Mainstream societies, especially democratic societies under the threat of radical change from organized separatists and alternative ideological groups often will make calls for 'integration'.
Integration, meaning to make separate parts into one (originally from the Latin 'integratio' meaning 'renewing, restoring')in the social sphere it effectively means the coming together of two or more different individuals, groups or ideational movements so that they can function together relatively harmoniously. This implies that these divergent parts in their original and nature are different, and so have to be forged together in some respect.
Integration, usually means in practise that one will abandon its nature, principles, attributes to a certain degree to be accepted by the second party. This is of course, is not the only way for two divergent bodies to co-exist. There also exists the possibility of isolation where two separate things exist perhaps in the same vicinity but remain separate from each other. Another possibility is interaction but without integration. Interaction, would be that there is a communication, transaction and relationship which does not involve abandoning the original reality and nature of either party.
Forced integration is a situation where neither group wants to abandon their nature or do not want to be forced to mix. Two substances like oil and water will avoid the efforts to integrate. The problems with forced integration are many including:-
- Artificial harmony which harbours and underlying hostility
- People acting against their nature so that they malfunction
- People forced to be dishonest in order to maintain the illusion of agreement. A society then becomes built upon lies as it builds its house with false bricks.
- Distrust in other sub-communities as it is known that compliance and agreement is forced and not genuine.
- The swelling of pressure which leads to a forceful fracture. Rather than the differences being treated as they occur they are stored until problems become compounded.
A community where forced integration exists will perhaps mask an underlying hostility or frustration due to the hampering of its own genuine aspirations and feelings. Society then harbours misery on many levels so escapisms and self destructive behaviour is initiated.
A community based on interaction on the other hand, as opposed to artificial integration, will be able to express itself so that a dominant idea can emerge which acts as some harmonizing factor between the divergent groups. If an idea does not arise capable of unifying the varied groups then at least communication and relations are based on what is known and expressed rather than what is suspected, invented or suppressed.
Maintaining the Order of Forced Integration by Means of Deception
A group that controls the political, cultural and social order in society through means of forced integration will not want to open a society to genuine integration due to the potential threat to its own control, unless it genuinely believes in the supremacy of its own foundational ideas and has the confidence for them to be scrutinized and challenged by opposing ideas.
Such an order though can be upheld with minimal friction from the duped populace if the illusion of transparency, conviction and interaction is projected. A population who believes it is free, will not seek escape from its various shackles. If people see false debates, where the outcome is already decided, false challenges where the nature of the challenge is always restrained and false representation of divergent views, where the representative is only in fact a spokesman for the group he is claiming to be accounting and opposing, then people may continue to cement their own stagnation and tie the blindfold upon their own eyes.
The Artwork 'Forced Integration'
My artwork 'Forced Integration' is an abstract expressionist symbolic representation of forced integration. It represents forced integration absolutely, in terms of any forced integration between divergent substances and objects or the socially and politically forced integration between social, cultural and political groups and communities.
This is visually indicated by the picture being at first glance harmonised and integrated but then not so on further analysis. It is integrated in the following ways:-
- The scene is integrated in that it is one work
- The scene is integrated in that their is a uniformity of monotone colour (black, greys, white)
- There is a form of integration between the square, rectangular shapes.
- There is a form of integration in the overlapping colours and shapes.
- The whole picture is characterised by background scattered pigmentation
- White 'shines' through the background of the picture
- There is an overlapping of many circles
- Some circles contain other circles
Signs that the work has been falsely or forcefully integrated exist in the notable differences and imperfections of form denoting visible friction and exposure of that which is artificial or misplaced. This shown by:-
- The illuminated borders of shapes due to breakage in colour or pigment distribution.
- Some circles and squares stand out more than others and appear less integrated, they differ in size, shape and tone
- The circles do not have an even distribution
- Most circles are overlapping but some are isolated and independent
- The circles are excluded from the borders of all but one of the rectangles
- The squares are actually all placed in the corners
- One of the rectangular shapes is floating towards the middle and differs significantly in shape from the other rectangles that are more 'squared' and placed in the corners.
- The rectangle containing circles (that which integrated them) also contains random lines which are alien to the geometric harmony of the whole scene.
- The 'integrated' rectangle, containing the circles is the only rectangle which doesn't possess a defined continuous border.
- The distribution of background pigment is not uniform.
- The shining white glow is not evenly distributed but is suppressed in some areas more than others.
- There is no overlapping of squares
- There is no overlapping between the circumference of circles and the sides of squares.
- Many of the circles appear to be perfect but are in fact either squashed to become shorter or squeezed to become narrower.
- The walls of the circles have varying thickness.
Clearly these observations can have many parallels and multi-layered meanings in the real social, political and cultural world.