The cold war was more than a war between two countries; it was a war between different ideologies. On both sides the other ideology was feared by the government. In the United States a “witch hunt” was carried out against communists, as they feared that communism would take over the country. In the Soviet Union people were “fenced in” by fear of the police and government and they were not free to travel abroad as many escaped from the hard reigning regime.
To some extent you could say that communism failed as a policy. It is really I theory a noble and good way to run a country, but human nature will make it fail over and over again. To impose communism onto a people they have to be very poor and sick of the old system with the working class at the very bottom. This is why communism sometimes works for a while, but after a few years have passed it seems that people need to move on with the politics and start developing an economy that is based on how much you work and how well you do your job instead of getting paid just for being alive. For example a farmer is paid the same if he has two cows as if has a hundred, why should he then bother to take care of a hundred. This is where communism fails, because people, if given a chance, will do as little as possible. This leads to ruling power to use force when imposing things on its people, this may also work for a while but in the end it only makes things worse.
The basis for any economic system is that people should be paid accordingly to their production. Capitalism takes this to an extreme, this is were you have to do everything yourself and you cant rely on help from the government for anything. This has also failed to some extent as it creates extreme differences between rich and poor. Still a capitalist state will almost always remain stable as there is a lot of money in rotation, but welfare will suffer because in a perfect capitalist state there would be no taxes and everybody has to pay for themselves. No state in the world practices this extreme policy and if capitalist were as extreme as communist both politics would probably fail. A mixed economy with some government involvement is probably the best and this is what is winning through in most of the world today.
Related documents:The Cold War: Important People
The Cold War: Conflicts
The Cold War: Timeline