But the increasing power of the market, particularly as exercised through new technologies has also been a major factor in other aspects of social change. Marketing to children has been an important factor in the sexualization of teenagers, particularly teenage girls. The globalization of the entertainment industry, made so powerful through new technology, has given rise to a whole industry of sexualized teenagers that is evident in everything from Disney Television to music videos. Huge multinational corporations like Fox, Disney, Viacom, etc, have been instrumental to the globalization process and have also been major marketers to children. This has led not only to younger people exploring their sexuality but to the increasing profile of so-called alternative life-styles which traditional social conservative so abhor. Conservative parties, being largely allied to these very same forces of globalization are not about to put restrictions on such things as children in advertising or to the significant sexual content of music videos. Conservatism is more economically tied to multinational corporations than it is to a decreasing number of social traditionalists. As a result the ideology of conservatism is increasingly jettisoning its social aspect in favor of the rhetoric of the market and globalization in the full knowledge that its real power lies in the increasing strength of multinational corporations which will exploit any market to feed the insatiable greed of the casino economy.
This is particularly evident in the agenda of the Conservative movement in Canada which has a decreasing interest in social traditionalism. While they attack recent increases in NGO strength to struggle for the rights of women, for example, they do so not because they are promoting a traditional family agenda but because their market model increasingly seeks to undermine the ability of people, particularly the most vulnerable, to fight back against the amazing increases in the market and the centralization corporate power. Meanwhile they make conscious, if entirely fabricated, efforts to hold on to their traditional base by paying lip-service to such issues as crime, which they know full-well has been on a steady decrease despite supposedly lax crime legislation which the aging population imagines 'coddles' criminals.
Ironically this situation has lead to an increasing strength for Conservatives at the very time when the population in general is increasingly liberal in many ways. While multinational corporations have more and more power over the political agenda, people who are frighteningly ignorant of the economic processes at the heart of the very system they live in, become convinced of the inevitability of the corporate agenda at home and abroad. In fact, people become convinced that it is not an 'agenda' at all but a 'natural' and organic process of economy. This is an amazing display of Marx's concept of reification playing out at the heart of modern capitalism. Meanwhile the traditional conservatives will not shift their vote to another party because their is very little space for the emergence of an actual conservative (in the broadest sense) party. These factors, coupled with the vagaries of our first past the post system and the splits in the Center and center-left means that conservatives can exercise an inordinate degree of power despite the growing liberalism of our age.
The most problematic part of this process is that the majority of people remain woefully unaware of the actual corporatist agenda at the heart of the shifting conservative ideology. The neo-liberal movement has been remarkably effective at convincing people that the changes in the global economy are not the result of a conscious and concerted effort on the part of corporations and their political allies, but that they are an organic growth of an economy which they want us to believe that we have no power to influence. In this circumstance it becomes relatively easy to make attacks on democratic processes because the political system increasingly appears to be a simple administrative body which "administers" the economy rather than actively guiding society according to a general will.