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[Excerpt] Professor Barbash states that "pluralistic capitalism of the North American and Western European variety provides the most favorable environment for power-based collective bargaining." I would only point out that the economic systems that go under the label "capitalism" differ widely in their characteristics, including the proportion of enterprise that is state-owned. Collective bargaining, after all, had its roots in 19th century capitalism but continues to thrive in the vastly different environment of the modern welfare state. It seems to me that there is nothing necessarily incompatible between collective bargaining and democratic socialism, but that collective bargaining cannot survive under totalitarian regimes, whether they be socialist or capitalist in nature.

Continuity and change characterize all social systems. Professor Barbash has emphasized the enduring features of collective bargaining in the U.S. My purpose has been to show that these features have undergone a considerable amount of change and modification. In terms of the objectives of the parties and the structure, process, substance, and environment of bargaining, collective bargaining is very different today from what it was in the past.


Suggested Citation
Lipsky, D. B. (1976). Collective bargaining as an institution - a long view: Discussion [Electronic version]. Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Winter Meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association (pp. 311-316). Champaign, IL: Labor and Employment Relations Association.

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© Labor and Employment Relations Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.