This proposal is a complete break with previous communist security practice. The bottom line question is whether we need to keep records of the history of individuals. All of communist history says "yes," we need to be able to discern among individuals.
As pointed out in the theory of Liberalism, however, the ability to distinguish among individuals is ultimately a Liberal obsession. We need to decide whether previous attention to the question occurred because of the new democratic stages that previous communist revolutions went through and whether it has any applicability in the majority-exploiter countries.
Trotsky argued that the best security practice is public attention to individual leaders so that the public can defend them and he accused Stalin of being too secretive on this score. Trotsky's criticism rings true for monarchist or recently monarchist-dominated countries: Third World countries should not adopt the MIM line on this.
In some societies, everyone loves the king and the king can dispose of your property. But if you encourage people to love their own property and other political leaders besides the king, you win the anti-monarchist struggle: it's that simple. At first the people become used to thinking of power struggles when the king dies: his relatives and the court struggle to put forward a new king. The next step is to love individuals not even in the former king's court: they may start by claiming to be from a previous king's court taken over by "usurpers." If we think of a leader as an accumulated political capital, then of course we do everything to prevent the enemy from taking our leaders--because then we'd be back to having only the king and getting around that whole mentality is what the anti-monarchist struggle is about, and it occurs a step at a time. In that case, emphasizing individuals other than the king is a means of advancing bourgeois pluralism and that can be an advance depending on the political situation. The whole idea of a political prisoner is tied in to this too. It means you have to be able to conceive of something the ruler does as potentially wrong and not divinely inspired. To this day, this could be a big problem among China's population for example.
The opposite is the case where bourgeois pluralism has dominated for a long time among the population. In that situation, building the political capital of a leader is connected with reinforcing bourgeois pluralism and contemplative materialism, not proletarian unity. It is especially the task of the party not to create a monarchist image with a top leader, but to be worthy of voting for a line. The focus on one leader is necessary organizationally when it comes to assigning responsibilities by ministry, but it is not part of the public image we need. Quite the contrary, it is detrimental and amounts to liquidation of the party's role. The vanguard party's role in a country where bourgeois pluralism has existed a long time is to be leaders, not follow a leader. The main emphasis has to go on the qualifications of the so-called rank-and-file, especially where the line between exploiters and exploited is so key. The key question is whether the party member can recognize exploitation when s/he sees it.
There are already a lot of pieces of the MIM line that point against previous communist policy on security. 1) We see all prisoners are political prisoners; although, it does seem obvious that we need to go all out on defending our own. We're confident we can do that better by adopting this aggressive policy toward public opinion building. 2) We operate anonymously. 3) We don't run for office. 4) We've already had something of a policy of working at "arm's length." This Congress resolution fleshes out some theory for the practice.
This proposal says that our security is two-fold: 1) Whatever is in public in terms of documents-- MN, MT and the website is our security. 2) Adopting the "put the ball in the hole" outlook on infiltrators is current practice.
Cons: 1) You can't defend against individual attacks without records. 2) We will fall out of line with what Lenin, Stalin and Mao had to do and we may not have thought through all the consequences. 3) Perhaps having persynal ego on the line advances struggle and even creates a necessary drive for it. (For example, long ago, I put something from Trotsky into written criticisms of RCP=U$A partly to motivate them to find it! Wow, MIM is borrowing from Trotsky, but can RCP=U$A prove it? Not. They don't study.) 4) Redstockings argued that when you don't stick with original founder individuals, the result is inevitable watering down, because those individuals broke through for a reason. 5) Political capital is real. There are situations where leaders need to be handed sensitive information and not distribute that information everywhere and in that situation they have to be "trusted." If you do not have that trust, you won't get that information and struggle will not go forward. Lenin spent a large portion of pre-1917 time circulating on the diplomatic circuit. Probably anyone engaged in systematic armed struggle needs to do the same. There may be some potential that MIM does not rub shoulders at the elite levels correctly because of this policy: that is true, a potential drawback. Elites like to see individuals and know them.
