Much is made of the potential of lifelong learning for individuals and organisations. In this article we tend to make much less of it, certainly with respect to its use in universities to discipline academics. Nevertheless, we argue that academics now need to re-learn the positions they occupy and the stances they take in response to the marketisation of Australian universities. In particular, we suggest that the position of (pure) critique no longer commands attention in Australian contexts of higher education, although the paper does not suggest a disregard for a critical stance purely for the sake of participation. It is in understanding the interconnections between position and stance , and how they might be strategically performed during the everyday practices of academics, that a more promising way of engaging with the venalities of the market is envisaged; a strategy that could be described as 'sailing into the wind'. In discussing these matters, the paper draws on semi-structured interviews with academics located in university faculties/departments/schools of education along Australia's eastern seaboard.