draining the swamp

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Jan 4 14:19:48 UTC 2002

I don't think one needs to refer to Mao or any other modern source; I think
the metaphor is transparent. In order to suppress vermin (usually insects,
I suppose, and probably snakes, etc.), one drains any nearby swamp. As long
as there is a breeding-place, there will be vermin. I presume this was as
true and as obvious several hundred years ago as it is now; I can't be sure
how the ancient Egyptians looked at the subject, but it wouldn't amaze me
if they had the same approach: if there's a swamp on your property, even if
you have sufficient useful land aside from it, drain it if possible and
minimize the bugs and varmints.

-- Doug Wilson

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