In chapter ten, Hittinger gives further consideration to Kolnai's "metaphysics of political conservatism" and tilts in favor of this approach over Maritain's and Simon's democratic progressivism and defensive neo-Thomism. Kolnai contrasts conservative metaphysics, which views life in terms of "hierarchy, privilege, and liberty," to democratic metaphysics, which views life in terms of "identity, sameness, and rebellion." Kolnai defends conservative metaphysics against democratic metaphysics because the former is more noble than the latter and accords with the natural order of things. The problem with this judgment, of course, is that conservative metaphysics point toward an aristocratic order of politics while democratic metaphysics point to the mass culture of the common man, neither of which is entirely acceptable. Kolnai tries to solve the problem by combining the two orders in a view of "constitutionalism" that separates limitations on power from individual rights and connects "liberty under God" with dispersed centers of power based on privilege and corporate hierarchy. It is unclear, however, if Hittinger completely accepts this political solution because he senses that Kolnai's spirit is at odds with the Second Vatican Council and with the views of Pope John Paul II, a champion of the rights and dignity of the human person.
I'm sympathetic to dispersing centers of power, but the advocacy of privilege triggers egalitarian suspicions I didn't even know I had. Granted, this is a prejudice on my part; but as Edmund Burke has noted, there is something to be said for prejudices.
There's more informaton on Kolnai in this brief review: FindArticles.com - A neglected political thinker