The ‘democratic philosopher’ is equivalent to the ‘organic intellectual.’ The latter is a term more familiar and more widely known than the former. Yet the former more adequately captures the substance of the teacher-student relation that forms the core of the Gramscian concept of egemonia. The organic intellectual is precisely that intellectual who is in close and intimate contact with the people, a type defined by a relationship between the two that is reciprocal and dialectical, where intellectual and people mutually define each other and where the relationship is precisely pedagogic, hegemonic, and political in the sense described earlier. The organic intellectual or the democratic philosopher is the teacher and educator whose knowledge and activity are constantly modifying, and being modified by, the ‘environment’ – especially the people – such that the educator and the people become engaged in a process of self-definition and self-overcoming.

Benedetto Fontana, Hegemony & Power: On the Relation between Gramsci and Machiavelli p27

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