Britain, and more broadly the West, once proudly considered itself the driver of global progress. We were confident our Enlightenment values and ideals would guarantee success, uncovering knowledge and  creating progressive social change. Now many are beset with doubt. Critical of our past we have little faith in the future and the power of our core beliefs to bring a better world.

Should we herald this self-criticism as a welcome consequence of Western and imperial guilt which, combined with relative economic decline, has enabled us to have a less arrogant approach?  Alternatively, should we overcome our doubts and reignite faith in our values and their power to improve lives? Or, more radically, can we escape our history to fashion a new set of ideals that we are proud to endorse and which drives success?

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