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Tag Archives: The Ockress





What are grey vampires and how do they retard the insurrectionary potential of digital  discourse?  How does Derrida’s notion of hauntology contribute to an understanding of dubstep artist Burial?  Is ‘Basic Instinct 2’, routinely derided as a cine-atrocity, a Lacanian reworking of Ballard, Baudrillard and Bataille in service of the creation of a ‘phantasmatic, cybergothic London’?  What is interpassivity and in what ways has it come to define the corporatized incarceration of modern academia?

Over the last decade, Mark Fisher has established a reputation as one of the exhilarating cultural theorists in Britain.  A co-founder of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) at Warwick University ­and described by Simon Reynolds as the academic equivalent of Apocalypse Now’s Colonel Kurtz ­ he brings together psychoanalysis, political analysis and speculative fiction to create an extraordinary body of rogue scholarship, a theory-rush with few parallels.

Fisher is the author of ‘Capitalist Realism’, the editor of ‘The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson’ (both Zer0 Books, 2009), and writes regularly for Sight and Sound, Film Quarterly, The Wire and Frieze, as well as maintaining a well-known blog at  He teaches at the University of East London, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the City Literary Institute.

The Colloquium for Unpopular Culture and NYU’s Asian/ Pacific/ American Studies program are pleased to be hosting Fisher’s first talks inAmerica.

See ‘ The Metaphysics of Crackle’, at:


WHEN: Wednesday 4 May 2011, 6:30pm
WHERE: Room 471, 20 Cooper Square [East 5th and Bowery]

”Through their generic and transient qualities ­ workstations devoid of personal effects, relations with colleagues as fleeting as those with passengers on a commuter journey ­ many workplaces now resemble non-places, either literally, as in the case of a hotel, corporate coffee chain or out-of-town supermarket, or symbolically, in the form of temporary assignments for faceless employers (dis)located in anonymous buildings, where the worker-commuter then follows the same global timetables, navigates the same software applications and experiences the same sense of placelessness, the feeling of being mere data in the mainframe.”

So writes Ivor Southwood in his analysis of precarious labour, ‘Non-Stop Inertia’ (2011). In the last decade, the proliferation of corporate non-places has been accompanied by the spread of cyberspace-time, or Itime, a distributed or unpunctuated temporality. It’s no coincidence that, as this unmarked time increasingly came to dominate cultural and psychic space, Derrida’s concept hauntology (re)emerged as the name for a paradoxical zeitgeist.  In ‘Specters of Marx’, Derrida argued that the hauntological was characterised by ‘a time out of joint’, and this broken time has been expressed in cultural objects that return to a wounded or distorted version of the past in flight from a waning sense of the present. Sometimes accused of nostalgia, the most powerful examples of hauntological culture actually show that nostalgia is no longer possible.

In conditions where pastiche has become normalised, the question has to be: nostalgia compared to what? James Bridle has recently argued that ‘the opposite of hauntology … [is] to demand the radically new’, but hauntology in fact operates as a kind of thwarted preservation of such demands in conditions where – for the moment at least – they cannot be met. Whereas cyberspace-time tends towards the generation of cultural moments that are as interchangeable as transnational franchise outlets, hauntology involves the staining of particular places with time – albeit a time that is out of joint. In this lecture, Fisher will explore the hauntological culture of the last few years in relation to the question of place, using examples from music (Burial, The Caretaker, Ekoplekz, Richard Skelton), film (Chris Petit, Patrick Keiller) and fiction (Alan Garner, David Peace).


WHEN: Thursday 5 May 2011, 6:30pm
WHERE: Room 471, 20 Cooper Square [East 5th and Bowery]

”It would be best, perhaps, to think of an alternate world – better to say the alternate world, our alternate world – as one contiguous with ours but without any connections or access to it. Then, from time to time, like a diseased eyeball in which disturbing flashes of light are perceived or like those baroque sunbursts in which rays from another world suddenly break into this one, we are reminded that Utopia exists and that other systems, other spaces, are still possible” (Fredric Jameson, ‘Valences of the Dialectic’).

