Acts of disobedience raise critical psychological and moral issues in the development of humankind. Erich seems to suggest that people are likely to disobey because the existence of their being was from disobedience. His article highlights several cases that seem to justify obedience in diverse human decisions. He introduces a significant aspect of obedience that he calls ‘’Blind Obedience”. The intent of this paper is to give a critical analysis on Fromm’s work on disobedience as a psychosomatic and ethical problem.
Fromm’s piece on obedience overlooks several aspects of human existences. For example, in the text, he suggests that it is likely that the end of man’s existence would be from disobedience. These allegations are misleading because of the continuous development that human beings encounter. It could be true that disobedience by first parents led to the existence of man. He suggests that Adam and Eve chose to disobey and in turn created humanity. However, it is not a guarantee that the same will put a stop to the entire existence on humanity (Behrens and Leonard, 684).
Throughout this article, Fromm keeps urging people to be disobedient in almost all their actions. He further suggests that these people will be able to succeed in their respective lives if they are disobedient. The fact that Fromm sites examples of rules that he considers unnecessary does not justify his suggestions for disobedience. Societies must have guidelines that come as rules for maintenance of order (Behrens and Leonard, 685).
Fromm’s suggestion is likely to generate extreme cases of disorderliness in societies. There will be minimal success if people choose to disobey as Fromm indicates in his article. No one who chooses to follow Fromm’s suggestion will ever be successful in any of their endeavors. This is because disobedient people will always face their respective rules of laws. People who disobey the rules of their states live with guilt even after the end of their respective punishments. This is because the guilt feeling is psychological unlike what Fromm seems to suggest (Behrens and Leonard, 685).
The author includes several examples in his text from a certain religion. This means that he fails in his attempt to address a diversity of religions in his articles. The fact that he sites Adam and Eve indicates that his chief focus is on Christianity. Readers then wonder whether his article should guide only these people from the religion he sites his examples. His article is not meant to be religious in any aspect. However, he delves into religious aspect that could confuse readers from other religions that are not mentioned in the text (Behrens and Leonard, 686).
Fromm also alleges that the only way people can register significant developments in their existence is through disobedience. He suggested that this would be their display of courage and would in turn make them powerful. All these allegations are misleading to human beings who live in diverse places of the world. Power cannot come from disobedient acts because disobedient people can never be powerful. In fact, people who obey are powerful. This is because the obedient ones realize that following societal rules does not make them cowards. Instead, it proves that they have the courage to follow what would seem to be unfair. They also realize that rules are fair; they only help societies to maintain order. There can never be unnecessary orders as Fromm suggests. All rules that exist in societies are necessary because they guide communities. When Fromm indicates that certain rules are not necessary he fails in his analysis of the significance of societal rules (Behrens and Leonard, 686).
After Fromm develops his article, he begins to blame the aspect of religion as one that forces people to obey. This is untrue because religion encourages people to be obedient without necessarily having to be trapped. It only teaches people to be obedient because of the punishment that awaits them in case they misbehave. Fromm also introduces a fascinating analogy of certain myths that describe obedient acts. Both Greek and Hebrew myths agree that disobedience is key in the respective developments of individuals. Prometheus chooses to disobey the gods because he wishes to be free (Behrens and Leonard, 686).
Just as the Hebrew myth of Adam and Eve, so the Greek myth of Prometheus sees all of human civilization based on an act of disobedience. Prometheus, in stealing the fire from the gods, lays the foundation for the evolution of man. There would be no human history were it not for Prometheus' "crime." He, like Adam and Eve, is punished for his disobedience.* But he does not repent and ask for forgiveness. On the contrary, he proudly says: "I would rather be chained to this rock than be the obedient servant of the gods." (Froom, 686).
The suggestion that governments are misleading in their creation of rules is wrong. This is because respective governments create rules that must guide their citizenry. The rules protect the rights of human beings unlike what Fromm seems to suggest. Even when governments create strict rules they also ensure that there is sufficient protection of their citizens (Behrens and Leonard, 687).
When people choose to obey, they indicate their willingness to live in harmonious environments. Even if Fromm alleges that obedience is a display of agreement to rules that abuse rights of individuals, he fails in the justification of this idea. For example, his readership then wonder whether their obedient acts lead to abusing their own rights of freedom. Submissions are vital because they also encourage people to be obedient and in turn increase cohesion in their respective lives (Behrens and Leonard, 687).
The case of Adolf Eichmann is symbolic of our situation and has significance far beyond the one which his accusers in the courtroom in Jerusalem were concerned with. Eichmann is a symbol of the organization man of the alienated bureaucrat for whom men, women and children have become numbers. He is a symbol of all of us (Frooms 684).
The different types of obedience that Fromm mentions in this article are effective in enhancing societal norms. This is because they encourage people to maintain order in their respective societies. Other writers need to write responses to this obedience article by Fromm. The creation of other related articles is significant because it makes people explore the matter in careful ways.
Behrens, Laurence and Leonard J. Rosen. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Boston:
Longman, 2011. Print.
Fromm, Erick. On Disobedience and Other Essays.New York: NY. .Routledge. 2004. Print