Marxists have always argued that human beings are naturally co-operative and will help each other automatically "out-of-the-box" if you will. We argued this because logically that is the only way we could of survived, we evolved our natural helpful and co-operativeness because they were a huge advantage over other species, there was also much evidence on early communist societies to bolster the argument.

We argue that class society puts a clamp on this natural behaviour due to bourgeois culture transmitted from the ruling classes over history, me me me money money money. People react to the world they live in - but take someone young enough and society won't yet have time to warp his or her mind.

Recent studies have now shown that altruism 'in-built' in humans.

Dr Warneken and colleague Professor Michael Tomasello wanted to see whether very young children who had not yet learned social skills were willing to help strangers.

The experimenters performed simple tasks like dropping a clothes peg out of reach while hanging clothes on a line, or mis-stacking a pile of books.

Nearly all of the group of 24 18-month-olds helped by picking up the peg or the book, usually in the first 10 seconds of the experiment.

They only did this if they believed the researcher needed the object to complete the task - if it was thrown on the ground deliberately, they didn't pick it up.

What is also interesting to note is the research was also conducted with our closest living relative chimpanzees, it showed similar results - although they were not as able to understand as complex things as the human babies - like things falling into boxes with flaps.

Scientists have long debated what leads people to "act out of the goodness of their hearts" by helping non-relatives regardless of any benefits for themselves.

Human society depends on people being able to collaborate with others - donating to charity, paying taxes and so on - and many scientists have argued that altruism is a uniquely human function, hard-wired into our brains.

The latest study suggests it is a strong human trait, perhaps present more than six million years ago in the common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans.

"This is the first experiment showing altruistic helping towards goals in any non-human primate," said Felix Warneken, a psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

"It's been claimed chimpanzees act mainly for their own ends; but in our experiment, there was no reward and they still helped."

What's also interesting - and why I've also tagged this with the politics flag is many in the right-wing press especially in the United States utterly ignored the tests carried out on human babies - while others more to the left like the BBC gave more attention to the bulk of the experiment - to humans.

Marxists were right all along - now it's official (again).