In his 2009 book ‘Capitalist Realism’, Mark Fisher started to explore some of the affective, psychological and political consequences of the deeply entrenched belief that there is no alternative to capitalism. After 1989, capital seemed to enjoy full spectrum dominance of both global space and the unconscious. Every imaginable future was capitalist.  What has been mistaken for post-political apathy, Fisher argued, was a pervasive sense of reflexive impotence in the face of a neoliberal ideological program which sought to subordinate all of culture to the imperatives of business. The subject of post-Fordist capitalism is no passive dupe; this subject actively participates in an ‘interpassive’ corporate culture which solicits our involvement and encourages us to ‘join the debate’.

As Fisher argues in the book, education has been at the forefront of this process, with teachers and lecturers locked into managerialist self-surveillance, and students induced into the role of consumers.

In the eighteen months since ‘Capitalist Realism’ was published, the neoliberal program has been seriously compromised, but capitalist realism has intensified – with austerity programs pushed through on the basis that it is unthinkable that capitalism should be allowed to fail. At the same time, this new, more desperate form of capitalist realism has also faced unexpected challenges from a militancy growing in Europe, the Middle East and even in the heartlands of neoliberalism such as the UK and the US. Now that history has started up again, and Jameson’s ‘baroque sunbursts’ flare brighter than they have for a generation, we can begin to pose questions that had receded into the unimaginable during the high pomp of neoliberal triumphalism: what might a post-capitalism look like,
and how can we get there?

Fisher will argue that the Left will only succeed if it can reclaim modernity from a neoliberal Right that has lost control of it. This entails understanding how the current possibilities for agency are contoured and constrained by the machinery of what Deleuze and Foucault called the Control Society, including cyberspace, the media landscape, psychic pathologies and pharmacology – failures to act are not failures of will, and all the will in the world will not eliminate capitalism. It also entails recognising that neoliberalism’s global hegemony arose from capturing desires which it could not satisfy. A genuinely new Left must be shaped by those desires, and not be lulled, once again, by the logics of failed revolts.



‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: (recording) and (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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The Ockress:

Rikowski Point:


Victor Rikowski


Victor Rikowski will be playing at the Forest Roots on Friday 23rd July. He will be performing some country music and one of his own compositions.

Victor plays in the Cold Hands & Quarter Moon band at Bangor University, north Wales, where he is studying music and creative writing. You can find out more about this band and listen to their music by going to the page at the top of this blog, i.e. and by checking out the Cold Hands & Quarter Moon profile on MySpace:

Victor’s PowerPoint story (in 6 parts), The Ockress, can be found at:

Acoustica are the headline band at Forest Roots on Friday. They play a varied selection of Irish folk and modern acoustic music. There will also be The Flats Family band, and guest and surprise musicians.

So come along to Forest Roots on Friday, 23rd July!

It starts 8.30pm at the usual venue: The Forest Gate Hotel function room, Godwin Road, Forest Gate.

Free entry (with a whip-round)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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The Critical Theory of Karl Marx: A Lecture by Moishe Postone


This lecture by Moishe Postone is a video explaining Karl Marx’s critique of labour in capitalist society:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

MySpace Profile:

The Ockress:

An Encounter with Stuart Hall


Part of the Spaces of Democracy Network, The Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, would like to invite you to:

An Encounter with STUART HALL on Friday 6th February 2009.

This year’s Encounter focuses on the influential works of cultural theorist Stuart Hall. The schedule for the day’s events are as follows:

10:30 am – 12:30 pm Roundtable on “Politics, Culture and Globalisation” with the participation of Doreen Massey, Martin Jacques, Larry Grossberg and Jonathan Rutherford.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Roundtable on “Cultural Practices and Political Identities” with the participation of Francoise Verges, Angela McRobbie, Isaac Julien and Bill Schwarz.


5:00 pm Lecture by Stuart Hall: ‘Cultural Studies and Radical Politics’

Followed by a reception.


For further details of the programme please visit


All events take place in Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW.


If you could contact to indicate your attendance to help us keep check on numbers, it would be much appreciated.


