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17 July 2014


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PNG is attempting to make the leap from being a Neolithic hunter- gatherer society to the modern era over a very short period of time.

The same leap took place in Europe over a period of at least 3000 years, arguably somewhat longer.

As Tanya says, it is pretty big ask for PNG but not impossible: it has already been done most successfully in countries like Japan and China where traditional social and political structures were much more favourable to a fast transition.

African countries have really had to struggle, with South Africa seeming to be doing best at the moment. Others are really struggling.

I remain convinced that PNG can succeed in making this difficult transition provided its elites can figure out a way of reconciling the traditional demands of a system based on obligatory mutual reciprocity (the wantok system) with one based upon individual reward for effort (rapacious capitalism).

Australia, like every so called developed country, is still working through essentially the same process.

Well said, Tanya. PNG is not a "hopeless case", in fact you are doing a brilliant job changing from "the stone age" to the "computer age" in such a short time span.

I'm continually amazed at how quickly PNGns adapt to the new concepts and new ways of living. It is all a rapid learning process for you all. God bless you.

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