Wayne Lee makes the statement that cultural ideas about violence are more threatening than
any new weapons. Why does he think that? Use at least two examples from the course to
support your answer.
Wayne Lee believes that cultural ideas are more dangerous than weapons because soldiers always
apply their cultures to use weapons. A good example is when he objects that machine guns are
created as warfare technology, but it is up to the soldiers to position the machine guns where they
would cause the most destruction. For example, the Germans’ decision to use new and alternate
weapons were influenced by their bohemian culture. Their culture influenced them to use nuclear
weapons first, then a style of trench warfare as a strategy of waging a war of abrasion. Another
example he uses is the reluctance of the Entente powers to use strategies of war that would place
them at a disadvantage.
What were some of the cultural consequences of neurasthenia (shell shock)?
One of the cultural consequences of neurasthenia is that you cannot see the injuries like you would
other wounds in a different situation. Most of the leaders thought that the soldiers were faking, or
were simply ‘chickening out’ of the war. Also, the weariness of the war made it very difficult for
people to understand those individuals who failed to live through it. It affected the lives of the
soldiers as they went back to their civilian lives after the war. The Trench warfare, specifically,
changed the lives of the soldiers in a negative way.