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On Disobedience: Why Freedom Means Saying No to Power

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  201 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
"Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience."

One of the great psychological and social philosophers of the twentieth century, Erich Fromm expounded on the importance of disobedience and the authentic voice of the individual in modern culture. As relevant now as when it was first published, On Di
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ebook, 112 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1980)
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Bugra
Aug 29, 2016 Bugra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: felsefe
İnsan boyun eğer ve itaatsizlik yapmazsa, o bir köledir, yalnızca karşı gelebiliyor ama itaat ediyorsa, bir asidir. Köle, tam teslimiyette ve bunu da erdem olarak görmektedir. ilk üç bölüm güzel bir derleme içerirken sonrasında kitap, kapitalizm, komünizm ve hümanist sosyalizim tartışmasına giriyor. Kapitalizmin bizi nasıl birer "sayılan kafa"'ya dönüştürdüğünü anlattığı kısımlar güzel açıklanmış. Çocukluğumuzdan beri yetiştirilişimizin "kendini güvensiz, yalnız, bunalımlı hisseden ve bolluk içi ...more
Cem
Jul 22, 2016 Cem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
İnsan,itaatsizlik eylemleriyle evrimleşir.
Düşünür,klişelere ve kamuoyuna itaatsizdir,mantığa ve insanlığa itaat eder.Çünkü mantık evrenseldir,tüm ulusal sınırları aşar ve mantığın peşinden giden düşünür,bir dünya vatandaşıdır;onun konusu,şu veya bu kişi değil,şu ya da bu ulus değil,insandır.Ülkesi,doğduğu yer değil,dünyadır.
Ayse Bilgen
Feb 13, 2017 Ayse Bilgen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fromm'un yazdıklarını okuduğumda her zaman şunları gözlemliyorum:
Açık ve berrak bir düsünce sistematiği var. Uzak ve yakın tarihten verilen örneklerle okuyucu meseleyi iyi kavrıyor. Var olan problemli durumun giderilmesi için okuyucuya açık bir perspektif sunuyor.

İtaatsizlik üzerine de böyle bir kitap. Ayrıca kısacık ve okuması çok kolay. Şahsen aslında kitaptan bilmediğim bir bilgi edinmedim. Kafamda bölük pörçük duran düşünceleri birleştirmeme olanak sağlayarak ufkumun açılmasını sagladı bu k
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Esteban del Mal
A collection of four dated, idealistic and theoretical essays. Fromm makes the case for 'obedience' as the realm of the reactionary and 'disobedience' as that of the pioneer.

From the first essay, Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem:
"Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience."

From the second essay, Prophets and Priests: "They are skeptical toward everything which cannot be caught in an intellectual form
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David Teachout
Aug 29, 2012 David Teachout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle


Certainly idealistic and full of acknowledged areas where further research and study is needed, there is still here found a glowing rational pronouncement of a society that resides in potential within the imminent spirit of humanity. Fromm does not merely offer critiques of current dehumanizing elements but details a clear alternative that is founded upon the principle of a disobedience to irrational and power-hierarchical systems. There is no greater hope than that found in freedom to pursue p
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Matthew Leroy
Fromm is one of my favorite socialists. Reading this in 2013 his ideas seem almost mainstream, but then you find a little kernel of true rebelliousness in him. My favorite essay in this was "Prophets and Priests" where he enunciates the difference between someone who is revolutionary (a prophet) and someone who follows in this person's footsteps dogmatically (a priest). It's definitely worth a read from a philosophical and political standpoint.
Martin
Jan 31, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/4 lucid thinking on humanism, 1/2 paean to Bertrand Russell, and 1/4 naive socialist clusterfuck. In other words, good reading for its age. Some uncanny reading-between-the-lines about the then nuclear age and seeing our own internet age.
Christine Marie
Aug 18, 2016 Christine Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED IT. Erich Fromm is my spirit animal.
blakeR
A pretty slight collection of four essays by Fromm, most of which are simple rehashes of what he said much more convincingly in Escape from Freedom and The Sane Society. It serves as a decent introduction to Fromm's thought although a newcomer might just as easily be interested in The Art of Loving or the aforementioned "Escape."

