I'm curious as to whether that's supposed to be Stalinist iconography rather than Leninist; the difference in the metaphors would be significant. Stanley's reaction to the new icons implies a certain level of genuine idealism. Contrast that with Wanda's self-serving pragmatism shown at the end of Book 1, and I think Lenin might be nearer the mark.
More generally, Stanley's previous disdain for the trappings of royalty is an interesting surprise. I hope that tidbit is followed up on.
Perhaps I'm not as well versed in Russian communist leaders as I should be. But was there really much philosophical difference between Lenin and Stalin. I mean in so far as how far they were willing to go to implement their distopias clearly Stalin wins. But otherwise they're both very much command and control style "dictators" with the supposed goal of implementing a sort of enforced socialism.
which to me brings up an interesting topic, namely that the whole erf-world system seems to be very command and control to begin with. Decisions appear to always be made by the single head of state. Sure individual sides could *decide* to implement some sort of congress or cabinet of advisers ontop of the dictator system... but it seems like there aren't really any ways in system to long term prevent the rise of command and control... as the best I can come up with is a ruler whose ideals are somehow more democratic, and hence subordinates would be doing their duty to his ideals by assassinating him if he takes the reigns himself... but even that is only speculation, and there doesn't appear to be a way to force the next ruler to live under a similar system... Which is interesting to me, that the world is not only turn based, and hence I feel provides more time to think between actions, and hence makes a single ruler less inefficient than in real time... but also is sort of natively "coded" to create dictatorial regimes.