“The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.” — The Tao de Ching, No. 15

“The Hunger Games” is important because it marks a new generation, just as Bob Dylan marked a new generation when he appeared at a folk festival on my high school football field in the early ’60s. This book and movie is a definitive marker and will imprint a generation now in high school. If your kids are just a little older, even in college, they might not get it. But Mitt Romney gets it.

It is interesting that high school teachers love this book and college professors hate it. When I saw “Star Wars” in Boston when it first came out, next day I had lunch with two Harvard professors new in the English department. I was amazed at the underlying themes: a textbook for Taoism (“the Force”) with lessons direct from classic Eastern texts like “Zen and the Art of Archery,” all held together by the themes of mythologist Joseph Campbell. The Harvard professors were apoplectic. They were intent on creating the new generation of French nihilists who dominate culture and liberal politics to this day. This was an existential threat to them. They will be terrified when book two of “The Hunger Games” series appears: It is purely revolutionary.

That is the problem with generationality: Each rising generation of purpose identifies its own gen in opposition to the last. Sir James G. Frazer wrote that important generations symbolize this by chopping down a tree, as Washington did, to show their break from the past. A better analogy: The Red Queen (Victoria, in “Twilight”) must be killed so the White Queen (Bella) can begin the world again. If “The Hunger Games” brings the storied fourth generation of the clever book The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe, this generation will be a tree-chopper.

And only one major figure gets this: Mitt Romney. He intentionally took the day off from campaigning to go see the movie with his grandkids.

"I enjoyed it,” he said. “I actually read the books, too.”

From the book: “When I was younger, I scared my mother to death, the things I would blurt out about District 12, about the people who rule our country, Panem, from the far off city called the Capital. Eventually I understood this would only lead us to more trouble.”

Ages rise while others recede, like the tide. It is the way of all things. The new century will not resemble the last. It never does. But the old generations (Clinton/Bush) will try their mightiest to prevent the birth of the future. They always do.

I’ve been on the Strauss/Howe theme for 15 years and see three historic features of the rising century: rise of the Anglosphere in cultural cohesion — potentially in the lifeline of William and Catherine to advance; the continuing cohesion and rise of Israel (as a sacred state) awakening in a world dying around it — the post-Netanyahu (post-Clinton/-Bush) era rising with Moshe Feiglin; and third, the cultural and political rise of heartland America in opposition to the edges.

All public elements have been shopping “The Hunger Games” to propagandize and legitimize their own agendas, from hunting to world hunger. The movie speaks for itself. But the key to political futures is the “grandfather” (“ancient master”) who constellates with the rising generation. In “Star Wars” term, that would mark the Jedi master.

Only one rose instinctively to “The Hunger Games”: Mitt Romney.