A government which deliberately enacts injustice, and persists in it, will at length ever become the laughingstock of the world.—"Slavery in Massachusetts"
All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to and to resist the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.—"Civil Disobedience"
And, above all, there is this difference between resisting this and a purely brute or natural force, that I can resist this with some effect; but I cannot expect, like Orpheus, to change the nature of the rocks and trees and beasts.—"Civil Disobedience"
I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.—"Civil Disobedience"
I heartily accept the motto,—“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.—"Civil Disobedience"
I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can, till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.—"Civil Disobedience"
I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.—"Civil Disobedience"
I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.—"Civil Disobedience"
I would remind my countrymen, that they are to be men first, and Americans only at a late and convenient hour. No matter how valuable law may be to protect your property, even to keep soul and body together, if it do not keep you and humanity together.—"Slavery in Massachusetts"
It is for no particular item in the tax-bill that I refuse to pay it. I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually.—"Civil Disobedience"