Thomas More (1478-1535), Utopia
2.9 (tr. Ralph Robinson):
And yet besides this the rich men not only by private fraud, but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the poor some part of their daily living....Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind all these commonwealths which nowadays anywhere do flourish, so God help me, I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth. They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labour of the poor for as little money as may be.
Quid quod ex diurno pauperum demenso divites cotidie aliquid, non modo privata fraude sed publicis etiam legibus abradunt....Itaque omnes has quae hodie usquam florent Respublicas animo intuenti ac versanti mihi, nihil, sic me amet deus, occurrit aliud quam quaedam conspiratio divitum, de suis commodis Reipublicae nomine tituloque tractantium. Comminiscunturque et excogitant omnes modos atque artes quibus, quae malis artibus ipsi congresserunt, ea primum ut absque perdendi metu retineant, post hoc ut pauperum omnium opera ac laboribus quam minimo sibi redimant, eisque abutantur.
Hat tip: Jim K.