I am interested in the origin of this word, strictly in the political usage of the word (Reactionary = conservative, right-wing). The definition is simple enough:
Reactionary: Characterized by reaction, especially opposition to progress or liberalism; extremely conservative.
This seems to be a designation of someone who is opposed to political revolution. Is this word more of an insult than a descriptive term?
"Oh they are just a reactionary... no original ideas, just reacting to the idea of progress."
What I am really interested in why the right-wing of politics are called 'Reactionaries'. Surely both sides of politics are reacting to social/political/religious structure/movements? To me, the word conservative is a better fit.