Dr. Karin Calvo-Goller Fights Western Free-Speech Imperialism

Pity Dr. Karin Calvo-Goller. She wrote a book about the International Criminal Court.

Progressive, decent people will recognize immediately that reaction to the book should not be governed by sexist, racist, classist, cis-gendered, Western-biased concepts like "scholarship" and "insight" and "accuracy" and "coherence." Rather, the reaction of forward-thinking people should be to celebrate Ms. Karin Calvo-Goller's differences in ability, qualifications, and narrative skill. Heartless Western Culture has judgmentally excluded different voices based on cruelly judgmental and archaic criteria; decent people understand that modern Academia is a way for everyone to participate in legal analysis no matter what their capacity.

But not everyone is progressive. Take Professor Joseph Weiler, a tenured member of the faculty of that bastion of Koch-dominated reactionary conservatism, NYU. Professor Weiler encountered Dr. Calvo-Golller's book. Did he read it in a modern humanist spirit, recognizing and celebrating its differences? No. He did not. Professor Weiler brutally assaulted poor Dr. Calvo-Goller's book by permitting a review of it in a publication he edited, the European Journal of International Law. By permitting that review, he subjected Dr. Cavlo-Goller's book to Western-biased, archaically linear, racist, sexist, "logic" and "critique." Decent people realize that such criticism is merely a rationale for suppressing non-traditional voices, like those of women, academics of extremely modest ability, faculty at obscure and fourth-rate institutions, and hobos, for instance. Progressive people realize that there is no place in Academia for phallocentric word-violence and thought-lynching like this:

. . . . she simply restates the contents of relevant parts of the ICC Statute and the Rules of Procedure . . . .
. . . This exercise in rehashing the existing legal set-up is particularly unproductive since a large part of the volume consists in a reprint of the ICC Statute and its Rules of Procedure and Evidence . . . .
. . . . her conceptual grasp of the “inquisitorial” systems seems insufficient for a critical analysis that might go beneath the surface . . . .
. . . .a characterization of the criminal process as an “effort to provide a trail [sic] procedure that balances between prosecution of indicted persons, the rights of the victims and the rights of the accused to a fair trial” (p. 217) hardly provides an adequate basis for a sophisticated discourse on the strengths and weaknesses of ICC procedure law. . . .

"[Sic]" is the rape-tool of the oppressor, by which Western thugs brutalize brave freedom fighters who reject patriarchal "spelling" and "grammar" and "diction." bell hooks defies you, thugs!

Professor Weiler's brutalization of Dr. Calvo-Goller's feelings is unacceptable to decent people. Modern Academia is about celebrating the feelings of its participants, not about subjecting them to Western linear analysis. Professor Weiler's hate crime could not stand. He attempted to make reparations by offering Dr. Calvo-Goller an opportunity to respond in the publication, but she righteously refused: "dialogue" and "exchange of ideas" are the tools of the oppressors.

But what could Dr. Calvo-Goller do? The crass, racist, patriarchy dominates the Western phallocentric courts and cultures. Dr. Calvo-Goller might have found solace in an institutional ovular on Western oppression, or perhaps a quarterly difference festival, but that's cold comfort. Where, in this unfair world where sexist, racist ideas like "freedom of expression," "proof," and "the marketplace of ideas" hold sway, could she seek legal redress for Professor Weiler printing a review publicly disagreeing with her work?

Vive La Belle France!

France has a long, proud record of recognizing the harm of psychological violence involving mean words, taking any necessary steps to protect human dignity from symbolic rudeness, and standing up against the racist, sexist Western concept of freedom of expression. Before that, France's legal system stood proud against other beliefs that the arrogant West attempted to impose on the world, such as the belief that Jews are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

Therefore, even though Dr. Karin Calvo-Goller is not French, her book was not published by a French company, Professor Weiler is not French, and his review was not published in a French publication, France's criminal justice system allowed Dr. Calvo-Goller to file a criminal libel complaint against Professor Weiler for his review, and conducted a criminal trial of Professor Weiler based on Dr. Calvo-Goller's complaint.

Miscreant Professor Weiler, and victim Dr. Calvo-Goller, await the French court's verdict next week. Will the French court stand up for the progressive proposition that, in Academia, special people like Dr. Calvo-Goller should be allowed to publish without being subjected to the hate-crime violence of criticism, questioning, or dissent? Or will the French court ignominiously drop its rifle of equality and wave the white flag labeled "freedom of expression" or "academic freedom" or "marketplace of ideas" or "Oh Christ, grow a thicker skin, you imbecilic, censorious jackass"?

Time will tell. But tremble, progressives — bastions like France, where the government will use the criminal courts to protect your hurt feelings, are fewer and farther between every day. Oh, it's just not fair!

Hat tip: Overlawyered.

[Edited to note that Prof. Weiler was in the dock because he edited the publication in which the review appeared, not because he wrote it.]

UPDATE: Maybe Dr. Calvo-Goller responds. Or maybe her husband. Maybe she takes this at face value. Maybe she doesn't. See here.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. says

    Shamefully, our Western decadence has led Congress to pass a law that might prevent that foul miscreant Professor Weiler from having to pay any monetary penalties the French court might rightfully award brave Dr. Calvo-Goller…

    Which is for the best, really, since money is just another tool of Western Patriarchal Oppression…

  2. Josh King says

    Every time I think I should write more, you write a post like this that makes such effort seem futile. Brilliantly done.

  3. Patrick says

    Josh, we're glad you like us. But your effusion is, to put it frankly, a little embarrassing to us.

    And your attaching an AVVO link to the effusion should embarrass you.

  4. says

    Did you see her husband posting on Volokh?

    At least, someone claiming to be her husband. With Poe's Law it's hard to tell.

  5. Erik says

    To badly paraphrase Voltaire: "In this country, it is wise to mock France from time to time to encourage the others."

  6. Smock Puppet says

    > it is wise to mock France from time to time

    "From time to time"? France needs to be mocked incessantly.

    If only for Jerry Lewis.

    But it's not hard to find reasons to mock France…

    Trust me. They skirt mocking themselves on a constant basis, one need only nudge aside a French rock to uncover something delightfully worthy of scathing mockery.

  7. Sam L. says

    I believe the correct characterization of Dr. Karin is "jillass", not "jackass" (unless there is some gender confusion on someone's–perhaps my–part.)


  1. […] Dr. Karin Calvo-Goller Fights Western Free-Speech Imperialism (Ken) “[Sic]” is the rape-tool of the oppressor, by which Western thugs brutalize brave freedom fighters who reject patriarchal “spelling” and “grammar” and “diction.” bell hooks defies you, thugs! […]