Could James Marape be the harbinger of PNG’s age of enlightenment, with a genuine belief in truth, justice and fairness for all
ADELAIDE - When I first arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1969 I was in search of excitement and adventure which, as it turned out, was not hard to find.
To the extent that I understood my primary role as a brand new liklik kiap [junior patrol officer], it was to help bring to the people of PNG peace, good government and what I unquestioningly believed to be the benefits of western civilisation.
As a single man with no money, I carried very little physical baggage with me. With the benefit of hindsight, I was carrying more than a little intellectual and philosophical baggage, which I had mostly unknowingly acquired during both my formal and informal education.
In the late 1950s and 1960s I was taught by mostly young teachers who, predominantly, were born either during or immediately after World War II.
They were the first of the so-called ‘baby boomers’ and collectively were heavily influenced by ideas about the world that had first arisen during the Enlightenment, which is usually said to have commenced around the year 1500.
The ideas they impressed upon me and my fellow students included a belief in the primacy of science as a means of acquiring real knowledge and, just as importantly, of eradicating the superstitions, fears and ignorance that had for so long afflicted humankind.