Sometimes I feel like I've been waiting forever for the new communism to come out. That's going to be the one where everyone gets free medical care and an education, but you can still buy the things you want. I don't know a lot about it, frankly. Humanity hasn't set a release date.
The old communism had some problems. I once wrote a post called "What's bad about a good idea" that gets into the whole difficulty. The basic theme was that you get a very good idea -- like, people shouldn't starve, or something -- and then you pummel the crap out of everybody that gets in the way, er, your way. Of course, making sure everyone can eat is a very nice thing to do, and capitalism doesn't make it easy. But somehow niceness doesn't always hold up in the single-minded pursuit of niceness. More often than not, we're dicks to the people around us, while striking a generous pose toward things that carry no cost.
I've always thought Christianity and communism were kindred spirits in this regard. The Christian ethic, for example, is one of the most powerful ideas in human history. It's extremely popular, as an idea. Christianity as an institution -- yeah, not so much. The two are related in an important way, with the lasting relevance of one providing the moral cover for the other. But the Christian ethic survives either way, just like the need to address needless human suffering. Neither go away, ever -- at least not until they become a more normal part of who we are.