Jan Lityński was one of the idols of my youth. It was at a time when communist propaganda was able to expose the schemes of the KOR by taking little Janek in the hands of Bolesław Bierut. It was not a time when I wanted to wonder what the left-wing character of people like Kuroń, Modzelewski, Michnik or Lityński was all about. As a young revolutionist, I preferred not to be confronted with the question of how can you fight the red with the red leadership?
Jan Lityński died saving the dog and this is the dimension of his leftist attitude. From a pragmatic point of view, saving a dog that has entered the Narew ice by a 75-year-old guy is a kind of madness. Ideological madness. And also a summary of life. True leftist sensitivity is, or is, somewhat insane. It is about abandoning calculation for the benefit of mankind.
Jonathan Haidt, in The Right Mind, a book that studies the psychology of morality, notes that people want dogs to fit in with their moral matrices. Leftists want to have gentle animals and treat them as equal partners. Conservatives want dogs that are faithful and obedient. Lityński saved his friend because he was like that, because he was a man of the left, regardless of what was happening around him.