Transactional and status based approaches to relationships are social capitalism. We’re branding and selling ourselves for attention and approval. Psychopaths and narcissists just see it for what it is and go all the way with it. Manipulative people are just predatory social capitalists in this regard.
Changing the nature of our economics, that is changing the big picture of society, demands first changing our relationships, our immediate social surroundings–the little picture of society. In a certain sense this can actually be quite a hopeful outlook (see? I’m selling my ideas here). Why? There’s somewhere for efforts and energy to go in making change. We have a little picture to start with.