The Intentions of Lord Voldemort
An original editorial by A. Ahmed
Lord Voldemort is a determined man and he will stop at nothing. As any Harry Potter
fan would know, he is after the one person who can bring him to his destruction; but so far, his attempts to crush and overthrow that one person have been futile. Destroying Harry Potter is just one of his objectives. Apart from that, what else is he after? He's mentioned his desires to be the most powerful sorcerer in the history of wizardkind and to conquer death.
Supposing he really did destroy Potter and became all powerful and immortal, what would his goals have been then? Voldemort was at the apex of his power before the prophecy was made. Surely killing Potter for his own survival was not his target then, because he did not know about the prophecy during his rise to darkness.
There's also the fact that he would make his Death Eaters do his dirty work whilst he put the icing on the cake by displaying the immensity of his powers to his victims. They manipulated and killed wizards and Muggles for fun as Arthur Weasley mentions in Goblet of Fire. But Voldemort doesn't come across as a person who would go around torturing people for a few laughs. No, he is too strong and powerful for trivial matters such as pleasure and amusement.
So what was he after before Potter came into the picture? Did he want to rule wizardkind and become Minister for Magic? If he killed every witch and wizard who opposed him, there would be a very limited number of magical folk left under his rule, i.e. only the Death Eaters and a handful of pureblood families who were not Death Eaters but supported his motives (like the Blacks). So he'd have a number of followers in the palm of his hand, but what of the Muggles?
Voldemort detests Muggles, half-bloods and mudbloods. Did he want to rid the planet of Muggles only because he loathed them? Or did he kill some to make the secret community of wizards more visible in the world of non-magical people in order to get the recognition and respect that were absent during his childhood?
These are some things which we may not find out since Jo Rowling's work is concentrated more on the relationship (if you can call it that) between Potter and Voldemort, but still, it's a thought.