Award-winning director/producer Gloria Z. Greenfield introduces her fourth documentary, The Fight of Our Lives: Defeating the Ideological War Against the West, with the warning, “Civilizations, empires, great powers can fall apart very fast. Collapse can come suddenly like a thief in the night.” In the ensuing 64 minutes, Ms. Greenfield’s impressive cast of experts present a powerful argument that we in the West are facing a lethal threat to our way of life — to our Western culture and tradition. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are in the fight of our lives against the greatest challenge of our time.
Harvard’s Niall Ferguson sets the stage with the admonition that great civilizations have disappeared more quickly than those living at the time ever anticipated. Author/journalist Melanie Phillips provides the film’s organizational framework, noting that the West faces an existential threat both “from within” and “from without.”
In compelling detail, the documentary first explores the threat from within — postmodernism, the West’s collapse of confidence in its values after WWII’s devastation. An ideology that now defines the public debate, dictates what’s acceptable and turns the West against itself.
We learn that postmodernism encompasses two key ideological components, the first being anti-colonialism, the belief that people around the world coexisted comfortably and peacefully prior to Western imperialists invading, dividing, conquering, exploiting and oppressing them.
The second element is cultural relativism, advocating that all cultures are equally valuable, including those morally repugnant to Western sensibilities. There are no absolute truths: One cannot sit in judgment on cultures that practice female genital mutilation, cut off limbs as punishment or hang gays from rooftops. Hoover Institution’s Victor Davis Hanson comments, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” The doctrinal philosophy of multiculturalism springs from this theory.
For postmodernists, history is the story of the powerful and powerless, the victimizers and the victims. Classical liberalism, with its primacy on the individual, is replaced by identity politics championing victim-groups based on race, class, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual persuasion.
In academia, most faculty members in the social sciences and humanities espouse postmodernist ideology, seeing themselves as adversaries of Western values and demanding that their students strictly adhere to this dogma. Allowing no criticism of their worldview, professors tell students what to believe. Students demand “safe spaces” to protect themselves from alternative views. According to Ms. Phillips, ideas are no longer “in direct combat with other ideas.”
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz describes academia today as the “light fog of fascism” threatening to “mis-educate” our future leaders. Too few students today read the works of the people who make the best arguments for liberal democracy and political pluralism.
The sections “Breaching the Gates” and “People of the Book” identify the “threat from without” — political Islam with its goal of world domination and its intolerance for different religions, political and legal systems, and cultures.
We learn that there are Muslims abusing our open society to infiltrate government, academia and the media in order to impose Sharia law on our democratic way of life, attacking the Judeo-Christian values that underpin Western civilization.
The viewer is reminded that the dream of millions of Muslims for a worldwide Islamic caliphate is no more absurd than was Lenin’s or Hitler’s totalitarian vision, and is equally dangerous.
Using the “narration without a narrator” technique, Greenfield skillfully weaves commentary about this complex subject into a cogent argument. The musical score and photographs complement the discourse.
The Fight of Our Lives should convince you that action is necessary to defeat this clear and present danger. Our children must learn about Western civilization’s humanism, Judeo-Christian morality, Enlightenment thought, commitment to separation of church and state, human rights, freedom of speech and religious diversity. The Fight of Our Lives reminds us that if we don’t renew our “moral confidence” in our heritage, we will lose the fight.
The film will premiere February 19 at The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, California, sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Victor Davis Hanson will offer pre-screening remarks. Details for upcoming screenings can be found at https://www.thefightofourlives.com.