This doesn't sound right. Pre-State society would want to know what clan you came from.
Excellent article. When power is unmatched it has a tendency toward visibility, publicity, and ceremony (as opposed to the anonymous and invisible type of power that must hide and dissimulate in order to maintain its influence.)
Naming is a necessary component of appropriation: a man takes a woman and names her, an empire conquers a city and renames it (Leningrad, Stalingrad etc.) Appropriation is, in turn, a necessary component of power, which is the essence of the public state. Counting (census), dividing (naming), and ordering (authority) are all elements of an entity bent on restructuring a world so that it falls within the scope of its power. I'm not familiar with the history, but the author's story of patronyms as an artifact of political power seems wholly plausible in this context.
The other point concerning simplification is well-taken (synoptic naming), but the author could have focused on the psychological implications of naming as well. Division and distribution are usually public acts that bind nature and people to a new conceptual scheme that has some sort of public significance and moral consistency, i.e., legitimacy. The Christening of the Americas as the New World reflected the Marian (Catholic) nature of the conquest that bound heterogeneous lands, peoples, and customs to the authority and legitimacy of a new theology, morality, and secular power in Europe. The new names signal much more than mere totalitarian efficiency and reinforce state power in a different way.
I think something entirely different is going on. Notice how blacks call themselves "Prince" or "Snoop Dogg" or "P-Diddy." Well no shit--they don't know who their fathers are. If you're just an atomized product of a sperm donor and some baby-momma, there's no need for a surname. But it's the secular welfare State that subsidizes an atomized existence. People want to know who you are and where you came from, and more so once the secular State collapses.