Martin Luther King was very fond of a tract that was written in America in the middle of the 19th Century. The tract was written by Henry David Thoreau.
Thoreau was a naturalist - an early environmentalist from the 19th Century. He was anti-slavery and opposed the Mexican American War. He was his era's equivalent of a 21st Century liberal Democrat - but for one thing: Thoreau did not believe the solutions to these problems could be gained primarily through government intervention. Rather Thoreau believed that all of the social problems he observed, were made worse by the use of governmental power, even when it was asserted with the best intentions in mind.
In Civil Disobedience, his 1849 essay, which provided a model for 20th Century leaders of the civil rights movement, Thoreau made the often quoted quip: "that government is best which governs least".