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A reactionary is a person who holds political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous political state of society, which they believe possessed characteristics (discipline, respect for authority, etc.) that are negatively absent from the contemporary status quo of a society. As an adjective, the word reactionary describes points of view and policies meant to restore the status quo ante.

Political reactionaries are largely found on the right-wing of a political spectrum, though left-wing reactionaries can also exist. Reactionary ideologies can also be radical, in the sense of political extremism, in service to re-establishing the status quo ante. In political discourse, being a reactionary is generally regarded as negative; the descriptor "political reactionary" has been adopted by the likes of the Austrian monarchist Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, the Scottish journalist Gerald Warner of Craigenmaddie,nthe Colombian political theologian Nicolás Gómez Dávila, and the American historian John Lukacs.


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