mutually exclusive

you can only have one
and maybe you don’t get to pick for yourself.

3 thoughts on “mutually exclusive

  1. adorno: Ethics [Moral] and temporal order. – While literature has dealt with all manner of erotic conflicts, the simplest external motive for conflict has remained untouched, due to its obviousness. That is the phenomenon of being already taken: that a person beloved by us is inaccessible not because of inner antagonisms and inhibitions, too much coldness or overly repressed warmth, but because a relationship already exists, which excludes a new one. The abstract temporal order plays in truth the role which one would like to ascribe to the hierarchy of the feelings. The state of being taken, leaving aside freedom of choice and the decision, also has something wholly accidental about it, which appears to thoroughly contradict the claim of freedom. Even and exactly in a society healed from the anarchy of commodity production, there would scarcely be rules regarding how and in what order one got to know people. Were it any different, then such an arrangement would equate to the most unbearable assault on freedom. For that reason, the priority of what is accidental has powerful reasons on its side: if a new person is preferred over another, then the latter is slighted, because the past of the common life is annulled, experience itself is, as it were, crossed out. The irreversibility of time sets an objective moral criterion. But this latter is entwined with mythos, like abstract time itself. The exclusivity posited in it develops according to its own concept into the exclusive rule of hermetically sealed groups, finally to that of large-scale industry. Nothing can be more touching than the worry of lovers, that a new person could attract love and tenderness – their finest possessions, just because they cannot be possessed – precisely by means of that newness, which is itself produced by the privilege of the older. But from this touchingness, whose disintegration would mean the simultaneous disintegration of all warmth and snugness [Geborgensein], leads an irresistible path from the aversion of the little child to its younger siblings and the contempt of the fraternity brother to the pledge, to the immigration laws which exclude all non-Europeans in social democratic Australia, all the way to the Fascist extermination of racial minorities, wherein in fact warmth and snugness explode into nothingness. It is not only, as Nietzsche knew, that all good things were once evil: even the most tender of these, left to its own momentum, has the tendency to culminate in unthinkable barbarity.

  2. sylvia plath: “If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.”

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