Everywhere the special must be reduced to the personal and the personal to the substantial. The transformation of the species into a principle of identity and classification is the original sin of our culture, its most implacable apparatus [dispositivo]. Something is personalized — is referred to as an identity — at the cost of sacrificing its specialness. A being — a face, a gesture, an event — is special when, without resembling any other, it resembles all the others. Special being is delightful, because it offers itself eminently to common use, but it cannot be an object of personal property. But neither use nor enjoyment is possible with the personal; there can only be appropriation and jealousy.
The jealous confuse the special with the personal; the brutal confuse the personal with the special. The jeune fille is jealous of herself. The model wife brutalizes herself.
- Giorgio Agamben