english 102 Essay

Submitted By brigurl
Words: 1570
Pages: 7

TO DISOBEY FOR HOPE Civil disobedience can affect civilization in a heartfelt way. It can allow one to stand out of the crowd and let his or her voice be heard. But why must it be one who speaks? If everyone stands up for what is right, every individual can be heard. Erich Fromm and Henry David Thoreau are the masterminds of civil disobedience. They describe the term as if speaking of a great force. Civil disobedience is simply living. Living life to the fullest, taking risks and doing what is right. Thoreau stated civil disobedience as a duty towards every human being (942). The act of disobeying laws that are unjust and wrong is right. Believing that it is the right and job of every citizen to be a part of rightful acts of disobedience does not coincide with criminal crimes and acts. Civil disobedience can be defined as a peaceful protest or one’s right to speak out against ideas they believe to be inhumane. Rebellion and acts of disobedience have been occurring since the first day humans stepped foot on Earth. Civil disobedience is what makes one unique. It sparks one’s soul and sets it forth to the freedom lying ahead. In Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem, Erich Fromm stands with his belief that to be set forth with freedom, one must commit an act of civil disobedience. He said that the breaking of the bond that individuals share with all of civilization is what shapes each person into who and what they are. That break is the spark of one’s life and journey in relying on themselves and what they can conquer and explore (377-378). It can be described as a child leaving their mother and father’s pampering walls of security and leaping into the sometimes cruel and unjust world. Fromm says that civilization began with the act of disobedience. He described how Adam and Eve went against an order given by an authoritative leader and how once they destroyed that barrier, life and freedom originated. Throughout his essay, he continuously states that because civilization began with an act of disobedience, it is bound to end with an act of obedience (377-378). “If mankind commits suicide it will be because people will obey those who command them to push the deadly buttons.” (Fromm, 378). Obedience will be the end of civilization according to Fromm because the government will drive the people to it. Civilization only evolves and feeds off of acts of disobedience. Authority has engraved in individual’s minds that disobedience is frowned upon, while obedience is praised. Fromm does not think it is right to emphasize disobedience in these terms, although he does not contend to murder, theft, assault, rape and inhumane and immoral acts of disobeying the law. There is a set barrier between what civil disobedience is and what an act of hate is (378-379). Without disobedience one is just a follower. Civilizations without disobedience contain people who obey rulers without question, knowledge and a care. It is careless and unreasonable of the people to obey without question. It is immoral to obey simply out of fear and because everyone else is doing it. Individuals should be encouraged to question and argue with fewer barriers between authority and its people. The reason why people do not disobey or challenge the government is because they are cowards. Fromm said this begins with the coddling one receives from their parents and how it must end to gain the level of courage and trust one must have in themselves. Without that sense of secureness and belonging, one wants to gain and speak their mind. When one has broken that bond and security, the act of civil disobedience will come easily (380). Fromm said that most of the time individuals are not even aware of why they are obeying something. They do not care enough to question or find out. He also said that most individuals feel as though the sense of obedience acts as a comfort; keeping them safe and protected (379-381). Generation