I have to admit, the pervasive Cold War references in this book left me with the continual impression that HarperPerennial published it in 2010 as a mere money-grab; it
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Bartłomiej Szwichtenberg
Głoszone w zamieszczonych w tej książce esejach poglądy stanowią bezkrytyczną pochwałę socjalizmu przy równoczesnej ostrej krytyce kapitalizmu. Nie można odmówić autorowi przenikliwości i spójnego logicznie rozumowania, niemniej proponowany przez niego system w dzisiejszych czasach byłby nie do przyjęcia.
Laura Galarza
Sep 21, 2011 Laura Galarza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sufficiently thought provoking a la Fromm

Obedience is the reflection of all things moral, rational and just, no nobler pursuit would be possible. Such a sound statement could not and should not be contended. Yet obedience is self-contradicting a paradox at best. Such noble pursuit should give way to favorable and righteous fruit or so it would be assumed. Yet History is over shadowed and plagued with less than desirable outcomes, stemming from “virtues” demonstrations of obedience.

In this book
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Nikolay Shiryaev
These essays must have seemed revolutionary when they were first published, but now they look a bit idealistic, and Fromm's social critism lacks profoundness here. The latter can be explained by the fact that all of these essays were originally articles for different magazines which means that Fromm was in a way restricted in terms of volume.
I'd say that the best essays are "Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem" and "The Application of Humanist Psychoanalysis to Marx's Theory", all
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Alejandro Lino
Jan 31, 2014 Alejandro Lino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess the main title is about the introduction and the first essay. But then the essays starts to take another way so different about URSS and USA (you have to remember he published the essays when the nuclear war was about to happen)

I'm not complaining about the essays,but I guess that Fromm was looking for a perfect socialist world that won't ever be real. At least not with the way society was developing ideologies and stuff.
Burak Yıldız
Nov 24, 2014 Burak Yıldız rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Öncelikle belirteyim okuduğum say yayınlarından. Bu sitede sayınki versiyonlarda gözükmüyor. Kitap iyi-güzel-hoştu. Otoriteye neden boyun eğeriz, özgür olmak için cesur olmalıyız. Otoriteye hayır demeyi bilmeliyiz gibi sorulara çözümler araması güzeldi, bilgilendiriciydi ama itaatsizlikten sonra siyasi parti propagandası gibi siyaset yapman olmadı be Froom.
Caitlin Casement
Jun 16, 2013 Caitlin Casement rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in psychology or politics.
Shelves: psychology, politics
Fromm uses psychological principles to make a strong case for socialism. He explains what we can do to move toward a better society that meets the needs of all. Neither preachy nor idealistic, this common-sense and clear argument about psychological and political freedom is a must for anyone interested in either.
Mert
Oct 06, 2014 Mert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: felsefe
Kitabın kendisi genel olarak çok güzel ve zihin açıcı olsa da, bu Kariyer Yayınları'ndan çıkan, kapak resmi görülen bu versiyonu kesinlikle tavsiye etmiyorum. Çevirisi çok kötü değil, ancak okumaktan bezdirecek ölçüde (hatta birkaç yerde anlamı belirsizleştirecek kadar) yazım hatası var kitap boyunca.
Daniel Escobosa
Después de leer tres buenos libros de Erich Fromm me decepcioné mucho al leer este, es un compendio de escritos de sus últimos años sobre ocurrencias políticas con enfoque socialista. Leí solamente como la mitad del libro.
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
A really wonderful and quick read by Erich Fromm. Four essays focusing on disobedience, alternatives to the world he lived in, and how humans can and must attain their full potential to exist and flourish-less we are to be crushed by the boot of fascism. I recommend.
Remi Watts
Jun 28, 2011 Remi Watts rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Either this was a book for children, or Fromm pulled a fast one on us.
Poorly written. No depth. Nothing added to the world of thoughts and ideas.
Smyrnall
Dec 01, 2014 Smyrnall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psikoloji
İlk günah insanı yozlaştırmak şöyle dursun, onu özgürleştirmişti, tarihin başlangıcıydı. İnsan tam anlamı ile bir insan olmak için Cennet Bahçesi'ni terk etmeliydi.
Mahim Mishra
Aug 09, 2014 Mahim Mishra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is interesting reading, specially intial 2 chapters. Though humanist socialism is also good read but too idealist.
Bryant Rudisill
Bryant Rudisill rated it liked it
Sep 13, 2011
Steven Green
Steven Green rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2011
Jordan Langer
Jordan Langer rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2014
Romy Schnaiberg
Romy Schnaiberg rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2012
Chad Newton
Dec 21, 2014 Chad Newton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
A set of reinforced concepts originally described in "Escape From Freedom" and "The Sane Society".
David Dalakishvili
David Dalakishvili rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2013
discohijack
discohijack rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2016
Yunus Gül
Yunus Gül rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2013
Micah
Micah rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2012
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Erich Fromm was a German-born U.S. psychoanalyst and social philosopher who explored the interaction between psychology and society. His works include The Art of Loving; Love, Sexuality, and Matriarchy; and Man for Himself. He died in 1980.

