Joseph Pierre-Proudhon once said, "To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, accessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right nor the knowledge nor the virtue" (Joll 78). Proudhon was the first political philosopher to declare himself an anarchist, and is considered by some to be the "father of anarchism" (Guerin). Throughout most of history anarchy has been dismissed without a second thought. Yet over time enough governments have failed, and enough debates over the direction of government have been held, that some have suggested anarchy to be the solution to political unrest. Starting in the 19th century anarchism saw a surge in its number of followers. What are the differing views on this ideology, and more importantly how are they relevant to today's society? .
Proudhon's part in the second French revolution, particularly his writings, had a great effect on the some noteworthy thinkers of his day, including Karl Max. Marx was not recognized as a major political figure until after the Proudhon's death. Proudhon and Marx met during the latter's exile in Paris-they failed to see eye to eye, and on more than a few occasions responded negatively to the others work. There is no doubt Marx was influenced by Proudhon, in fact, Marx's The Poverty of Philosophy was written as a direct, cutting, response to Proudhon's The System of Economic Contradictions, or The Philosophy of Poverty (Robinson).
One of Proudhon's most noteworthy contemporaries was Michael Bakunin. Bakunin is also considered one of the original, and arguably the most infamous, anarchist. He interacted personally with Proudhon, and was an avid supporter of the Paris Commune, a socialistic governing body started by followers of Proudhon that briefly ruled Paris in 1871 (Alistair 331-2).