At the very least, “communism” is the name for the only sort of utopianism available today that does not involve any religious or New Age ideas of perfectibility, redemption, and salvation. For communism is rather something much more down to earth. Communism has to do, pragmatically as well as etymologically, with a sense of “the common”.
The common is neither “public” nor “private,” but rejects both sides of this binary opposition. The common rather has to do with the fact that individual creativity is itself possible only in the context of all the linguistic, cultural, scientific, and technological heritage of humankind. As Isaac Newton famously said, he was only able to see further than others because he stood on the shoulders of giants.
Today, more and more of our common heritage is being privatized, copyrighted, and patented by multinational corporations. Political struggle must involve taking back what is common to all of us. From this perspective, communism doesn’t mean giving up on our inner lives, but creating an environment in which such lives might flourish. And, in this humane sense, the idea of communism is not really a political notion, although politics is undoubtedly a large part of what might be needed to get there.