Erich Fromm's 'Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem': Summary

Satisfactory Essays
Milena Nikolovska Nikolovska 1

Summary

Erich Fromm is a distinguished German writer, who has large interests in psychology, philosophy, sociology and history. In his essay” Disobedience as a psychological and moral problem”, he discusses and compares the different kinds of obedience and disobedience, and how they can have a positive or negative impact on the human society. In order to proof and give example for his view, Erich Fromm gives a very convenient reference, about the birth of human history. According to the Bible, with the act of disobedience to God’s authority, Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden of Eden and become a fully human. Fromm states a good example of how disobedience is necessary for independence and growth. By breaking the order, Adam and Eve give a start to the human history and become independent individuals. One more reference that Fromm uses as an example of disobedience is the Greek Myth for Prometheus. He steals the fire from Gods and gives it to humans, which is a act of disobedience. But with this action, Prometheus lays the foundation for the man’s evolution. In this myth, the act of disobedience is a one of the necessary steps for the human evolution and growth. Prometheus does not regret for his actions and he gets his punishment.
The author is giving us those references in order to show us how disobedience can be defined as a good thing. Does not mean necessarily a vice. He also states a very thoughtful and creative idea, that the mankind might be destroyed from a people who are simply following an obedient authority. And he gives an example with the nuclear annihilation and the World War II.

Nikolovska 2

Then Fromm compares both obedience and disobedience, by emphasizing their

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