Born in 1948 and raised in a Baltimore ghetto, Carl Dix was a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) in 1974 and continues to serve as a spokesman for that organization. He is also a contributor to RCP’s official newspaper, Revolution, formerly called Revolutionary Worker.
In the late 1960s Dix was drafted into the U.S. Army and received an order for deployment to Germany, but he filed a “conscientious objector” application and refused the order. For taking this stance, Dix was sentenced to two years in Leavenworth Prison. “I wasn’t a revolutionary at this point but I did feel that my fight was not in Vietnam, it was here,” he would later explain.
Following his release from Leavenworth in the early ’70s, Dix became involved with the African Liberation Support Committee (a black activist organization that supported Pan Africanism) and the pro-socialist Black Workers Congress. Moreover, he allied himself with Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
In 1981 Dix was a panel moderator for the “Mass Proletarian War Crimes Tribunal,” an initiative that condemned America’s “imperialism” and its alleged atrocities abroad. In 1985 he initiated a “Draw the Line” statement denouncing Philadelphia police and supporting the Black Power/environmentalist group MOVE, which defied law-enforcement authorities and had been responsible for the 1978 death of a police officer.
In the 1984 and 1988 presidential elections, Dix ran as an “anti-candidate” who campaigned against “the lie that oppressed people had anything to gain by getting involved in the powers’ electoral trap.”
In April 1992, Dix’s revolutionary impulses found violent expression in the actions of RCP members who looted the downtown and government districts of Los Angeles, thereby helping to spark the deadly riots in response to the infamous LAPD beating of Rodney King, a drug-impaired black motorist who resisted police efforts to arrest him. During the days immediately preceding the mayhem, the local RCP—which maintained close ties to gangs like the Crips and Bloods—circulated leaflets featuring a message from Dix titled “It’s Right To Rebel,” a quote popularized by the late Mao Zedong. Immediately after the riots broke out, Dix drafted a statement in support of “the rebellion.”
In 1996 Dix helped initiate the October 22nd Coalition Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation—an event that has been held on an annual basis ever since. Promotional literature associated with this event claims that “people are being killed by law-enforcement officers at an escalating rate”; that in a host of cities “cops viciously beat people, confident that they will face no punishment”; and that “racial profiling … has now come back with a vengeance” to create a “resoundingly repressive atmosphere.”
By Dix’s telling, a large proportion of inmates in American jails are nothing more than “political prisoners” whose only crime was to speak out against an irredeemably racist and inequitable nation. In 1998 Dix endorsed the “Jericho ’98” movement to grant amnesty and freedom to all such “political prisoners” in the United States. Moreover, Dix has frequently called for the freeing of convicted cop-killers Mumia Abu Jamal and Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (a.k.a. H. Rap Brown), whom he likewise classifies as “political prisoners.”
In the October 8, 2002 edition of the Nation of Islam publication The Final Call, Dix wrote that the U.S. government was: exploiting “the shock and grief of September 11 … to justify the next phase of war with Iraq … [and] the tightening U.S. grip on Persian Gulf oil”; “aiming for nothing less than unchallenged control of the world”; and putting “sweeping police powers … in place” on the home front.
Also in 2002, Dix was a signatory to Not In Our Name’s “Statement of Conscience,” which condemned the Bush administration’s “stark new measures of repression” and its “unjust, immoral, illegitimate, [and] openly imperial policy towards the world.” For a list of many others who also supported NION’s objectives, click here.
In a December 2006 blog post titled “Killing to Enforce Capitalism and White Supremacy,” Dix wrote that “cops brutalize and even kill unarmed people again and again” as a result of the “severe inequality” that inevitably accompanies “American capitalism and its all-too-legitimate child, white supremacy.”
In 2011 Dix played a key role in initiating the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, founded on the premise that large numbers of nonwhites in the U.S. are rounded up and imprisoned without cause. That same year, Dix joined Cornel West and some other activists in issuing a statement demanding that the New York Police Department’s “Stop and Frisk” crime-fighting program be discontinued—on grounds that it targeted nonwhite minorities in disproportionate numbers. On October 21, 2011, Dix and West were among 30 people arrested for participating in a mass act of civil disobedience at an NYPD Precinct.
In October 2014, Dix and West again collaborated in calling for a “Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.” That same year, Dix lamented “the seemingly never-ending list of foul murders of Black people by the cops and the brutal oppression that this police terror works to keep in effect.”
A staunch supporter of the Maoist “people’s wars” in Nepal Peru, and the Philippines, Dix contends that America’s “capitalist imperialist system” inevitably “thrives and exists on the chase after profit for a handful of super-rich capitalist imperialist exploiters.” “What that means for humanity,” he elaborated, “is exploitation, disease, misery, starvation.”
In 2017, Dix wrote that a host of “horrors”—such as “the wars for empire, the attacks on the rights of women, [and] the devastation of the environment”—are “built into the very way this capitalist/imperialist system works,” and “any approach short of revolution won’t work to uproot them once and for all.” That assertion echoed Dix’s earlier claim — which he had put forth in a December 2006 piece titled “Killing to Enforce Capitalism and White Supremacy” — that “to really get rid of” the “injustice” of capitalism and its attendant “exploitation and oppression,” “we need a communist revolution … that could sweep away everything reactionary and build a completely new and different society and world in its place.” “In a country like this one,” Dix elaborated in 2006, “revolution can only be made when there’s a major change in the situation, one where the whole society is engulfed in crisis.”
Dix identifies Robert Avakian, the RCP’s “chairman-in-exile,” as the individual best qualified to lead such a revolution to permanently “shatter” the “old order.” Avakian, says Dix, “has developed a vision of the kind of world we can bring into being through making this kind of revolution and how this vision could be realized.”
To view an extensive archive of Dix’s writings and statements, click here.
Further Reading: “Carl Dix” (Revcom.us and Keywiki.org); “About Carl Dix” (Angelfire.com); “Carl Dix: Days of GI Resistance,” Part 1 & Part 2 (Feb. & March 2003); “U.S. Puts World in Crosshairs” (by Carl Dix, The Final Call, 10-8-2002); “Killing to Enforce Capitalism and White Supremacy” (by Carl Dix, 12-4-2006); “Cornel West and Carl Dix on Race and Politics in the Age of Obama” (Democracy Now!, 7-22-2009); “An Audacious Start to the Movement to STOP Stop and Frisk” (Revcom.us, 10-23-2011).