West: … Let me begin by saying that it is an honor for me to be in conversation with the one and only Frances Fox Piven. She is, to me, a living legend, part and parcel of a very rich intellectual and political tradition.
The interview is so subtle, featuring nuggets of intense insight like: “I remember my father explaining, ‘A capitalist system is a dog-eat-dog system’ … I remember when I was a really small child, I tried to figure out exactly what a capitalist was and I decided it was like my Uncle Phil. ”
Poor Uncle Phil.
West goes on to claim that it’s “hard to go to an American Political Science Association meeting and not see a Frances Fox Piven student somewhere teaching, somewhere having impact, somewhere building on your legacy,” which is a stinging indictment of the American Political Science Association — “the leading professional organization for the study of political science” — and a strong reason to become an autodidact.