Editor’s note: The world premiere of The Fight of Our Lives will be held at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California on Monday evening, February 19, through the support of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. For details, click here.
“Civilizations, empires, great powers, can fall apart very fast. Collapse can come suddenly, like a thief in the night. And we should be very wary of assuming that our civilization, the civilization of the early 21st century West, will oblige us by declining gradually.”
That warning from noted historian Niall Ferguson is the opening and the theme of the vital new documentary The Fight of Our Lives: Defeating the Ideological War Against the West from filmmaker Gloria Z. Greenfield.
Greenfield’s previous work includes Body and Soul – The State of the Jewish Nation in 2014 (which I reviewed for FrontPage Mag here), Unmasked Judeophobia in 2011, and The Case for Israel – Democracy’s Outpost in 2009. She is the president of Doc Emet Productions, the simple and powerful motto of which is “Truth in film.” Unlike, say, propagandist Michael Moore’s front-and-center, demagogic presence in his films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, director Greenfield gets out of the way and crafts her narratives about anti-Semitism, history, Judeo-Christian values, freedom, and democracy from the authoritative, articulate arguments of the many intellectuals who lend their expertise to her projects.
Such is the case with her latest documentary, which features compelling observations and insights from well-known historians, journalists, and thinkers such as Niall Ferguson, Victor Davis Hanson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Alan Dershowitz, Melanie Phillips, Bruce Thornton, Raymond Ibrahim, Brooke Goldstein, Ibn Warraq, Alan West, and many more respected commentators from academia, human rights organizations, and think tanks. [Full disclosure: I am included among the featured speakers, as are David Horowitz Freedom Center Fellows Thornton and Ibrahim.]
The Fight of Our Lives addresses the various internal and external threats facing Western civilization today, and cautions that if we don’t recognize these grave dangers now and rouse ourselves to resist and overcome them, then it is no hyperbole to say that the West as we know it will come to – as Ferguson warned – a swift and inexorable end.
The film groups topics into seven “chapters”: “Utopian Masks” (about the subversive internal threats of cultural relativism and multiculturalism), “Crumbling Towers” (on the political radicalization of the university), “Weaponizing Identity” (on the gender and race conflicts that have sprung up with the rise of identity politics), “Breaching the Gates” (on the threat of global Islamic supremacism in the West, whether through terrorism or subversion), “People of the Book” (regarding the Islamic persecution and genocide of Christians and Jews), and “Durable Values” (on the assaults against the values that have made the West great, such as the freedom of speech). It concludes with a chapter on “Standing Up,” which exhorts us, the heirs of the Western tradition, to push back against our enemies and defend our heritage and our future.
Niall Ferguson speaks on the cultural consequences of the recent tsunami of migrants and purported refugees from Muslim countries into Europe, the heart of what used to be called Christendom. That civilization, he claims, may not be around by the end of the century – or it may have changed so much that it’s unrecognizable. The United States, with its rapidly growing Islamic population and influx of illegal aliens across our southern border, is facing a similar demographic transformation.
But we are facing a more significant threat by way of a subversive ideological assault. “The threat from within comes from the people who want to undermine the basis of Western civilization,” says journalist Melanie Phillips. She points out that the Baby Boomer generation was heavily influenced by the political philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who urged revolutionaries to infiltrate the organs of culture – the media, academia, entertainment – and “turn the mind of the West against itself.” That infiltration and indoctrination, as others in the documentary discuss, has been shockingly successful, particularly in our educational institutions.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz, for example, decries “the light fog of fascism which seems to be descending on the universities” and which poses a tremendous danger for the future of Western values. “In universities there is almost a kind of an intellectual masochism, the sense that we should not be proud of the values that we stand for, that we even need to engage in a kind of a ritual self-flagellation,” says Kenneth L. Marcus from the Louis D. Brandeis Center. “There is too little in our universities being taught about what the admirable aspects of the Western tradition are,” declares Jeffrey Herf of the University of Maryland.
The influence of multiculturalism, as historian Victor Davis Hanson and The Lawfare Project’s Brooke Goldstein point out, has resulted in a moral relativism and a chilling effect on free speech, as any criticism of non-Western cultures is now deemed to be hate speech. Raheel Raza of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow points out the inconvenient truth that not all cultures are created equal; a culture which subjects homosexuals to grisly executions and women to female genital mutilation and honor killings is not on the same moral plane as one which defends individual rights, freedom, and gender equality. But that’s an unacceptable judgment to make in our relativistic culture now.
Speakers such as the Tikvah Fund’s Ruth Wisse, McGill University’s Philip Carl Salzman, and myself address how identity politics has fragmented society into tribal conflicts among races and between the sexes. Radical feminism, for example, is carrying out an assault on gender relations and masculinity that has contributed to the breakdown of the family unit, an alarming decline of the birth rate in the West, and an emasculated society that is too timid to defend itself from the threat of an aggressively male-dominated Islamic sub-culture within the West, a culture which is outbreeding us.
The Hoover Institution’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali and TBN host and terrorism expert Erick Stakelbeck, among others, discuss the danger of refusing to identify Islam as a supremacist ideology intent on destroying the West and establishing a worldwide caliphate in its place. Meanwhile, such authorities as the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Shimon Samuels and the Freedom Center’s Raymond Ibrahim state that a literal genocide is being waged in the Middle East against Christians and Jews, who are targeted even in Europe and the United States as well, while the West wrestles impotently with self-loathing and willful blindness.
There is much more to this documentary. With The Fight of Our Lives, Gloria Greenfield has created a riveting and disturbing, but ultimately enlightening and inspirational, clarion call for the Western world to wake up and reverse its decadent course before it’s too late. Its urgent message is one that deserves as wide an audience as possible.
In the film, Niall Ferguson recalls Edmund Burke’s observation that civilization is a pact between the dead, the living, and the yet unborn. I cannot stress enough how important it is to view The Fight of Our Lives, take its message to heart, and honor that pact by standing up when and where you can in defense of the West.
For more information on the film, the filmmakers, and the featured commentators, click here.