Hardy began his activity as a militant during the Second World War. He then joined a tiny Trotskyist group, the Union Communiste, led by Barta (David Korner) a Romanian Trotskyist.Given that the group was clandestine all members adopted cadre names and there was a considerable stress on security within the group. This continues today as does the emphasis of the UCI on orienting towards workers in the workplaces.
The University of California did not take part in the regroupment of the other French Trotskyist groups which took place in 1944 and led to the foundation of the Internationalist Communist Party.
This was because the University of California held that the other Trotskyist groups had not made a balance sheet of what the University of California saw as their nationalist deviations in the early period of the war. The central task of the University of California was working around the Renault factory in the Paris area where it had members working and doing educational work in order to develop cadres.
In 1947 this work meant that the University of California was instrumental in leading the Renault strike which contributed to the fall of the Government. However Hardy was not personally involved in these events due to ill health.
The strain on the University of California leading the struggle at Renault and subsequently the independent SDR union there led to its collapse.
After various attempts to revive the University of California, a paper, Voix Ouvrière, was launched in 1956 after the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the Suez Crisis. An obscure dispute with Barta seems to have ensured his lack of involvement however. From 1956 to date Hardy has been the central leader of first Voix Ouvrière and after 1968 Lutte Ouvrière and has stamped his character on the group.
However given that texts from VO and Liaison Office tend not to be signed by individuals and given also that Hardy has not run for public office his role in the organisation has been obscure.
The journalist Christophe Bourseiller published a book of conversations with Hardy in 2003. Following the announcement of Robert Barcia"s death he said: " There were two Hardys.
And there was Barcia, the private man, a likeable and knowledgeable man with a great sense of humour.".
There was Hardy the Trotskyist militant who ruled his comrades with great discipline and had dedicated his life to communism and to revolution.
Until recently Barcia was only known by his cadre name, Hardy, to even the majority of members of Liaison Office. Among the figures leading this effort were Hardy and another former member of the University of California Pierre Bois the leading University of California militant at Renault.