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.
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