When Socrates switches to rhetoric, it means that we have reached a crisis in the dialectic, the dialectic has broken down........ TTC  M. Sugrue

The success of the rhetoric is defined as that positive outcome of a communication that conveys a new and powerful idea that results in the breaking through of a existing stuck position that is blocking the development or resolution of a fundamental ethical issue. Rhetoric in its best is to convince or persuade an extremist to let go of his view as final or the only valid point of view. Its thrust is to expose the dangers and limitations of one-sided, extremist or unbalanced points of view. The power of the rhetoric lies not so much in presenting forcefully the good points of one's own personal view, but rather more so to expose the dangers of only one point of view that utterly discards the validity of an opposing or alternative points of view, and in this the line between rhetoric and dialectic tends to vanish, because this can happen only when there is some minimum convergence of motivations of the involved parties. In divergent motivations there may be rhetoric flying around, but for the dialectic to take place needs a minimum overlap of motivations : this is essential, or else the dialog is only a verbal fight without a result in which all the involved parties benefit. Therefore, rhetoric at its best works to re-launch the dialectic when the dialectic has failed or been abandoned because it did not suit at least one party's vested interests, but the point remains that a party with strong vested interests would even allow others to open their mouths for their rhetoric to be expressed at all. The tyrants do not, but in time, Nature does finally provide an opportunity to those who have been patient in their suffering. Thus a powerful rhetoric may actually make way for the best dialectic.

The success of the dialectic is defined as that positive outcome of a communication of ideas between people in a social setup that results in an enhanced or more cohesive social order, or development or enhancement of rules of just law, or enhanced awareness in people about their responsibility that leads to a change in their attitude that leads to decisions about changes in social and environmental behavior.


The success of a dialectic is the degree of resolution ( even though temporary ) of contradictory ideas incorporated in the rules, laws and ethos of a society. The test of the success of the dialectic follows in time in the concerned social, political events and will depend upon the commitment of all parties to the agreements made in that dialectic - which was called in ancient times in most societies as 'the word of honor' and in such societies to break one's word of honor was the biggest sacrilege ( before formal religion was invented ). The breaking of the word often led to a domino effect of breaking of the word, leading to a collapse of the dialectic. On a wider scale it meant that the word of honor was no longer trusted, and as wars between  tribes or groups became uncontrollable - the process of conquest and decimation became the norm. Now wars were being fought to conquer and enslave - by any means possible - even treachery. ( the situational opposite of the dialectic whereby an agreement is made for the specific purpose of misleading one party into fulfilling their end of an agreement, but the other party that is not sincere from the beginning then violates (covertly or overtly) the agreement blatantly or by deception, and gains an unfair advantage). With such methods and means civilizations, and subsequently, empires were built. One common method is to covertly provoke the other party relentlessly until in desperation minor elements in that party break the agreement which then gives the excuse or justification to the deceiving party to break or nullify the agreement completely when it suits them.

In civilizations, some semblance of the dialectic emerged from the overthrow of feudal rule. From a feudal society supported by institutionalized religion, it was definitely a major improvement towards a society that was ruled by people that had some sort of participation of the masses, and not by heredity. The dialog between an emerging intelligentsia that had started questioning the decadent and tyrannical  authority of King and Priest was the first success of the dialectic - at last the dialectic had converged on the idea that all human beings had equal rights and that rulers were not divinely ordained. The enlightenment movement in Europe produced writers, poets and thinkers that led to this transformation. One kingdom after another became a republic that formulated a constitution and institutions to represent a wider population in the law making and governing process.