Political economics"" is an old-fashioned term, and its two halves have ong been considered separate entities, but the academic convenience of this practice may well be overridden by some serious inherent dangers. In any case, this ook reunites the pair with excellent results. Our corporate giants--Mr. Nossiter's term is ""concentrated industries""--have evolved a non-competitive but carefully not-quite-monopolistic system of price leadership, impervious to both consumer demand and governmental regulation. How to free the system from its stolidity, since neither complete laissez-faire nor socialism is presently acceptable, the question. In a chapter devoted to the prospects of disarmament, the author points out that the problem is not principally one of economic possibilities but of politics--persuading the world to accept the kind of wholesale planning which would necessarily precede the realization of these possibilities. We can cut arms spending and create a better world, he says, only if we can rid ourselves of the fear that planning and freedom are inimical. Mr. Nossiter doesn't explode myths, he chips away at them with facts and an abrasive wit. The result is a highly polished piece of iconoclasm.