When Mao Died in 1976 His Only Legacy Was the Political and Economic Devastation of China. Argue for or Against This Proposition.

When Mao died in 1976 his only legacy was the political and economic devastation of China.   Argue for or against this proposition.

Chairman Mao Zedong was a Chinese revolutionary, guerrilla warefare strategist, poet, political theorist and leader of the Chinese Revolution. In office for thirty-three years from 1943 to 1976, Mao is best known as the architect and founding father of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Mao’s legacy remains to this day a controversial issue, with some historians claiming him to be a dictator comparable to Hitler and Stalin, with a death toll tat surpassed them both (Wilson, 1980 p108). For many, his Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution are held accountable for the loss of forty to seventy million lives, causing nothing but severe famine and damage to the culture, society and economy of China (Wilson, 1980 p108). In this essay, I aim to demonstrate that, contentious though it may be, Chairman Mao’s legacy extends far beyond his mistakes, and his military tactics as well as policies involving education, agriculture, women’s rights helped lay the economic, technological and cultural foundations of modern China.  
Two years after the Russian Revolution, Mao declared that “...among the methods of improvement and reform, education, industrialization, strenuous efforts, [destruction], and construction are all good, but there is a method more fundamental than these …the great union of the popular masses,” (Devillers, 1969 p32) Mao put this doctrine into practice by uniting the peasantry of China into a formidable force that eventually toppled the Japanese invaders and the Nationalist Army. In the words of Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping, “…without Mao there would be no People’s Republic of China,” (Lawson, 1983 p167).
In response to Japan’s rise to power preceding World War II, Mao Zedong exploited a temporary alliance with the opposing Chinese Nationalists to free his country from Japanese domination. The tactic proved successful,...