We look forward to seeing you there.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski  

Re-visioning the Future: Modernity between Utopia and Dystopia  


Call for Papers

International Social Theory Consortium (ISTC)
MARCH 20, 2009
Since the 1980s, social theorists have become increasingly reluctant to relate constructively to the future of western societies, modern democracy, and human civilization. Both in the social sciences and the humanities, postmodernist critics highlighted the affinity between utopianism and forms of totalitarianism. As a consequence, social theorists refrained from recognizing as part of their unique responsibility efforts to refine existing and to delineate new perspectives on the future. Social Theorists began to pay focused attention to problematic patterns of thought that need to be overcome, in order to reduce the odds that the kind of socially, politically and economically induced catastrophes that influenced the direction of historical change during the twentieth century will recur—both directly and indirectly, positively and negatively.  Yet whether we appreciate it or not, in the context of globalization, the imminence of change has pushed itself aggressively to the forefront of social-theoretical concerns. The inevitability of change is inescapable, and its centrality to modern civilization undeniable. Concordantly, the imperative to engage in informed and critically reflexive discourses about the kind of world we will, should, or might live in, continues to increase rapidly. The conference will serve to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange relating to the continuing challenge of capturing the warped nature of modernity at the intersection of the past and the future and of utopia and dystopia.



Harry F. Dahms (Sociology)
Steven P. Dandaneau (Sociology)
Allen R. Dunn (English and Religion)

Papers accepted for inclusion in the program will be considered for publication in Current Perspectives in Social Theory (ed. Harry F. Dahms) or Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal (ed. Allen R. Dunn).

The organizers welcome proposals on any topic in social theory, and request submission of abstracts (between 150-250 words), 5-page outlines, papers, or proposals for sessions. Papers will receive preferred consideration.  For a list of conference theme-related topics, submission deadline, and registration fees, see the full call below:

The conference will be hosted by the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, May 21-23 of 2009.  It is the 8th annual conference of the International Social Theory Consortium. Recent meetings have taken place in Singapore, Dubrovnick, Lexington, KY, Toronto, Tampa and Sussex. The submission deadline for proposals is March 20, 2009.


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

Glenn’s MySpace Profile:

The Ockress: 

The Ockress



And so it came to pass that The Ockress was launched upon the world …


The Ockress is a mythological story about a young man named Perlone who is identified by circumstance as ‘the Chosen One’ of a religion that dedicates itself to a number of Gods, Indomnias being the most influential; a religion that is named quite simply as ‘the Faith’.














The Ockress was written by Victor Rikowski


Designed by:


© The Ockress, 2007-08. All rights reserved.


Victor Rikowski’s MySpace Profile, Victor, at:


Victor Rikowski’s Online Publications, at:


The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Marxism and the Economic Crisis


A one-day conference hosted by International Socialism

Saturday 25 October 2008
12 noon – 6pm
UCL, Central London


Faced with the unprecedented economic upheavals of recent months, International Socialism has invited some of Britain’s leading Marxist economics to present their views on the crisis.


Sessions on:

·         The depth of the crisis

·         Finance and the system

·         Political implications of the crisis


Speakers will include:
Peter Gowan, professor of international relations at London Metropolitan University and author of The Global Gamble
Alex Callinicos, chair of European studies at King’s College London, and author of An Anticapitalist Manifesto and Resources of Critique
Robin Blackburn, professor of sociology at Essex University and author of Age Shock: How Finance is Failing us
Chris Harman, editor of International Socialism and author of Explaining the Crisis


To book a place, email or phone 020 7819 1177. Those attending will be asked for a donation (£10/£5) to cover our costs.


To download a poster, go to our website:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:




Is the Government’s bank the most ruthless repossessor? asks John McDonnell MP

It was announced today that Northern Rock – the bank fully nationalised by the Government – has massively increased the number of homes it has repossessed in the last quarter.

John McDonnell MP, LEAP Chair, said:

“We fully nationalised Northern Rock, yet the Government’s bank is becoming the most ruthless repossessor under the cosh of Government pressure to repay the loans. The Government is in danger of being seen as protecting banks while ignoring people.



“The Government needs to come up fast with a “recession-proof” strategy of halting repossessions and converting mortgages into homes for social rent.




