Many societies, such as the Shakers in America, the Incas in Peru, the Essines in Israel, and many Early Christian groups, have practiced forms of communism.
But Communism with Das Kapital C didn't come about until the mid 1800s when Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto, which stated that Society was always going through transitions (the last two being Feudalism, and Capitalism), and that now was the time for a transition into a Socialist economy, which would lead to a classless society, which he called "Communism". Marx recognised the effectiveness of Capitalism, but saw that it was only another step in this chain.
One of the most contraversial points about Modern Communism is that it is vocally Athiest, as Marx had said "Religion is the Opium of The People." This is because Marx's father was forced to convert from Judaism to Christianity in order to get a job in a largely anti-semitic country. Because of this, the young Marx decided that religion was fleeting, and was a tool of the opressor to bind the people. Despite this, many religious-based communistic societies have existed.
In the early 1900s, in Russia, long after marx's death, the Tsar Alexander II had declared war on Japan. Russia, after a devistating defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, and heavy losses in World War I, the people were ready for a new government. Many looked to Marxism. These were lead by intellectuals such as Vladamir Ulyanov "Lenin", and Leon Trotsky. They called themselves the Bolsheviks, and pelieved that the Proletariat, The workers, must triumph in an armed revolution. In 1917, the Tsar was deposed, and followed by a capitalistic Provisional Government. This didn't cut it for the Bolsheviks, and the Bolsheviks soon gained control of Russia.
At first, the new Soviet Union seemed like a genuine Marxist state, but soon an upstart named Josef "Stalin" "The Man of Steel", began his deadly regime, which effectively ended the idea of a just Communist state.
the same thing was played out all over the world in places like China, and Cuba. Corrupt dictators hijacked Communistic ideals and used them for their own personal good.
So thus the great notions of Communism will forever be tainted by the terror of corrupt dictators.