Here is what DTJ said: “the decision to join an association reflects an expanded understanding of what constitutes a benefit. It goes beyond the self-oriented assessment of the value received by the individual making the decision to incorporate a more other-oriented assessment of value generated for the community of interest.”
On the other hand, I claimed, “Clearly, we all are influenced in decisions for joining or buying any product in part because what the decision will mean for society. But I believe value, price, and usefulness are influencers that impact our buying decision more than joining for the good of others.”
If you visit the post, you will see it generated a pretty good debate.
However, I have to say that I now feel vindicated as I read the following in the latest membership book from ASAE and the Center, Membership Essentials.
It says: “For most members, it is no longer acceptable for the association to simply advance a cause or defeat forces that negatively affect its constituents. Today’s members expect a quantifiable return on their investment of dues dollars in addition to the association’s delivering on the mission. For every dollar they spend in dues, they demand at least a dollar’s worth of value in return. Membership dues have become a type of investment for today’s consumers, and the investments that yield lower returns are scrutinized or withdrawn entirely.” 
Which side do you take in this great debate?
 Membership Essentials: Recruitment, Retention, Roles, Responsibilities and Resources, chapter two, Jay L. Karen, CAE, and Ben Martin, page 10.