Cover: Three Dark Pieces

Three Dark Pieces

Published 1990

by David Ronfeldt


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This paper presents three opinion pieces, all on different subjects, that seem to fit together because of a common dark tone of speculation. In order of presentation, they sound warnings that (1) the post-Cold War era, far from producing democracy, peace, and prosperity in Latin America and other parts of the Third World, may result in a new round of dictatorships and dirty wars; (2) the worldwide information and communications revolution, which many analysts believe favors the forces of democratic liberalism, may end up also strengthening totalitarianism; and (3) the United States should beware of the continuing rise of charismatic leaders abroad who evince a distinctive combination of godlike pretensions to extreme power yet take vengeance against others they regard as too powerful.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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