Read John McDonnell’s comments in Northern Rock seizes 32 homes a week from the Daily Telegraph


Today’s Unemployment figures:

John McDonnell MP, LEAP Chair, said:

“With unemployment rising, the Government should be ‘recession-proofing’ by injecting resources to save people’s jobs through large scale public investment in major housing, rail and renewable energy infrastructure schemes.

“There should now be an immediate moratorium on the proposed closure of job centres and 12,000 job cuts in the Department for Work & Pensions.”



LEAP: The Economic Crisis – what role for social ownership?

Tuesday 4th November

7pm in Committee Room 5, House of Commons, London

Following the publication of the LEAP pamphlet Building the New Common Sense – social ownership for 21st century, LEAP leads a debate on what role for social ownership in the economic crisis.


Speakers include: Gregor Gall, Gerry Gold, John McDonnell MP, Rosamund Stock

Chair: Andrew Fisher (Editor of ‘Building the New Common Sense’)

Stand Up for Your Rights Festival

Saturday 18th October

2pm-8:30pm, Waterloo Action Centre, 14 Baylis Road, London, SE1 7AA. Tickets £10/£5


A one-day event organised by A World to Win. The historic struggle for rights in Britain will be presented through music, drama, poetry, films and political debate.


Confirmed speakers include Bill Bowring (Professor of Law at Birkbeck University), John McDonnell MP (LRC Chair), Global Women’s Strike, Coalition for Independent Action, Paul Feldman, Kevin Smith (Carbon Trade Watch), John Stewart (HACAN), Rahila Gupta (Southall Black Sisters), the Gypsy Council, London FBU, Ted Knight.

‘The Putney Principles’ and ‘Unfinished Business’ – New plays about the Levellers and the Chartists. Live music. Launch of ‘Unmasking the State, a rough guide to real democracy’ – a new book by Paul Feldman. Struggle for Rights timeline exhibition and film.


Register online for LRC conference 2008


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski


The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Marxism and Education: Online Resources


For those interested in Marxism and Education, Marxist educational theory or Marxian approaches to education, I have put together what I consider to be the most useful and inspiring resources available on the Internet today.


Glenn Rikowski, London, 23rd May 2008


Marxism & Education – from the Marxists Internet Archive

The classic texts: including some of Marx’s statements on education, put together by Andy Blunden for the Marxist Internet Archive. Sections on: Early Ideas on Socialist Education; Socialist Ideas on Education; Lenin on Education; Reports on Soviet Education; Education in Stalinist Russia; Early Childhood and Play; Adolescence and Ethical Development; Society and Individual Development; Cognition and Foundations of Learning; and Paulo Freire.



Informal Education (InFed)

Barry Burke (2008) writes on Karl Marx and Informal Education, at:


Policy Futures in Education – Special Double Issue on Marxist Futures

In 2004, Policy Futures in Education (Vol.2 Nos. 3 & 4) published a double and special issue on Marxism and education. It includes articles by Michael Peters, Simon Marginson, Zeus Leonardo, Mike Cole, Dave Hill and many others. The full contents can be found at: The general URL is:


Cultural Logic: An Electronic Journal of Marxist Theory & Practice

This journal produced a special issue on Marxism and Education (Vol.4 No.1, Fall 2000). It includes contributions from Peter McLaren, Rich Gibson, Bertell Ollman and many others. The contents can be viewed at:


Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

Focusing mainly on higher education, this journal has a number of articles where Marxian analysis is central.



Public Resistance

This journal contains a number of articles written by leading Marxist educational theorists and researchers. See:


Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS)

The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies carries a number of articles inspired by Marxist and Marxian approaches to education. It also includes reviews of books within the field of Marxism and education.



The Institute for Education Policy Studies (IEPS)      

This web site carries a number of papers inspired by Marxian approaches to education. Writers include Peter McLaren, Paula Allman and Glenn Rikowski. This site is organised by Dave Hill, and you can find many papers by him there. 



Rich Gibson’s Education Page for a Democratic Society 

This is a great site for radical and Marxist educators! See in particular the ‘Teaching and Education’ and Practical Philosophy’ subsections of ‘Truly Exceptional Topics Rich Gibson Wrote About’ (by clicking option 2 on the home page). See:


Peter McLaren: Critical Pedagogy, Paulo Freire, Marxist-Humanism, Eco-socialism and Critical Theory and Education

This is a tremendous web site. It contains a number of freely accessible online articles from one of the world’s leaders on Marxist writings on education and Critical and Revolutionary Pedagogy.