Pros: 1) We don't waste time tracking down individual records. We get in the habit of throwing out messages. We don't keep individual records and they cannot be discovered if they're not kept. Of course, whatever line struggle we had or origins of that struggle should be put into public usage. 2) We disallow outside attempts such as X's to pit Y against Z, because we say we don't care anyway. 3) We emphasize both MIM's altruism and objectivity at this stage of struggle by putting off struggles around individuals. Every time they say we struggle for power for its own sake or out of ego, we could say how is that possible when the public does not know who we are? How are we "benefitting" as the anarchists and bourgeois individualists always criticize us? 4) We help the public get past ad hominem/attribution error/pre-scientific reasoning where one's line is seen as stemming from the mechanical pseudo- sociology of the individual. This whole imperialist country ebb period is an excellent opportunity to do that: it's not something we will be able to do when we hold state power and will have to be known. So we should push along the masses' thinking as far as we can before we lose some natural advantages. 5) Redstockings are historically correct about that when we look at Mao for example and the people who came to water things down after him. The trouble is that we do not believe we can stop that at our current stage of strength in the majority-exploiter countries: there is a labor aristocracy and there is going to be revisionism. The only question is how to best advance our position and this policy does that. It makes the success of the watery revisionists less likely, because it takes most advantage of the proletariat's relative strengths. 6) Political capital is more dangerous than not. Trust should stem from action in the proletarian direction, not knowledge of the individual. The principal task is connected mostly to things that are public but not widely known or considered. Political capital contributes little to the struggle and in fact, the relative advantage of the proletariat is its lack of political capital, it's lack of state power and it's potential for perceived objectivity for lack of ego or office investments. With our central task connected to agitation and propaganda, "objectivity" is what we need and we need to stress that: look what we said compared with what Bu$h and revisionists said and who was right? 7) We dissuade struggles that amount to Liberal intra-individual friction or resentments. (I say resentments to stress that friction is not always equally distributed in blame. People concentrated on individuals are Liberal resenting sorts.)
We also need to attract otherwise anarchist-minded people and these tactics do that the most. Where political capital is most useful is in security matters and this resolution addresses that. Emphasis on political capital apes bourgeois security strategy, when our approach should be procedural and training people in procedures that favor our class. Our class will lose many individual battles and can even be pathetic at times, but the procedure ensures overall victory. People already do hand sensitive information to people based on the likelihood that action will be taken: they're not so narrow that they only struggle with people they grew up with or know persynally. If we assume that the struggle depends on knowing people persynally, then we basically assume that our class is going to lose, because our class is too big for that.
Question: So how do we know who should be on the CC if we don't keep individual records and if we disallow struggle over individual questions.
This is troublesome, because many of the first few years of MIM struggle revolved around people not remembering what they said and then looking up party line and previous struggles. Lately, we have advanced in this regard mainly because of some tactics connected to the website, and arguments about what we said when are much less frequent! That's probably both because we all kept at struggle and achieved greater internal clarity but also because we had a huge acceleration of what we put on the web to keep ourselves organized.
X and Y are two perfect examples. They've never been vetted the way the original primer arose and I have a lot of questions as to whether we can really do that anyway if we look across the united $tates, never mind the world for comrades.
So what this heads toward is seeing CC and party structure as a function, not a guarantee of anything individually. This is in accord with the bourgeoisie in the party thesis but also the notion that we are infiltrated before state power.
We are counting on people seeing and knowing that X and Y did steady work and deserve to be higher- ups in the structure. They don't have to keep records or engage in struggles over individuals to know that. Realistically, X and Y made themselves higher-ups through action.
Problem: How do we know that the party structure keeps an honest count of votes? Why do you "trust" it? This is actually an example of something we need to solve, but I'd say it's a mistake to think knowing individuals is really the solution. The structure should be trusted because it works, not because someone vetted its individuals. Just ask Ward Churchill how the public checks him out. If you don't see proletarian action out of a structure or are uncertain, then form another: affiliate it to MIM. MIM is a spiritual power to use the language of so many masses. The enemy self-destructs, and the spiritual power fills in.
What's the big deal if people agree with our cardinal principles but form their own organization? Should we be giving out internal information to "assure" people that activity is going on? Who benefits from that? Infiltrators again. How would you know how to "trust" the vettors? And so everyone has to vett everyone else to be "confident" and "secure"? Which class benefits from all the proletariat's individuals spending their time vetting all the other proletariat's individuals at this point? Obviously a line that leads in that direction is Liberalism Supreme and it's one reason we cut back on primer b.s. big-time with our line against sub-reformism.
