2018-07-04 03:24:03 UTC
THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES
A new documentary exposes the growing threats to the West.
by Mark Tapson
“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
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.