Authority - Article Example

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Instructor Authority “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem” by Erich Fromm The article by Erich Fromm delves into the issue of disobedience and focuses on the importance of disobedience in shaping the contemporary society…
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Download file to see previous pages Importantly, Fromm does not have one line of thought and he is both a psychoanalyst and philosopher, and a historian and sociologist at the same time. In effect, his work cuts across these important disciplines; this makes it more balanced and informational than the work of other writers who focused on a specific discipline. Summary Written during the cold war era, and especially during the Cuban missile crisis, this essay focuses on the beguiling comfort that obedience of any form produces on human beings. In this regard, the essay posits that obedience does not contribute to sweeping changes that disobedience can provide. The essay starts with a historical cliche that has been the rallying call for obedience all through humanity. Fromm identifies the phrase “obedience is a virtue, disobedience is a vice” as a phrase that people have used overtime to assert the importance of people following authority, which the essay highlights as obedience in an irrational form. However, Fromm introduces a departure from this common viewpoint by introducing a divergent view that highlights the importance of disobedience among human beings. This article postulates that all the great achievements and strides that human beings have made are a result of disobedience. Hence, the article suggests that “human history started with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience” (Fromm 683). ...
Consequently, this ushered in the importance of disobedience since it contributed to the advancement of human history. On the other hand, Prometheus stole from the gods in an act of disobedience and consequently laid the foundation for civilization according to Greek mythology. (Fromm 684). These Greek and Hebrew myths set the pace for humanity’s evolution with the two instructively being acts of disobedience. Fromm further highlights other cases that indicate man’s evolution based on disobedience, and suggests that disobedience might destroy civilization in the future. In this case disobedience has resulted to revolutions that have established institutions that govern people. Furthermore, from does not negate obedience as a vice in its entirety. He suggests the importance of ensuring that an individual strikes a balance between obeying some principles and disobeying others in order to subscribe to a cause. This way, Fromm indicates that an individual does not become a rebel with a cause or a slave by obeying the powers that be that purport obedience as a way of achieving success and power. Analysis Based on Fromm’s work, it is evident that human beings’ achievement in terms of civilization would appear implausible without disobedience. In line with this, all the strides that are evident today are due to the great men and women who have made history by disobeying and behaving outside the expected norms in order to achieve their objectives. For example, the freedoms that people experience today are a result of various people going against the grain to agitate for freedom and autonomy from the powers that be, which are for the maintenance of the status quo with courageous people advocating for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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