Practice flowing from this line: 1) We disallow X's resolution's mention of individuals, though not the points. 2) We disallow outside attacks on individuals in the party, because we maintain we don't keep records on that anymore: you have to argue at general line level or not at all when it comes to MIM. 3) We do not keep anything in order to prove later that X said this or that. If someone asks, we say we don't care. Someone may have had a bad basketball game 50 games ago, but if they're putting the ball in the hole now, they can keep doing it. Records not kept and discussions not had because of this line cannot fall into the hands of the enemy. It is the enemy looking for the individual shit and the enemy should only encounter general line struggle. We just want to be careful that we publicly characterize two-line struggles like the one against the anarchist wind before we trash all our records. Even there, the point is not the individuals purged. Keeping records is good for knowing what individuals said 5, 10 or 15 years ago, because people will forget. Our practice should be that if we did not publish it, we should forget it. This policy DOES disadvantage the people who were most advanced 5, 10 or 15 years ago and we need to weigh that, but this resolution says we need to toss that concern. (That also means it's important to keep the publishing/web going for our own purposes and edification years down the road.)
Argument: The proletariat's ability to observe putting the ball in the hole is dubious. What may end up happening is the formation of several parallel MIMs--implicitly because people do not "trust" individuals. This is a violation of this resolution, because no one should do anything based out of trust or distrust of individuals, which is a form of idealism, but it might happen partly because of this resolution. Question: Does even that matter? In India and Peru, the bourgeoisie forms Marxist parties to split the pseudo-Marxist votes and divide the proletariat in more serious situations. That sort of division is not relevant at our stage of struggle. The bourgeoisie could form a shadow MIM, but if people would fall for that, they did not understand cardinal principles to begin with. There is no reason to argue much against an organization with your cardinal principles. There could be two-line struggle, but if the bourgeoisie uses that to launch bourgeois attacks, it will only be because people did not understand the cardinals to begin with. Like Luis Arce Borja says, you can't really claim to be in cardinal agreement with the PCP anymore even if you say you are for MLMGonzalo Thought if you favor ending armed struggle. That is the problem there, not that someone tried to divide the forces. If armed struggle were to start next month in the majority- exploiter countries, then this would be a bad time for this proposal, which has short-term costs and long-term effectiveness at the margin.
Someone also raised an example, could the enemy kill off MIM people and take over the website, because no one knows who we are. Well, even here, what is the real problem, the website or the content of it? In the short-run, losing a particular website is a problem, but spreading its contents securely is done best by breaking through ad hominem individualist reasoning. If MIM gets repressed and the public opinion function disappears, then its reappearance will depend on the extent to which people understand the whole idea of getting the job done. It will be held back to the extent people wait for new leaders to appear or vett the entire proletariat to find new ones. People will also defend the MIM public opinion function to the extent that they distinguish between getting the job done and individual frictions. MIM has proved that per- comrade there is no comparison to what we do. If there are any questions on that, we should answer that, not questions of individuals. We understand the public's fascination with the question of what one persyn can do, so we break it down to the "per-comrade" requirements of the party, but we do not have to go farther than that. Further than that encourages individualism, bourgeois idealism with regard to individuals and identity politics on the one hand, and crawling to the Democrats or Greens for greater numbers on the other hand. The only proper question is "per-comrade." No other question leads in the correct direction.
Proper uses of party history
Proper uses of party history are similar to how MIM handled the E-G Internet bulletin board in 2005. The argument about numbers of MIM readers pertains to whether our critics are just making up random lies. In this regard, party history can be useful, to prove that people make up random shit about the party. However, party history can never, ever prove that any particular individual has not sold out. Talk about website readers also brings us back to the per-comrade standard and the correct handling of pragmatism.
So for many years and recently MIM was accused of homophobia by some people with an axe to grind connected to competing organizations. This feeds into being confused with another organization claiming Maoism. Proper use of party history would include that a MIM founder comrade's first political action in life was to vote against discrimination against gays and for struggle against anti-gay discrimination. The same comrade received an indirect felony accusation of arson to back gay rights on the front pages of a newspaper. This does not prove that that comrade is still good, worthy of leadership or even works for MIM anymore. So for MIM, there is this whole question of what good that history really is.
The history does disprove the obtuse historical accusations that people inventing MIM history have come up with. But then again, people who would believe the things invented about MIM without evidence probably have deeper problems that simply refuting that instance would not solve.
In the many years of rumors about MIM being homophobic, MIM never tried to disprove it based on reference to that historical action before this resolution. One of the first things we have to tell the public is that it is not good at discerning historical struggle against oppression. What is more, much of that discussion involving live individuals involves baiting for security information. That's why people who need to see individuals in public on the bourgeois newspapers' front pages probably just do not understand the problems of our movement yet. As party material they cannot be taken seriously--and MIM stresses that it's a two-way street. Part of the reason that leaders are no good is that the people who choose them are no good. In the end, the people make the leaders, not the other way around.
