People usually resist change because they fear to lose control; they are uncertain about the future; they do not have enough time to think things through and get accustomed to new ideas; they do not want to lose tradition and familiar symbols; they fear of losing face; they are not sure of they competence; they are reluctant to work more; they feel threatened; they may resent the person or the organization that wants to bring about changes.
Reactionary forces not only resist change but seek to restore some earlier order of society, thus blocking change and annulling reforms already achieved.
In the international trading system competitiveness changes more rapidly than countries are willing or able to change their structure of production. The pressures to change the production patterns have added to those resulting from changing patterns of comparative advantage arising from technological change and shifts in factor input costs. This resistance to structural change frequently finds its expression in trade restrictions, especially if the latter are somehow more easily obtained by the affected groups than economically more efficient alternatives.
People who are resistant to change cannot resist change for the worse.
To label a group as reactionary is to establish their guilt at the outset. As such it is the most value-laden term available to historians. Reactionaries perform a valuable function in maintaining the equilibrium of any political system, notably by constraining those who undertake change in an irresponsible manner. If there was no reaction the stability of the state would be undermined. The difficulty in believing that a reactionary stands against the tide of history is not simply that such trends differ through the eyes of different beholders, but also that the label is generally only used when the reactionary has been successful.