[FOUNTAIN]On economy, Roh lacks luxury of time

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[FOUNTAIN]On economy, Roh lacks luxury of time

The “paradigm shift of Copernicus” refers to drastic and innovative thinking that shuns conventional ways. The 16th century Polish astronomer stood by the heliocentric theory, arguing that the earth and planets revolve around the sun. His theory replaced the existing Ptolemaic theory, a belief that the earth was the center of universe. It is considered to be one of the most revolutionary findings in the history of the mankind.
However, unlike his theory, Copernicus himself was neither revolutionary nor radical. Rather, he was a conservative who was afraid that his theory could do him harm. At age 37, he had already concluded that the earth revolves around the sun. However, he was reluctant to publish it right away. Afraid of being accused of heresy, he only sent a draft of his research to some scholars. While he hesitated, talks about his revolutionary theory managed to spread among scholars.
Thirty years after his finding, he made up his mind to publish it. It was the young German mathematician Georg Joachim Rheticus who convinced Copernicus to publish the manuscript. At first, Copernicus wished to publish it anonymously. Only after observing the initial response, he agreed to include his name. That’s how “On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres” was introduced to the world. The complete edition was published after he died at age 70.
Charles Darwin, who challenged the biblical version of the creation, also was a prudent man. He already had an idea on the theory of evolution in his late 20s. However, he was as careful as Copernicus. He had entrusted his manuscript to his wife, asking her to publish it after he died. In 1958, two decades after his finding, “The Origin of Species” was published.
Both Copernicus and Darwin were revolutionary thinkers but they did not behave radically. They did not attempt to change the world overnight. They bided their time for decades before promoting their theories. Maybe their patience helped their revolutions succeed.
Recently, supporters of the president liken his emphasis on the economy and harmony to the “paradigm shift of Copernicus.” It might be an exaggeration, but his policy certainly has changed drastically. However, substantial changes somehow haven’t been visible. The president should realize he cannot afford to imitate Copernicus’s reluctance.

by Nahm Yoon-ho

The writer is head of the family affairs team at the JoongAng Ilbo.
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