Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)
Out of all cruel slavedoms, the one a republic reserves to you is the worst: first because it lasts longer than others and there is no hope to escape from it; second, because a republic aims at emaciating and weakening all other bodies in order to grow itself. A prince wouldn’t do that, at least if he is not a barbarian, destroyer and waster of all human civilisation like Oriental princes are. But if he has a normal, humane nature, he will love each of his subject states in the same measure and leave all their industry and most of their ancient institutions intact. They may not grow in freedom, but they will not perish as slaves.