A crime that produces its own antidote
In Isaac Asimov's Foundation [1, p. 189], a character mentions that something is "a crime that produces its own antidote. It is the attempt plus the failure that proves fatal".
This is essentially a description of high-risk, high-stakes activity. For example, successful revolutionaries "produce their own antidote" by establishing a new government, while failure "proves fatal".
- Asimov, Isaac. Foundation. The Foundation Series 1. New York: Bantam Books, 2004.