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Scabs vs strikers?

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The main difference between them is that Dagny and Rearden initially don't see that a strike is necessary whereas Galt, Francisco and Ragnar do. It's when Rearden realizes that the destruction of the country is made possible by him -- that men like Thompson, Mouch and Ferris have come to assume that they can get away with their destructive policies because he, Rearden, will figure something out -- that he sees that a strike is necessary. Dagny, at first, believes that everyone essentially wants the same -- that everyone is on the life premise -- but that some men, men like her brother, are just so hopelessly incompetent that she just has to work a little harder to get the country going again. I don't remember exactly what it is that makes her change her mind, but I do know that it happens in the dinner scene where she sees Galt among the looters. I think it is the knowledge that they are going to torture Galt that does. But anyway, she recognizes that some men are moved by what AR calls the death premise, and that does it for her. She calls Fransisco after that.

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I’ll just add that there is no difference in Dagny and Rearden morally or intellectually from the other three. The difference is when they accept the full implication of the novels theme. Galt, Francisco, and Ragnar went through the same process of learning the truth before the novel begins. The book references this in dialog but it does dramatize it at one point when Francisco cries in Dagny’s arms during the flash back. That was when he came to terms with the truth and what (and who) he was going to have to give up as a part of that truth.

From a character stand point, Atlas Shrugged is the story of how Dagny and Rearden come to terms with the same issue. The character development is centered on them coming to terms with the themes of the novel (which is necessary for the author to present the themes and dramatize them in action or it wouldn’t be a novel).

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