This article unveils the authoritarian outcomes of Rafael Correa’s project of redemptive and technocratic modernization from above. It analyzes how plans of action based on substantive notions of democratization that do not respect procedures end in authoritarian regimes. It also studies how populist appeals and technocratic reasoning are combined in Correa’s project of state building. Windfall rents have allowed his government to pursue democratization understood as an increase in social spending, but at the cost of pluralism, civil rights, the rule of law, and checks and balances. In contrast to other leftist governments, Correa has not created participatory institutions, and is in conflict with most organized groups of civil society, which his administration has labeled as corporatist and special-interest groups.