John Galt was a genius. He invented "the motor" and executed the greatest strike in world history. And it's clear that he understood the danger he was always in (out in the world) and how the looters operate.
So it has always been puzzling to me why, at the end of Atlas Shrugged, Galt thought it was a good idea to go back to the world so quickly after the final crash and bring all the strikers with him.
Granted, the lights had gone out in NYC, the Taggart bridge had collapsed, and the nation was near starvation. But the political leaders such as Mr. Thompson and all his cronies were still--at least to some degree--in power.
If the strikers had come back and started fixing everything, why would anyone believe that Thompson's gang wouldn't have immediately started exploiting them, regulating them, taxing them to death, and controlling them? I would have thought that the strikers needed to wait long enough for the current government leaders to be swept from power and run out of town, clearing the way for the strikers' return.
Rand makes it clear that the strikers cared little for political power, so we cannot assume that upon their return they would have tried to step into the shoes of political power in order to achieve their goals. They simply would have gone back to work, and once again been exploited by the looting politicians.
Admittedly, we don't know how much time passed between the rescue flight back from the State Science Institute and the moon-lit walk in the valley in which Galt declares to Dagney that "we're going back", but it certainly seems as though very little time had elapsed. Weeks? Days?