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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?

Mark Zuckerberg is the most powerful person of all time Show more Show less

Mark Zuckerberg built and governs over his Facebook empire. As CEO, chairman and controlling shareholder of the world's most popular social media site, he wields a level of power unprecedented in human history.
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Mark Zuckerberg is not beholden to anyone

Mark Zuckerberg has a level of unlimited power that political leaders could only dream of.
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The Argument

Legal powers and heads of state are always beholden to legislative influences. They are constrained by term limits, popular support, lobby groups and campaign donors, or legislative bodies designed to implement checks and balances. Zuckerberg is not constrained by any of these things. Mark Zuckerberg’s power stems from Facebook, of which he owns 18% of the stock and holds 60% of voting rights. He has virtually unlimited control of one of the most powerful and profitable corporations on the planet.

Counter arguments

Zuckerberg is not popular. This limits his power in terms of human influence - he has virtually none. He cannot get others to do his bidding. He cannot convert others to his ideology and way of thinking. He cannot alter people’s mindsets or set their political beliefs. Therefore, in human terms, he is virtually powerless.[1] Zuckerberg also has limits to his power. He must behave in accordance with the law. Should the government pass a law to break up his monopoly, he would be powerless overnight. Such a precarious source of power that depends on the approval of the legislative and legal bodies is not compatible with the notion of unlimited power.


Power can be measured by the limits imposed on it. Heads of state have severely limited power in real terms. They are beholden to the electorate, campaign donors, large corporations, and the judiciary. Mark Zuckerberg has none of these limitations.


[P1] Power can be quantified and measured by the limits imposed on it. [P2] Mark Zuckerberg is not beholden to anyone and has virtually no limits imposed on his power. [P3] Therefore, Mark Zuckerberg is the most powerful person of all time.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Power can be quantified by the influence it has on the minds of others. Zuckerberg has none. [Rejecting P2] The limits to Zuckerberg's power are imposed by the law.


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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020 at 12:28 UTC