At the forefront of changeOn the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, an economic ice age befell us, bringing to mind the phrase “survival of the fittest” used by the English naturalist.
Will Korea become extinct, like the dinosaurs, or will it crash through the ice and reinvigorate the nation by galvanizing its proven ability to survive in an era of change?
A recent survey by the United States-based Boston Consulting Group ranked Korea second only to Singapore as a global innovator. The U.S. is ranked eighth.
However, we need to ask whether Korea is really taking a path toward becoming an advanced country. Can global innovations initiated by a few companies lead to a dramatic change in the country?
Since liberation from colonial rule in 1945, Korea dramatically evolved as a nation. Korea has adopted an innovative form of capitalism and built a nation.
Syngman Rhee initiated agrarian reform, boosted educational opportunities and consolidated the state’s foundation through a strengthened Korea?U.S. alliance. Park Chung Hee set a direction for the development of the national economy through exports and imports, as well as heavy industries, and began to produce steel in vast quantities.
Future-oriented entrepreneurs penetrated overseas markets for shipbuilding and construction, and started to produce semiconductors for the electronic industry.
Following these stages of evolution from the1960s to the 1980s, this country also moved from dictatorship to a direct presidential election system.
However, such dynamic innovation is in danger of coming to a complete standstill.
This unprecedented economic crisis may represent unparalleled momentum for change. Korea overhauled its financial system after the Asian financial crisis at the end of the 1990s, survived and prospered. Now, Korea has to recover from this global crisis in the short term so that it can be fit for the global arena in the long term. Everyone from the president to the government, the ruling and opposition parties, and management, labor and civic groups should maintain their enthusiasm for the mission.
The JoongAng Ilbo has undergone the most revolutionary and innovative changes in the history of Korean newspapers. We will echo Darwin’s voice once again, believing that we can make a huge contribution to societal reform by changing our format and the quality of our service.
We truly believe that the history of change in this country will be led by the JoongAng Ilbo.