Henry David Thoreau

When were the good and the brave ever in a majority?
A Plea for Captain John Brown
I do not wish to kill nor to be killed, but I can foresee circumstances in which both these things would be by me unavoidable.
A Plea for Captain John Brown
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
Walden
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
Walden
If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
Walden
Simplify, simplify.
Walden
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. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
Civil Disobedience
To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.
Civil Disobedience
How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answered that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.
Civil Disobedience
Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
Civil Disobedience
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?
Civil Disobedience