The Psychology of Cultural Suicide and Cultural Change


Author: Lempert, David
Journal: Journal of Globalization Studies. Volume 9, Number 1 / May 2018

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30884/jogs/2018.01.08

This piece seeks to link individual behaviors that are against rational self-interest and survival (and in defiance of the ‘rational actor’ model of human behavior that is the basis of economic and political science theory) to those aggregate behaviors at the cultural level that constitute ‘cultural suicide’ (cultural extinction or social collapse). In examining current behaviors of different groups that are against rational self-interest and do not fit the classifications for individual suicide, it appears that human behaviors are locked into a number of instinctive social behavioral choices that might promote family and group survival under normal conditions but that appear irrational and suicidal when communities reach the limits of their resources. This work offers some preliminary hypotheses for further testing, including the theory that humans have a biologically innate ‘logic’ promoting periodic high risk competitive behaviors as part of human social ordering and that these behaviors challenge rational choices for long-term survival. This article follows a previous piece testing the hypothesis that there are processes of cultural ‘suicide’ (or social collapse), that are analogous to individual suicide or genetic suicide, with a logic working at the cultural level in which cultural suicide serves a function in human cultural processes.

Keywords: suicide, culture, identity, role theory, social change, rational actor model, economic theory, instinctive behaviors, risk behavior, elite behaviors, Jews, US empire, Israel.