Bernard Bortnick visited our Conference in London a couple of years ago and got into trouble with the SLP for saying something there without authorisation. Although the SLP and us are relatively near on political positions and the language we use, there seems to be a huge difference when it comes to internal political culture. We are open, equals and democratic.
The SLP was imbued with an element of American nationalism and what appears to be a respect for the US Constitution
It may be anecdotal but i recall hearing of a multi-party conference which included the SLP but another party had laid the Stars and Stripes on the ground at the entrance so it meant walking over it and no doubt wiping your feet on it. The SLP delegation declined and departed.
At the Mound in Edinburgh when i first joined during the 70s there was an elderly lone SLPer who attended the outdoor meetings. I should have been more attentive to his conversations.
Personally i think De Leon’s ‘sword and shield’ analogy of the political and the industrial organisation of the working class is a good one, i’m even amenable to the switching of what is the sword and what is the shield depending on the situation.
In switching you’d be in good company. At one time De Leon argued that political action was the sword and economic organisation the shield (his position at the time the SPGB was formed in 1904 and basically ours if you like). But when the IWW was formed in 1905 he switched to saying that economic organisation and action was the sword and political action the shield.