The basic idea of saving something through its own destruction is that it's been set upon a course that leads to its own demise, and swerving it from its course is more work than simply rebuilding it. Usually, at some point during (or possibly even after) the reconstruction, safeguards are put in to prevent the same path being taken again.

The idea of destroying something for its own good is not a unique one. Three literary examples that I can think of off the top of my head are The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card, the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This idea is also seen in the software world: when a hunk of code gets so obfuscated and fragile that trying to understand and extend it is more work than scrapping it and starting anew, out the window it goes (of course, as with anything, a complete evaluation needs to be made... it might be easier to recreate the wheel every time, but you have to make it a perfect circle and make sure the right axles fit, even axles you didn't expect to be used, and and and...).