On Disobedience: Why Freedom Means Saying "No" to Power
“Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience.”—from On Disobedience
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 Disobedience is a collection of provocative essays, including the title entry, which suggests the very act of dissent—the choice to refuse to conform, to speak "no" to those in power—is essential to a humane society, both to ensure humankind's preservation and to allow for one person to reclaim a genuine sense of self.
In times of crisis, the great works of philosophy help us make sense of the world. This book is part of the Harper Perennial Resistance Library, a special five-book series highlighting short classic works of independent thought that illuminate the nature of truth, humanity's dangerous attraction to authoritarianism, the influence of media and mass communication, and the philosophy of resistance—all critical in understanding today's politically charged world.
About the Author
Erich Fromm (1900-1980) emigrated from Germany in 1934 to the United States, where he held a private psychotherapeutic practice and taught at Columbia, Yale, and New York University. His many books include The Art of Loving, Escape from Freedom, Man for Himself, and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.