“Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience.” In the article by Erich Fromm “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem” the author discusses the positive and negative aspects of obedience and disobedience. This article was comprised in the early nineteen sixties when the Cuban missile crisis was still fresh on Americas minds
According to Hebrew myth Adam and Eve started the human race with an act of disobedience. By “breaking the ties” with God, the human race was set free to make the choices and fend for himself. This first step of defiance according to Fromm, showed that human defiance was a way gain knowledge of love and reason. This defiance is again brought up in a Greek myth of Prometheus. By Prometheus saying “I would rather be chained to this rock then be the obedient servant of the gods.” He ensured that humans are free thinking individuals that desire to understand rather than to be told. With these types of defiance humans have evolved intellectually and spiritually.
Fromm states that human existence started with an act of disobedience and it will likely end with an act od obedience
Throughout the article Fromm presents obedience as a crutch that is easily followed while disobedience is a difficult path to endure. By obeying to the norm set by persons of power, the freedom that humans hold in such high regards is taken away. By obeying to the set norm there is a feeling of acceptance into something that takes the liability away from our actions and thoughts. On the side disobedience Fromm sites that “In order to disobey, one must have the courage to be alone, to err, and to sin.” Fromm explains that by questioning authority humans take the future in there own hands and if we choose to obey , then we become slaves by giving up our freedom of choice.
In my opinion I think there is a lot of truth in what author Fromm states. While some of his arguments are obviously dated to the circumstances surrounding this article, I think that it brings up the important fact that it is always good to question authority.