Very rich families and corporatists, to whom, as in earlier articles, we shall refer to as "the bastards," have always been with us. Even Tom Jefferson thought periodic revolution against wealth and authority was desirable to keep these bastards in check. Which implies that he figured they would inevitably get us by the throat down on the floor from time to time.
But the bastards scared the hell out of later presidents too. Abe Lincoln feared the large corporations born of business profiteering during the U.S. Civil War -- the military industrial complex of the day -- easily constituted the greatest threat to the American republic. Being president and all, he couldn't call them what they were, and settled for the term "money power," and predicted that, "money power will … work upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."