In terms of the masses' relationship to the party, there is another question. Does the MIM approach turn off people who really ought to know all the struggles MIM is involved in or has played a role in? The answer is yes the anonymous approach causes people to lose something in terms of the ability to bond with the party for pre-scientific reasons. So this is a drawback of MIM's line. To some extent we address it through our PIRAO reports and what we say about ourselves in the newspaper.
What MIM does makes the maximum use of the separation of public opinion building and party building. There are countless organizations that are willing to "assure" people through face-to- face contact of infinite length. These organizations do not account for why the quality of so-called communist organizations in the West has been so poor. They don't understand that public opinion work is what generates high quality comrades down the road and so they cannot understand that if one has to browbeat a comrade and assure a comrade on a regular basis that that comrade belongs in an anti-war organization, not a scientific communist party of leaders. A party is not a group of passive people following a line of one persyn. A party is supposed to be culled from leaders, people qualified to vote for a line so that the party does not degenerate. These other organizations have a different theory than we do and they should in the Third World countries.
What we are saying to the people is this: If you want someone who you saw in action get maimed for his country, then vote for Bob Dole like millions of you already did. Pick someone you know from your own eyes paid some price in action, because MIM is not going to compete at that level. We actually don't want you to trust us because a comrade took the fall for gay rights or because another comrade is in the isolation cell. When you the public trust that way, it causes us too many problems, thanks in part to the existence of a majority of people with short-term exploiter interests. We want you to stop thinking truth comes from people you like. Truth is truth regardless and there are good reasons it's in the tiny minority right now.
If you think problems are great enough that you are desperate enough for a scientific organization of altruists to take control of society, then put us in power. As a party interested in acquiring power, we've never stressed anything other than our scientific duties and actions to spread scientific understanding. If you want to see us campaign the way Dole, Kerry and Bu$h did, then we're not for you. MIM is definitely an acquired taste.
The capabilities of the people
Comrades X and Y prove that it is possible to contribute to the MIM struggle without individual baggage. True, spooks spend their lives doing something similar for the bourgeoisie, but Internet makes this thought possible for all people who live a virtual reality. Internet was a part of the productive forces that made a huge blow against individualism and ad hominem reasoning possible. Now countless people have experience as virtual people with cloaked identities. MIM should push this trend to the max. All the past bullshit about voting for your neighbor to be city council should be tossed. It's not knowing your neighbor that is important: it's your neighbor's line and where city council is going that is important. This will also be a huge blow against pornography, because if the party moves forward regardless of individuals, then the Monica Lewinsky stained dress is not possible: it won't do any good to find it. Saying X, Y or Z is a reforming gay is not useful. All the questions about whether MIM is prisoners, students, whatever--again are underscored as pointless and stupid. The question is whether comrades oppose exploitation and oppression and get the job done. If people take action to implement MIM's cardinal principles, that's what counts.
Some of our ad hominem critics deride MIM for its anonymity. Many of these are used to backing candidates for office. What they do not understand: 1) the white workers are not going to rise up and put us in office next week, the way some organizations say and have said; 2) we're not going to be elected in the foreseeable future. In other words, if you believe the white workers are going to put MIM in power any minute, then of course MIM is wrong not to start acting accountably as a party about to be in power. That is how it has been done so far, but MIM has had no chance to argue for a different method yet.
If in contrast, the task at hand is public opinion, theory or even armed struggle in hostile circumstances, it's better to be less public. In the event of ultimate MIM success creating public opinion, the bourgeoisie will rush in to make a buck and create a souped up version of MIM news for sale one way or another. So even in that situation where it may be that MIM stirs up a broad segment of society, accountability won't be in the form of MIM taking individuals into the public except for those already in prison.
So it's important to see how white worker utopianism and anarchism play into each other here. Anarchists are used to criticizing people without distinction to whether they are in state power. They think people need to be held accountable before there is any power and are likely to equate people with sharp lines with people in state power. When people criticize MIM circles for being anonymous in this time period when state power is not on the immediate agenda, they are outdoing the anarchists in "infantile disorder," because many anarchists have the sense to have anonymous tactics at this time.
