Capitalist Collective Action: Competition, Cooperation and Conflict in the Coal Industryby John R. Bowman
Pub. Date: 11/01/1989
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This unique volume presents a theory of capitalist collective action and a case study of the pre-World War II American coal industry to which the theory is applied. The author examines the irony of capitalist firms that do not want to compete with each other, but often cannot avoid doing so. He then explains under what conditions businesses would be able to organize their competition and identifies the economic and political factors that facilitate or inhibit this organization. The case study not only illustrates the theory, but demonstrates how the competitive relations of capitalist firms are critically important determinants of their political behavior.
Table of ContentsPreface; Acknowledgments; Part 1: 1. Economic competition and market organization: the logic of capitalist collective action; 2. Forms of capitalist collective action; Part II: 3. Price and wage games in the bituminous coal industry; 4. Workers organize capitalists: collective bargaining and market organization, 1880–1914; 5. The coal industry on the defensive, 1916–22; 6. Labor-capital conflict and the disorganization of the coal market, 1921–8; 7. From free competition to state intervention; Part III: 8. Capitalists, workers, and the state; Bibliography; Indexes.
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