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  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a French politician, the founder of Mutualist philosophy, an economist and a socialist. He was the first person to declare himself an anarchist and is among its most influential theorists. He is considered by many to be the "father of anarchism". He became a member of the French Parliament after the revolution of 1848, whereupon and thereafter he referred to himself as a federalist. Proudhon, who was born in Besançon, was a printer who taught himself Latin in order to better print books in the language. His best-known assertion is that Property is Theft!, contained in his first major work, What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government, published in 1840. The book's publication attracted the attention of the French authorities. It also attracted the scrutiny of Karl Marx, who started a correspondence with its author. The two influenced each other: they met in Paris while Marx was exiled there. Their friendship finally ended when Marx responded to Proudhon's The System of Economic Contradictions, or The Philosophy of Poverty with the provocatively titled The Poverty of Philosophy.

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