To keep vamping on that last post, I have also been thinking of the importance of rewards and how every key narrative (religious, economic, social, etc.) has rewards to ensure proper behavior. It's not necessarily a controlling thing; in fact, it might be a key to sustainability in any system.
If you believe you will be rewarded (whether with verbal praise, acceptance, money, or even an ego-boost of "I did the right thing"), then it makes the going easier. In fact, the whole "I did the RIGHT thing" assumes a particular exclusive view about what's right and the reward is that you stuck to the script. And counter-cultural scripts are no different. Refusing money, praise, power...these things are all given worth, depending on the community you are a part of.
Rewards are important. If there is nothing but heartbreak, why do something? (Please understand I'm being a little coarse here.) But seriously, most challenges taken on, dire situations faced, and risks taken are usually done because of some greater end that aligns with the story. Small selfless (or selfish) steps here and there to ensure the outcome is as we'd like to see it.
This goes back to the arbitrariness (word?) of stories. Rewards are arbitrary as well, and like stories, they are often communally committed to, but individually understood. But they must exist.
Ayn Rand gets at this a bit with her book THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS. The idea that all we do is prompted by what I call our "Survival Story". That is, even the ideals we create are part of our socio-mental survival.
Again, this doesn't say that doing something because you'll get a nice little ROI (whether in social, emotional, spiritual, or economic capital) is wrong or unhelpful. Just like I said with stories, it's better to choose one perhaps than not to. But they're arbitrary and the value-reward system that makes them up is as well. Interesting.