Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations
[He] intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. ...By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.
Is this the first major reference, albeit incomplete and vague, to the existence, and application of Nash equilibrium towards an attempt at explaining society? A precursor to the ESS perhaps?