Were I an academic, I would begin here with:
It is axiomatic that...
but I am not prone to using cliche except in service of a comical end. Nonetheless,
it is axiomatic that the knee-jerk defensive move of any confident leftist is to accuse his/her/its imagined adversary of a particularly terrible crime: that of working under or within a reactionary mindset.
If we were to parse the accusation, we would see that it aims to do two things: (1) insult the imagined adversary, and (2) project an aura of oneness with progress.
What is the operative meaning, in of-course-we're-left-of-Sarah-Palin-land, of the term "reactionary"? Has it been defined accurately?
One good progressive used a whole book's worth of obfuscatory ivory tower jargon masquerading as informative analysis regarding this very question, and despite those efforts (which reminded me of Heracles at the Aegean stables) still couldn't come up with a brief one-sentence definition.
Apparently it's a very complex state of mind.
While also being a sociopolitical identity epithet.
Maybe we should just see how it's used in everyday practice by internet-based armies who battle mightily each day for the overarching cause of progress.
In each such instance where I've encountered the use of the term "reactionary" as a descriptive term, it was phrased in the accusatory. Sometimes a person was being accused, sometimes a policy was being accused, and sometimes it's just a supposed state of mind being accused.
In the former cases the situation is a little less nauseating because you can explain it away with the usual drives: ego defense, tribalism, social insecurity-based psychopathologies.
Encountering the latter case gets pretty close to how I'd imagine it would be if eating salt water taffy and finding out, mid-tooth-yanking-chew, that it contains Syrup of Ipecac.
But then, broad-spectrum category blaming has been the progressive way for over 100 years of American history. So I really should be able to overcome the nausea.
And I have.
I notice the lampoonable hypocrisy of this obsession with accusations orienting themselves toward identifying the accuser as being one-with-progress.
If your intellectual keystone / political identity role model / academic theorist ubermensch is a guy who lived & wrote about stuff that happened 150 years ago in Germany,
how are you not locked into a dead view that's rooted in a long-gone past?
how are you not the reactionary?
Is it because you mouth the words which protest otherwise?
-- Hal Caidagh, army of one