I cannot claim any personal or inside knowledge of Vladimir Putin's intentions or state of mind. I can offer only thoughts relating to the commonly suggested theme - now apparently vindicated by his actions - that he felt humiliated by Russia's fall from 1989 and desire to restore its great power status. 

It is not an uncommon notion to link that kind of psychology to humans competing for status, especially within their community or tribe and against outsiders. In turn, the same notion may link that to our ancestral history.

But some evolutionary psychologists, such as Cosmides and Tooby, do point out that even if 'hard wired' features of the human brain were adaptive in earlier stages of human history, they might not be now. One way of putting that in relation to status seeking and/or violence might be to say that what applied during 98% of the evolutionary history of homo sapiens need not apply in our evolutionary present, which is 100% of our present circumstances.

Already the possibility of nuclear (annihilation) weapons becoming involved in conflict between NATO and Russia is being discussed. What cannot be said too often is that if conflict reaches that level anyone with the psychology to 'prefer death to dishonour' is liable to destroy not only themselves, but their community and any memory of their acts also, thereby rendering the honour (which confers status) null. That was the point Roger Scruton never saw.

I do not expect to influence current events myself, but at least I can try to draw attention to the way the human condition has been changed profoundly since the mid-20th century.

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