If MIM is about to come to power, it is only from the outside where others would be accountable for their power. Saying MIM "is hiding behind its keyboards" is tantamount to infantile disorder and slavish worship of bourgeois democracy. Open tactics are not always the best and open versus closed organizing has never been a cardinal question for scientific communists. MIM has proved already it does not need open tactics to create public opinion more than any other organization per comrade.
i. Recognize IRTR as a cell if it so qualifies by the cardinals, say in October.
ii. Recognize mimnotes.info as a cell likewise and encourage other cells.
iii. Hand over public relations RAIL and IM work to the IRTR while retaining logistics/non-public relations in the MC-oriented cell.
iv. Cease recruiting MCs. Cut losses from logistical exposure to MC-oriented cell.
v. Encourage HCs to think about how to raise the level of challenge on logistical work without violating their own security. Maybe they need to write their own primer and chuck people out of cells for failure to comply with it or maybe not.
vi. Existing HCs are encouraged to work with IRTR. If they are carrying out non-public work, we need to divide such comrades or place them in the appropriate context.
MIM will continue to recruit people to work with the party within the following ministries: MIM Notes production (art, layout, etc.) Prisons Web work (non-MIM Notes related) PIRAO Local branches As well as in any other ministries that existing MIM members take up
These people may be RCs, HCs, PCs or MSG as appropriate.
Outside of existing ministries and local work, MIM will encourage those interested in working with the party and in agreement with the cardinal questions to form cells, either to address particular needs (i.e. mimnotes.info, IRTR) or to take up local semi-public organizing. These cells will be granted recognition by MIM as fraternal through a vote of the alt- CC. This status can be revoked at any time should MIM determine that a cell has degenerated. People interested in working with MIM in the capacity related to an existing cell will be pointed in that direction to work with that cell (i.e. writers should work with mimnotes.info).
Existing HCs are encouraged to set up their own cells of work or join up with an existing cell or MIM ministry.
Any RAIL comrades not affiliated with a local MIM branch will be delegated to IRTR. RCs involved only in local organizing with an existing branch may choose to remain affiliated only with that MIM cell but will still be encouraged to work with IRTR. RCs who develop further at a later date will always be encouraged to figure out what cell they can best contribute to or to form a new cell.
MIM will retain the International Ministry but will delegate work with all lone comrades in other countries to IRTR while also encouraging such comrades to build their own local cells where appropriate. The IM will be responsible for MIM relations with foreign parties/organizations whenever we decide this work needs attention.
Each cell can have it's own Congress. The IRTR is one example of how to start conducting one. The 2006 Congress of the MC cell should be restricted and "lay low" so as to get the process of other congresses going. Comrades should not belong to two cells or more unless the line of the two cells is identical (otherwise no d-c) and if the logistical standards of both cells are met.
If a dual cell membership arises and a comrade meets the requirements of another cell, the MC cell will accept a dual membership of a comrade from a cell with an identical line to MIM's and meeting of a criteria that sums up something peculiar to the MC cell. For example, at this time, the MC cell mails prisoners and prints papers. So one aspect of the division of labor is that the MC cell funds things. The requirement for dual membership at this time should among other things be a contribution of $500/month per vote. Comrades can combine to meet that requirement or raise the funds, but it will still be only one vote. This is an example but not necessarily the only requirement that the MC cell might extract from a primer-like approach to enforce on dual members.
The MC cell has already started an international outreach by language. Because of the question of various countries involved and the need for national cells, we shall explain the MC cell role as making the web page available for Maoism in all languages. The original MC cell role is not necessarily to guarantee expansion into languages, only to facilitate it in cooperation with national cells. Having people think it is the role of the MC cell unconsciously stifles national cell formation.
The original MC cell has reached its limits on security. It has leaks, degenerates and military intelligence operatives totally inventing party history now.
The original MC cell did OK in those struggles and suggested some interesting things going forward in terms of using the Internet for people's imagination regarding security and how that should be.
However, we want to see it go a step further. What we've noticed is that locally-based cells do have specific problems. Given the security situation and the enemy population, it is not practical to see locally-based cells try to link up directly. The problems of locality-based (as opposed to Internet-based) cells are too great to link locality-based cells. Though much derided, Internet security is conceivably superior to locality-based security. The reason for this is that basic Amerikan thinking is not far enough from Liberalism in any natural regard for MIM centralism and leadership to make sense. The enemy labor aristocracy and gender aristocracy are constantly disrupting our work.
