"from a materialist perspective ... the task ... is not to re-interpret but to transcend the very idea of industrial relations."(1) AS THE NEW MILLENNIUM approaches, Industrial Relations (or IR(2)), qua field of study, is barely a century old. Conventionally dated from the publication of the Webbs' Industrial Democracy in 1897 in the UK and the work of John R. Commons in the United States in the early years of the 20th century,(3) the field of IR began to take root in universities during the inter-war years and then grew rapidly in the context of the postwar settlement and the ensuing 30-year economic boom. When, from the mid-1970s onwards, that boom petered out and the settlement began to unravel, IR too began to slide into a crisis, one from which it has yet to emerge. Indeed, for reasons to be explored below, IR in its present form is unlikely to survive for another one hundred years, and it may even be extinct much sooner than that.