Monday, April 25, 2016

Thinking Ahead to the Election (added to 4/27)

My platform consists entirely of operating the Marshall as a non-commercial membership club.

Clubs are formed by people with a common interest, other than running a businesses, in our case chess.  When the club became large enough to have bank accounts and own property, it filed with the State of New York and the federal government to become tax exempt.  The conditions of the tax exemption is that it is not a business.  It cannot be a business or operate a business.  It also must exist solely to serve the members.  It is not a public service organization.

A common problem in many non-profit organizations is mission drift.  The organizations change their mission in order to increase revenue.  In the case of the Marshall, that means a trend towards serving the booming children's market and ignoring adults.  This defeats the purpose for which the club was formed and endowed, and was maintained for a hundred years.  The problem is not children learning chess.  Chessplayers of all ages have always been mentioned at the Marshall.   The problem is the new commercial focus.

The idea of a private club is not to unduly exclude people.  Anyone with a love of chess, who is peaceful and law abiding should be welcome to join.  A private club does not have to be small or poor or boring. The goal is to achieve a family-like atmosphere, which also requires fair and transparent governance.

Maybe its too late for the Marshall. Let us consider whether there is a lesson that pertains to the larger world.  Money is important, but it isn't all important.  As for superficial image, it is worth nothing.  People who think too much in terms of money and/or image aren't going to change and they aren't going to give you a break.  If you don't oppose them wholeheartedly from the very beginning, you will end up with nothing.  

1 comment:

  1. I agree. The profiteers have taken over. The problem is not Children's chess per se. It is that everyone is trying to sell to them. Teachers, camps, etc. It's all about the money. I do hope you are wrong about it being too late for the Marshall though...