Well, let’s just say this. Since nation-states, in particular, strong and viable nation-states, represent for Heilbroner the ultimate political configuration, which is to say, the essential ingredient of any solution to global problems and challenges facing the human prospect, they’re not to be tinkered with. Politics is not to be tinkered with. That’s the cash value of saying that the political dimension has been taken for granted. And to say this is to say, furthermore, that there’s no political solution, insofar as Heilbroner is concerned, to the kind of global problems and challenges confronting humanity today. If anything, politics, or the existing network of modern-day nation-states, to be more precise, is a precondition for any kind of solution, a necessary framework, if you like, within which all solutions must be tried and tried again until at least some of them succeed. It also goes without saying that the requisite kind of solution must be socioeconomic in makeup and origin; and that only a strong and viable nation-state, a network of strong and viable nation-states working in tandem, can make this happen.
This concludes our three-part series on the Inquiry. In the article to follow, I intend to tie up loose ends. In particular, I intend to compare Heilbroner’s idea that nation-states represent the ultimate in political arrangements, an arrangement we can’t possibly surpass (and further, that for this very reason, the only hope for humankind rests in the adaptability and resiliency of our social and economic institutions), with that of Macpherson who had quite a different take on the subject. Since both theorists were equally exercised by the same set of problems, global problems and challenges which threaten our very survival, the comparison should be instructive.