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Who is the most powerful person of all time? Show more Show less

Throughout history, many people have lived their lives pursuing power. While many fail, some become successful beyond their wildest dreams and wield levels of power unimaginable to most people. From heads of state to business leaders, religious leaders, and intellectual leaders, who was the most powerful person of all time?

Emperor Ashoka is the most powerful person of all time Show more Show less

The third ruler of the Maurya dynasty controlled the largest empire in the Asian subcontinent and helped establish Buddhism as a global religion.
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Ashoka had the ability to influence

Power doesn't just control, it is also the ability to influence. Ashoka could do both.
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Context

Power doesn’t come from the ability to crush your enemies, or the number of followers you have. It comes from your ability to promote your interests. Nothing allows a leader to do this more than soft power or the ability to influence.

The Argument

True power is not measured only by conquering and gaining followers but also being able to effectively reign over their followers. Effectively spreading information is the best way to ensure that followers remain under their leader’s power. Emperor Ashoka is unlike any leader because he began the most famous way to spread information during his reign. Emperor Ashoka spread information through ordering inscriptions of edicts on pillars and rocks throughout his kingdom. No other emperor had spread a common message this far before [1]. Through this mode of communication to his people, he was able to influence their loyalty. For this reason, Emperor Ashoka is the most powerful person of all time. Although influence can fade, a lasting influence leaves a lasting impact on the world. Emperor Ashoka’s rock edicts still stand to this day for people to read. [1]In addition, Emperor Ashoka’s influence through the rock edicts inspired the spread of Buddhism. The idea of Buddhism was relatively confined to India until Ashoka spread its teachings throughout the world. [2]The ability to leave a lasting and permanent influence on the world is a symbol of power. Emperor Ashoka’s achievement of spreading information and influencing people after his reign through the spread of Buddhism shows his permanent influence. Therefore, Emperor Ashoka is the most powerful person of all time.

Counter arguments

If the ability to effectively influence a message is a sign of power, then Muhammad or Jesus could be considered the most powerful people of all time. They were both capable of spreading religious texts all across the world. These religious texts are still devoutly followed by people today. Their abilities to spread their messages through the Quran and Bible created lasting religious followings that influenced generation after generation. Therefore, the ability to influence people by spreading a message does not necessarily make a leader the most powerful person of all time.

Framing

Premises

[P1] True power comes from the ability to effectively spread information to their followers. [P2] Emperor Ashoka was the best at effectively spreading information to all of his followers. [P3] Therefore, Emperor Ashoka was the most powerful person of all time.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://scroll.in/article/951118/why-ashoka-the-emperor-of-india-who-inspired-the-symbols-of-new-republic
  2. https://www.ancient.eu/Ashoka_the_Great/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 17 Jun 2020 at 18:38 UTC