The previous school of thought leads us into the realm of older, simpler and more stable societies in which harmony, re-distribution and balance are held in higher esteem than growth, change and material accumulation, to the extent that many aspects of scientific and technological progress may be shunned in order to preserve the modest but familiar, low-stress quality of life that many yearn for.
Archaism may be regarded as true conservatism because it regards the past as the sole reliable repository of knowledge we can draw from. In the view of archaicists such as Thoreau, Tolstoy, Liang Shu Ming and Mahatma Gandhi, science and technology must be regarded with suspicion, even when some of their discoveries are adopted because they are not really relevant to the core human condition and its permanent genuine needs and aspirations. Therefore they tend to amount to a distraction rather than provide real solutions.
Archaicists focus on the deepest problems affecting man and are more concerned with the ways of dealing with them than with the visible result of the remedy being applied. They hence emphasize the need to provide food, clothing and shelter to all but, along with and above those demands, they look for collective and spiritual wellbeing which they define as independent from the provision of superfluous amenities through scientific progress and capital intensive industry. On the contrary they regard harmony with nature and within society as a critical factor in ensuring happiness and health and don't want it to be compromised or neglected in order to provide a more comfortable, affluent and idle lifestyle to a section or even the majority of the population.
Most ecological philosophers and social activists belong to that school of thought but none of them has quite shown how our highly complex global society on its heavily inhabited planet can transition to a mainly rural low-energy state without going through a massive -- almost "Extinction Level" -- crisis.
In order to prevent a collapse of the supporting mechanisms of mankind, such a transition would have to take place very gradually, over several decades during which the current rush to industrialization, urbanization and greater consumption would have to be reversed and at present no human agency is powerful enough to mandate and enforce such a change of course.
If we leave out the extreme choices made by some minorities to return to a pre-industrial existence, thereby reverting to the condition still experienced by hundreds of millions in Asia, Africa and Latin America, we will find that attempts to recreate some conditions of the past are carried out at two levels, that of states trying to recapture lost greatness, from both nostalgia and necessity and that of smaller entities inspired by charismatic and influential thinkers who draw from a national or universal spiritual and political tradition.
1-The resistance of nation-states and the Return of Empires