Our revisionist enemies are currently baiting us into open work. They share the same old white "Left" view of the state and population that we have derided now for 20 years. MIM has always taken pride in isolation from the Amerikan "Left." As soon as we isolated ourselves from it, our work among the lumpen exploded--much to our own uninformed amazement. Those who see an exploited majority and "free country" should run people for president. It's hypocritical to judge MIM along the same standard when we do not operate in the open.
The original MC cell runs an outreach to the lumpen, a newspaper and a website. When the Workers World Party leads a rally against the Iraq War, their web traffic surpasses ours for days before and days after. There is a certain justice in that. Yet most of the time, the MIM "practice" compared with other organizations calling themselves socialist or communist is greater even in absolute numerical regards. So what we are saying here is one divides into two. On the one hand, the MIM Center is limited and the original MC cell runs a prison ministry, website and newspaper--and we are even attempting to spin off part of the newspaper duties. On the other hand, those seeming limitations are still not such limitations when compared with MIM's own practice or that of revisionists. We do not want people to be confused: a small cell is pathetic compared with what needs to be done in an absolute sense, but a small cell can easily outrun larger, undisciplined organizations that do not know what they are doing or talking about. Now the task is to have more small cells for the strategic length of time when we are influencing public opinion but anonymously. When public opinion reaches a stage where MIM candidates should run for office or when armed struggle must begin or when proletarian invasion takes over the u$A, we can talk about strategy changes then. In the meantime, influencing public opinion and building institions of the oppressed should occur most ideally in theory in small cells that know their own conditions and reasons for centralism/security.
1) Local cells 2) Internet-based cells
Locality-based cells centered on face-to-face organization are the traditional and probably best way to go. Recruiting into such cells works best by knowing the activities of the recruits over a period of years before even recruiting the recruits. People you know well are good material for a locality-based cell.
In the geography-based cell where people are in face-to-face contact, the hurdles to overcome are commitment and line. The MIM website has the line we need. At the local level we can also challenge people to the level of commitment they need. The local cell can vote on how to raise requirements. Raising requirements steadily is important to the progress of the cell. Letting people in without the right line or commitment is demoralizing, time-wasting and unwise in security terms.
Dizzy-with-success errors occur when people try to recruit people more impersynally to a locality-based cell. When the enemy notices the success of your cell, the enemy sends recruits to infiltrate. Recruiting such people on the basis of general commitment and line can be a mistake, unless it can be done anonymously and at arm's length, which brings us to the Internet.
Internet-based organizing has very positive security benefits. Internet-based organizing frees the scientific mind by opening it to anonymous reasoning. Internet comes full of junk, so the benefit we speak of here is not that the facts are better on Internet, though compared with TV they are. The real benefit of Internet is people thinking in terms of anonymous identities and even trying to win arguments with anonymous arguments.
The next benefit of Internet beyond improvement of scientific reasoning is security-wise. With proper techniques, it is possible to organize anonymously across the Internet. In fact, Internet is a means of communication the type of which Marx said speeds up revolution. Even in a city it may not be possible to really observe all the people there and it may in fact be better to organize along Internet lines than to pretend that one really knows one's recruits.
Obviously, Internet cells can carry out Internet activities such as running a discussion board. What is less clear is the extent that Internet cells can challenge people to higher levels of commitment without meeting face-to-face. MIM has had some success along these lines, but there are probably tactics still to come that will radically improve the ability to coordinate political commitments of time, money etc. There is room for much new thinking on this point.
We oppose having geographic cells come into contact with each other face-to-face. Infiltration and spying are rampant when it comes to MIM. The whole strength of having a locality-based cell is that it is possible to do all the things traditional to a movement. The security advantages of culling people we know into a cell are lost the moment we slack off on security and start accepting strangers or meeting with strangers face-to-face. Likewise, meeting with Internet people is not such a great idea either if it can be avoided. Internet is the preferred medium when it comes to people who do not already know each other.
Small cells can take on various functions, perhaps through Internet consultations with other cells. What is necessary for a cell is really just one determined persyn with the MIM cardinal principles. In many ways a cell of one persyn has the least worries security-wise! Tasks ranging from petitions to posters to Internet discussions can all be done with one persyn. Some activities by one persyn can be done without anyone seeing them done at all. Formation of cells also encourages other people to form cells and minimizes the damages of repression of individuals or party central bureaucracies. Small cells also limit the damages that unprincipled people mistakenly recruited can do.