This paper draws upon Althusser [Althusser L, Ideology and ideological state apparatuses (notes towards an investigation). In: Althusser L, editor. Lenin and philosophy and other essays [Brewster B, Trans.]. London: New Left Books; 1971] to conceive two teachers of commercial subjects as apparatchiks serving an ideological state apparatus in order to diffuse a state ideology. We explore the lives of João Henrique de Sousa and Albert Jaquéri de Sales, the first two teachers of the Portuguese School of Commerce, established in Lisbon in 1759. Sousa and Sales were important propagators of commercial knowledge and mercantilist State ideology during the regime of the Marquis of Pombal (Chief Minister of Portugal, 1756–1777). We explore their role as operatives of an “ideological state apparatus” and the contribution they made to the growth of indigenous commercial know-how and the development of the Portuguese economy. We explore how their status in Portuguese society was related to the fortunes of the regime they served.