Fromm's theory is a rather unique blend of Freud and Marx. Freud, of course, emphasized the unconscious, biological drives, repression, and so on. In other word
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“If a man can only obey and not disobey, he is a slave; if he can only disobey and not obey, he is a rebel (not a revolutionary); he acts out of anger, disappointment, resentment, yet not in the name of a conviction or a principle.

Obedience to a person, institution or power (heteronomous obedience) is submission; it implies the abdication of my autonomy and the acceptance of a foreign will or judgment in place of my own. Obedience to my own reason or conviction (autonomous obedience) is not an act of submission but one of affirmation. My conviction and my judgment, if authentically mine, are part of me. If I follow them rather than the judgment of others, I am being myself;
(p. 6)

In order to disobey, one must have the courage to be alone, to err and to sin.
...
…; hence any social, political, and religious system which proclaims freedom, yet stamps out disobedience, cannot speak the truth.
(p. 8)

At this point in history the capacity to doubt, to criticize and to disobey may be all that stands between a future for mankind and the end of civilization. (p. 10)

It is the function of the prophet to show reality, to show alternatives and to protest; it is his function to call loudly, to awake man from his customary half-slumber. It is the historical situation which makes prophets, not the wish of some men to be prophets. (p. 12)

Disobedience, then, in the sense in which we use it here, is an act of the affirmation of reason and will. It is not primarily an attitude directed against something, but for something: for man’s capacity to see, to say what he sees, and to refuse to say what he does not see (p. 17)

That which was the greatest criticism of socialism fifty years ago—that it would lead to uniformity, bureaucratization, centralization, and a soulless materialism—is a reality of today’s capitalism.
(p. 31)

Man, instead of being the master of the machines he has built, has become their servant. But man is not made to be a thing, and with all the satisfactions of consumption, the life forces in man cannot be held in abeyance continuously. We have only one choice, and that is mastering the machine again, making production into a means and not an end, using it for the unfolding of man—or else the suppressed life energies will manifest themselves in chaotic and destructive forms. Man will want to destroy life rather than die of boredom. (p. 32)

The supreme loyalty of man must be to the human race and to the moral principles of humanism.
(p. 38)

The individual must be protected from fear and the need to submit to anyone’s coercion. (p. 42)

Not only in the sphere of political decisions, but with regard to all decisions and arrangements, the grip of the bureaucracy must be broken in order to restore freedom. (p. 42)

According to its basic principles, the aim of socialism is the abolition of national sovereignty, the abolition of any kind of armed forces, and the establishment of a commonwealth of nations. (p. 43)

It is exactly the weakness of contemporary society that it offers no ideals, that it demands no faith, that it has no vision—except that of more of the same. (p. 49)

Socialism must be radical. To be radical is to go to the roots; and the root is Man. (p. 49)”
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