These disobedience quotes will inspire you. Disobedience is an act of failing or refusing to behave as told or taught or failure or refusal to obey rules or someone in authority.
A collection of motivating, happy, and encouraging disobedience quotes, disobedience sayings, and disobedience proverbs.
Famous Disobedience Quotes
- “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
- “The cost of obedience is small compared with the cost of disobedience.” ~ Saint Augustine
- “Human history begins with man’s act of disobedience which is at the same time the beginning of his freedom and the development of his reason.” ~ Erich Fromm
“Today’s difficulties are often a result of yesterday’s disobedience.” ~ Priscilla Shirer
- “If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
- “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.” ~ Malcolm X
- “Obedience is an act of faith; disobedience is the result of unbelief.” ~ Edwin Louis Cole
- “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ~ Elie Wiesel
“Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.” ~ Albert Einstein
- “Satan is ever seeking to inject that poison into our hearts to distrust God’s goodness – especially in connection with his commandments. That is what really lies behind all evil, lusting and disobedience. A discontent with our position and portion, a craving from something which God has wisely held from us. Reject any suggestion that God is unduly severe with you. Resist with the utmost abhorrence anything that causes you to doubt God’s love and his loving-kindness toward you. Allow nothing to make you question the Father’s love for his child.” ~ Arthur W. Pink
- “Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
- “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” ~ Desmond Tutu
- “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“DISOBEDIENCE, n. The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
- “Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.” ~ Oscar Wilde
- “Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your
country, let men label you as they may.” ~ Mark Twain
- “Whenever there is authority, there is a natural inclination to disobedience.” ~ Thomas Chandler Haliburton
- “If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
- “I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was seen sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar because a higher moral law was involved. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks, before submitting to certain unjust laws of the Roman empire.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
- “My links with [Mahatma] Gandhi now are very political links because I do not believe there is any other politics available to us in the late twentieth century, a period of a totalitarianism linked with the market. There is really no other way you can do politics and create freedom for people without the kinds of instruments he revived. Civil disobedience is a way to create permanent democracy, perennial democracy, a direct democracy.” ~ Vandana Shiva
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” ~ Desmond Tutu
- “Ordinarily, a person leaving a courtroom with a conviction behind him would wear a somber face. But I left with a smile. I knew that I was a convicted criminal, but I was proud of my crime.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice.” ~ William Lloyd Garrison
- “There is all the difference in the world between the criminal’s avoiding the public eye and the civil disobedience’s taking the law into his own hands in open defiance. This distinction between an open violation of the law, performed in public, and a clandestine one is so glaringly obvious that it can be neglected only by prejudice or ill will.” ~ Hannah Arendt
- “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. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
“Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
- “We must develop huge demonstrations, because the world is used to big dramatic affairs. They think in terms of hundreds of thousands and millions and billions… Billions of dollars are appropriated at the twinkling of an eye. Nothing little counts.” ~ A. Philip Randolph
- “I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
- “I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.” ~ Louis D. Brandeis
“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.” ~ Edward R. Murrow
- “We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
- “The force of love, the force of reunion is unstoppable.” ~ Charles Eisenstein
- “King consciously steered away from legal claims and instead relied on civil disobedience.” ~ Constance Baker Motley
“I have always looked on disobedience toward the oppressive as the only way to use the miracle of having been born.” ~ Oriana Fallaci
- “Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism, are all too frequently those who . . . ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism-the right to criticize, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, the right to protest, the right of independent thought.” ~ Margaret Chase Smith
- “The labor movement means just this: It is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth.” ~ Wendell Phillips
- “That government is best which governs least.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
- “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?” ~ Henry David Thoreau
“Disobedience- that is the nobility of slaves.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
- “Dare to do things worthy of imprisonment if you mean to be of consequence.” ~ Juvenal
- “My first civil disobedience arrest for social justice was in 1986 for protesting the SDI.” ~ Martin Sheen
- “f the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth – certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
- “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” ~ Woodrow Wilson
“I will be as harsh as truth, and uncompromising as justice… I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard.” ~ William Lloyd Garrison
- “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” ~ Bayard Rustin
- “Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe.” ~ Arundhati Roy
- “While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” ~ Eugene V. Debs
- “Let me explain something you already know. I’m from Texas and we understand the nature of a border. From what I’ve seen, vigilant Texans are being ordered to stand down and allow criminals to pass. Mr. President, prepare to see Texans ignoring those orders.” ~ Tommy Lee Jones
“Government is best which governs least” ~ Thomas Paine
- “The problem in this world is not civil disobedience…th e problem in this world is civil obedience.” ~ Howard Zinn
- “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
- “Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present.” ~ William Lloyd Garrison
“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
- “If they are truly nonviolent, they must also realize that civil disobedience is an impossibility till the preliminary work of construction is done.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
- “Just try to make the world a better place for your having been here.” ~ Jimmy Doolittle
“When you know how to use it, disobedience can be a virtue.” ~ Paulo Coelho
- “How can it be other than right to worship the Body of the Lord, all-holy and all-reverend as it is, announced as it was by the archangel Gabriel, formed by the Holy Spirit, and made the Vesture of the Word? It was at any rate a bodily hand that the Word stretched out to raise her that was sick of a fever (Mk. 1:31): a human voice that He uttered to raise Lazarus – the dead (Jn. 11:43); and, once again, stretching out His hands upon the Cross, He overthrew the prince of the power of the air, that now works (Eph. 2:2) in the sons of disobedience, and made the way clear for us into the heavens.” ~ John of Kronstadt
- “Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.” ~ Henry David Thoreau