I get this kind of plea in my inbox all the time.
I am not scolding anyone, and I have no one in particular in mind in this post. But the main problem is not so much that I’m too busy to help, although that is indeed a stumbling block. I have four little children who need my attention, and I also need to put food on the table for them. I receive hundreds of emails a day, many of them asking for my help on something or other. I do my best when possible, but any time I take comes at the expense of my kids.
Just today I received a note from a perfectly nice guy who has gotten himself in over his head in a debate with a Marxist on the state and the market. He sent me a lengthy excerpt from the Marxist’s response. He would like me to get him out of this.
Here, instead, is my advice. In the time it takes to carry on a Facebook debate, you could be reading. You could be making yourself a formidable debater one or two years from now. Instead of asking me to hand you a fish, you can be learning to fish.
For something like what this guy is faced with, I would recommend any decent book on Marxism (David Conway’s A Farewell to Marx is an effective introductory critique) to start with. If he wants to pursue it further, I’d read Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk’s critique of the Marxian exploitation theory (you might start with this, and then consider reading Karl Marx and the Close of His System).
I also recommend the outstanding essay by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, “Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis.”
In light of the subjects raised in his debate, he’ll need to know the Austrian theory of the business cycle. This he can read about in Meltdown, a book of my own, as well as in many of the canonical Austrian texts.
Finally, he’ll want to know something about the financial crisis and regulation, a subject that likewise came up in the debate. For that, read the section on regulation in Rollback, my book from last year (and a book designed to help you win debates).
If you’re really stuck, inquire with the people at the Mises Community, where you will get some good responses.