Communism's failure as a political and governmental paradigm in some nations has not been a failure of the ideology. It has been a failure of its application by individuals and cultures in the face of hostile Western aristocracy, imperialism and capitalism. Communist regimes failed primarily by adopting isolationist policies. Rather than opening their societies to international tourism and trade, as the socialist democracies of Scandinavia have done, communist governments have focused on suppression of the individual in society with the mistaken notion that individual talent and initiative threaten the greater good.
The autocracy of communist regimes undermined the ideal of liberated individuals democratically working for the common good. Totalitarianism killed communist regimes by developing an underbelly culture of bureaucratic corruption, state violence and secrecy. The opening of Chinese communism to the West has led to an increasing awareness of corruption within the older communist culture. China may well devise a communist hybrid which works well in an overpopulated and environmentally degraded world.
China has rebounded despite immense and ancient population pressures and environmental deficits. Despite the propaganda in capitalist nations about the evils of Mao, the current success of China's resurrection is founded on Maoist systems of government. Similarly, but on a tiny scale by comparison, Cuba may well flourish when its isolation, largely caused by the U.S. embargo, is broken. A Cuban population raised on the ideal of the common good may well integrate capitalist business practices with a resulting social equality that will shame the U.S..
The U.S. phobia about communism is based in imperialist capitalism of the late 19th century. From its early popularity among European academics, communism has terrified capitalists in power who depend on the wage enslavement of a large segment of the population. Why? The answer is simple: Communism envisions a world motivated by constructive cooperation of all as opposed to a world dominated by the greed of the few.