development.
The US has been bombing Syria for a year without permission from the Syrian government and without a UN Security Council resolution authorizing an attack on a sovereign nation. That means US strikes on Syrian soil are illegal according to international law. However the first US response to the Russian strikes against ISIS in Syria was to condemn the Russian government for not coordinating its strikes with the US.
Unsurprisingly, the US mainstream media once again rushed to carry water for the US administration, with CNN's Christiane Amanpour pondering whether Russia answering the legitimate Syrian government's request for assistance would open itself up to war crimes charges! In Amanpour's world there is no crime in a year of bombing a sovereign state with not even a fig leaf UN resolution to back it up. The only crime is to resist the US empire. No wonder in a world of media austerity, Amanpour is a well-compensated regime propagandist.
Rather than welcoming Russian efforts against ISIS and al-Qaeda, the US claims that unless Russia also focuses on removing the Assad government from power its efforts are "doomed to failure." The US claims to be concerned that the Russians are attacking the "moderate" Syrian rebels trained by the United States -- but even US generals have admitted that group consists of a grand total of four or five individuals. So it's hard to understand the sudden concern. Each new batch of "moderates" the US churns out seems to defect to al-Qaeda or ISIS within minutes of deployment in Syria.
What is interesting is that the US-led coalition dropping bombs on Syria for the past year has yet to even consider the mounting civilian body count from its attacks. Not a word from the US government about large numbers of civilians it has killed in Syria. Yet there is plenty of evidence that the civilian toll taken by American bombs is exceedingly high. The moment the Russians join the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria, however, the US suddenly becomes obsessed with civilian deaths -- even as no evidence has arisen aside from suspicious reports from opposition-friendly "human rights" organizations that any civilians have been killed in the first day of Russian strikes.
What "evidence" exists of civilian casualties in the Russian strikes comes from the war machine funded Institute for the Study of War (ISW), headed by Victoria Nuland's sister-in-law Kimberly Kagan. ISW's Genevieve Casagrande -- a former dolphin expert who quite frankly does not look like a seasoned foreign policy expert -- claimed to know that Russia's airstrikes "did not hit ISIS militants and rather resulted in a large number of civilian casualties." Based on what? Only the unquestioning mainstream media could tell us. But of course they do not.
The bottom line is this: the US is opposing Russia's attacks on ISIS and al-Qaeda -- two branches of the same tree that are a proven threat to the US homeland -- because Russia is not also attacking the Assad government, which could never be a threat to the United States.
Who really is protecting us? Obama with his ongoing Assad obsession?
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.
By Chris Rossini
The so-called "Land of The Free" is straddled with the biggest government in the world. Logically, such an unfortunate state can only mean one thing: understanding of the free market is pitifully low.
Approach the average American, and he is very likely to tell you "But we need government regulation, don't we?"
You have to cut the person some slack. After all, America has been dominated over the last 100+ years by the ideas of ill-named "progressivism". Most Americans are also forced to spend their first 18 years of life in government's "schools," where they are drilled with these ideas. So you have to cut some slack. It's very hard, under such a setup, to know any better.
However, as the failures of America's centrally planned regulatory state continue to come in, it is very important that enough people understand what the free market actually is. The pieces that government has shattered will have to be picked up someday.
A free market simply means that individuals may freely exchange without outside interference. The force of government is prohibited, and force from the individuals exchanging is prohibited as well. Transactions are carried out voluntarily and peacefully. Both parties, since they are freely choosing to transact, benefit from the exchange. Both had the freedom to reject the exchange if they didn't like the terms.
Does anyone "create" a free market? No. It simply exists. There is no overarching group of elites who sit around a table drawing up blueprints for creating a free market. A free market is not legislated into existence. It can only be legislated out of existence (to a certain extent of course, since so-called "black markets" take over to get around the government's obstacles).
The free market is, without question, the toughest and fairest regulator in the world. It shows no mercy. If a business is not able to profitably sell its product or services, there is no one to run to. No one (other than a private investor) can bail them out. Private investors are not interested in losing their own money, so a failing business has to really show that it can survive if it wants to earn more funding.
A vast majority of non-profitable businesses would have to close their doors under a free market, but this is not as bad as it sounds. We live in a world with scarce resources. We do not have an infinite amount of land, labor, and capital. They are scarce, and since they are scarce, there needs to be a rational way to allocate those resources. Profits and losses provide those signals.
Profits indicate that consumers greatly desire the product or service being produced. Scarce resources need to be further allocated to these areas. Losses indicate that consumers do not have a great desire for the product or service. Scarce resources need to be withdrawn from those areas. Again, in a world with scarce resources, you can't have it all. Some things have to be produced, while others cannot be. Profits and losses tell us what each of those things should be.
The main reason that the Soviet Union collapsed was because they did not have profit and loss signals. As a result, the central planners had absolutely no idea where resources should be allocated. They were totally in the dark. The darkness lasted about 70 years before they had to call it quits.
So profits and losses are extremely valuable signals. They point the way.
In a free market, if you're producing losses, you cannot run to the government for help. You cannot lobby or bribe a politician to help you stay in business. This is a big reason why so many people despise it. Failing business owners would much rather buy a politician. It's so much easier!
A politician can bail the unprofitable out. A politician can write laws that protects the business from competition. Licensing laws are a huge advantage to established businesses. It's so much better for them to create high barriers of entry for any potential competitors.
Politicians despise the free market too, but for very different reasons. Politicians like to feel important. When they pass a law that prohibits this, or bans that, they get a rush out of it. You know the saying about how power corrupts, right?
Politicians like the feeling of picking winners and losers, instead of letting consumers do so with their free choices. Politicians also like to be bribed and lobbied. Not only does that make them feel important, but it also puts lots of money in their pockets. It also generates votes from the interests that they're serving.
So you have a combination of big businesses and politicians that love adding layers and layers of regulations to their benefit. Not only do they despise the free market, but they fear it as well. A free market would put an end to the buffer zones that they've created by law.
The fact that most Americans think "We need government regulation" only helps to keep the table-tilting ways going. Government and their cronies keep adding and adding. It's reached the point where about 1,000 pages of regulations are created by the U.S. government every day! Everyone jockeys to create a legislative advantage for themselves.
Few understand that playing this game creates impoverishment for all. Businesses that should have went under long ago, are still around. This means that scarce resources are being wasted. New ideas and products are never materialized, which means pressing problems are never solved. Consumers are forced to buy and transact with those that (if left free) they would not deal with. Service declines. After all, if you have government protection, you really don't have to care about your customer. What choice does the customer have?
Government "regulation" is not regulation, it's advantage granting. The free market is the real regulator. It provides a level playing field. You cannot bribe it. You cannot cry to it. It cannot tilt the tables in your favor.
The free market is the toughest and fairest regulator in the world, which is why politicians and their army of crony businesses hate it so much.