David Harvie

David Harvie is one of world’s best writers on education today working from a Marxian perspective. He has a number of online articles at: 



The University of Leeds based resource for online papers on education. If you search for ‘Marxism’ in the search box in ‘Browse the Index’ you get a number of papers by Paula Allman, John Wallis, John W. Morgan, Mike Cole, Dave Hill and others. If you search for ‘Rikowski; you get 7 papers by me. See:


Information for Social Change

This e-journal ran a Special Issue on ‘Education for Social Change’ that contains a number of Marxist-inspired articles on education (Issue No.23, summer 2006): 


The Flow of Ideas

This is the web site of the Rikowski family. It contains a number of articles on Marxism and education. See:



Key Online Articles and Papers on Marxism and Education by Glenn Rikowski:

Rikowski, G. (2004) Marx and the Education of the Future, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.2 Nos. 3 & 4, pp.565-577, online at:

Rikowski, G. (2005) Distillation: Education in Karl Marx’s Social Universe, Lunchtime Seminar, School of Education, University of East London, Barking Campus, 14th February:

Rikowski, G. (2006) Education and the Politics of Human Resistance, Information for Social Change, Issue No.23 (Summer):

Rikowski, G. (2007) Marxist Educational Theory Unplugged, a paper prepared for the Fourth Historical Materialism Annual Conference, 9-11th November, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London:



This first appeared on the Volumizer on 23rd May 2008. All AOL journals, blogs and newsletters will be terminated on 31st October 2008 – so see the Volumizer whilst it is still possible at:



A meeting to look back over the work and ideas of Cyril Smith, who died on 8 May this year, will be held on THURSDAY 13 NOVEMBER at 7.0 pm, at THE CALTHORPE ARMS, GRAYS INN ROAD, LONDON. (Five minutes’ walk from Holborn, Kings Cross or Chancery Lane underground stations.)


The meeting will be a discussion about “WILLIAM BLAKE, KARL MARX AND CYRIL SMITH”, introduced by David Gorman, and held in the open style of the Individuals and Society seminar at Birkbeck college that Cyril helped to establish.


People may wish to read in preparation: Karl Marx and the Future of the Human, by Cyril Smith, chapters 10 (Marx and Human Self Creation) and 11 (Marx and the Fourfold Vision of William Blake). Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law, by E.P. Thompson, is also relevant.


All who are interested are welcome. Please forward this email to others.


We have booked the function room at the Calthorpe Arms, so that after the discussion we can together raise a glass to Cyril’s memory in comfortable surroundings. Questions re arrangements or whatever to Simon on  or 020 8333 2152.


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Visit the Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas at:
See The Ockress at: 
Glenn’s blog on MySpace, Wavering on Ether is at: http://blog/

Education As Culture Machine



This is the title of a new article by Glenn Rikowski.


It can be viewed at the Volumizer:



The full reference and direct URL is:

Rikowski, G. (2008) Education As Culture Machine, posted to the Volumizer on 25th September:


The Rikowski website, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Broke and Broken – A Critique of the Higher Education Funding System



The UK National Union of Students (NUS) has produced an excellent and disturbing report on the higher education student funding in England: Broke and Broken – A Critique of the Higher Education Funding System. This well-researched report how students in England have to: ‘take a huge financial risk, with no guarantee of success’ (p.4). Money can readily be found for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or to rescue financial institutions such as Northern Rock. Yet the Blairite UK government feels ‘unable’ and unwilling to invest sufficiently in the talents and creative capacities of the nation’s students – who will go on to add billions to UK economic growth via the exploitation of their skilled labour power and in working to better the lives of millions in what remains of our ‘public’ services.


You can view the full report at:



Glenn Rikowski


Visit the Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas at:

See The Ockress at:
Glenn Rikowski at firgoa, see:
His University of Northampton, School of Education Staff Profile is at:,6567769&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL 
Glenn’s Online Publications can be found at:

Currently listening :
Fear of a Blank Planet
By Porcupine Tree
Release date: 2007-04-24