The standards for our autonomy exist not because they possess an absolute power or truth. They are made by us and reflect what we expect of one another’s capacities for responsibility.
In the main we are trained via the carrot and the stick to conform to these standards—to these rules and expectations stipulated by the cultural matrix. But mimicry, conformity and timidity (obedience) are a diminished quality of autonomy.
Yes, we have the capacity to obey. Our nature is vulnerable to intimidation and to subjection, to the demand that we obey or conform. Pressured, parented, educated and trained by punishment or its threat or by reward or the promise of one, we learn to put forth the fitting response of an obedient subject.